Difference between: ground beef and ground chuck (and ground round)

Ground chuck! We can use that in replacement of ground beef, right?

Right, you can.

But let’s find out the difference between them anyway, and take a gander at ground round while we’re at it.

ground beef in a glass bowl

Ground beef:

  • Is chopped up beef from various cuts and trimmings.
  • Must by food regulations have at least 30% fat (70% lean).
  • Is used in meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, chili, tacos and other Mexican dishes, lasagna and other pasta dishes, soups and stews, casseroles, etc.

Ground chuck:

  • Is chopped up beef from the front shoulders.
  • Is typically 15% fat (85% lean).
  • Is often used in meatballs and burgers.

Ground round:

  • Is chopped up beef from the hind legs.
  • Is typically 10% fat (90% lean).
  • As the leanest cut, is often used for lower-calorie meals; can become dry when cooked beyond medium-rare.

According to The Food Substitutions Bible, ground chuck is the most flavorful cut of ground beef, followed by ground round, and then ground sirloin.

As we can see, ground beef is fattier than the other two and can be made from a plethora of cuts and trimmings; ground chuck and ground round are specific cuts of meat and are lower in the fat content.

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