Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef: Is There Any Difference?

Sometimes it is hard to know what kind of meat to use in the kitchen. This article will walk you through different kinds of ground meat so you can make an informed decision.
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
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Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: September 08, 2023
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Ground beef is used in so many recipes: burgers, tacos, pasta sauce, rice bowls, and more. It is also known as minced beef. It is ground or minced beef. There are different types of ground beef according to what cut is used and the fat percentage. These types include chuck, round, and sirloin. Each type of ground beef has its pros and cons. Generally speaking, the more fat the beef has, the better it will stick together, the better it will taste, and the juicier it will be. It will also have more calories. There are also substitutes to ground beef, including bison, chicken, and turkey. Each is different and can be called for in a recipe or just substituted instead of beef. So get in the kitchen and have some fun!

What is ground beef?

Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef: Is There Any Difference?

Ground beef is otherwise known as minced beef or beef mince. It is beef that has been chopped very finely with a knife or a meat grinder. In Britain, this is known as a mincing machine. Food laws specify what ground beef can contain. In America, beef fat can be added to hamburgers but not to ground beef if it is ground and packaged at a USDA-inspected plant. A maximum of 30% fat is allowed in hamburgers or ground beef. The percentage is lower in other countries.

Some ground beef is treated with antimicrobial agents to get rid of salmonella and pathogens.

If you are lost and don’t know where to start, try out this ground beef that is hormone and antibiotic-free. If you are looking for grass-fed beef, this is another great option.

Types of ground beef

Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef: Is There Any Difference?

There are many different types of ground beef, including chunk, round, and sirloin. Chunk ground beef is 78-84% lean. Round ground beef is 85-89% lean. Sirloin ground beef is 90-95% lean. If you are looking to make burgers with your ground beef, here is a good resource to help you get started. 

Ground chuck 

Chuck is a primal cut of beef. It is around the neck and shoulder of the cow. The shoulder and neck do a lot of work, so it is usually filled with lots of tough muscle, sinew, fat, and connective tissue. It can be tough if not cooked properly, which is why it is often used in ground beef.  Ground chuck has a higher fat percentage than ground beef made of leaner primal cuts. This makes it better for things that are shaped, like burgers or meatballs. It keeps them juicy. The extra fat adds a punch of flavor that leaner cuts don’t have. 

Ground round 

Ground round beef is made from the round primal cut. This is near the rump of the cow. That primal cut is where rump roast, round steaks, and round roasts are from. This meat is leaner than chuck meat. It has roughly 10-15% fat. That makes it great for tacos and pasta sauce. Ground round meat can dry out if it is cooked beyond medium-rare because of its low-fat percentage. A burger cooked to medium-rare is not high enough in temperature to kill bacteria. Its fat percentage also affects the number of calories in the meat, as a lower fat percentage means fewer calories. 

Ground sirloin 

Ground sirloin is 90% lean and 10% fat. It comes from the middle of the cow. It’s drier than regular ground beef, ground round, and ground chuck because it has a much lower fat content. However, this is also why it is the healthiest option. It’s not great for burgers because it will dry out quickly, and its low-fat content will make it stick together less, but it’s great for sauces. Ground sirloin is the healthiest option out of all the types of ground beef. It is also the most expensive. It is also labeled as extra-lean ground beef. The sirloin cut makes some of the most tender and expensive steaks like the Porterhouse and Filet Mignon. 

Ground beef itself 

Ground beef is ground meat and fat. It is often used in chili, meatloaf, burgers, and tacos. There are different types of ground beef that have different price tags, fat percentages, sourcing, food safety, and storage considerations. Ground beef is usually made from the leftover trimmings of steaks, roasts, and beef cuts. The store will specify what kind of ground beef you’re getting: chuck, round, or sirloin.  USDA “certified organic” is ground beef from livestock-fed organic and pesticide-free food. The animals must also have a pasture. They also don’t have antibiotics or growth hormones. 

Alternatives to ground beef 

There are many alternatives to ground beef. Whether you don’t like the texture, flavor, if it’s too expensive, if it’s sold out, or if the recipe calls for something else, there are ways around using ground beef. Some of those options include mushrooms, ground poultry, textured vegetable proteins, lentils, and tempeh. As you can see, there are both vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives to ground beef. You should try cooking with all different types of alternatives in case you find something you fall in love with! It’s also just good practice in the kitchen and can mix up your normal recipes and try something fun and new with the family. 


Bison are huge, bovine animals, otherwise called buffalo in North America. Bovine means they are related to cattle. They are broader and more muscular than cattle, with big shaggy coats of fur that people know them for. They make lean meat that has a punch of flavor. It’s a great option for adding protein to meals while also cutting low on fat. You can use it directly as a substitute for ground beef. You should just change the cooking time a bit because ground bison will cook faster than ground beef. 


Ground chicken is ground-up bits of both dark meat and white meat from a chicken. It might also have some chicken. It is light pink when raw and white after being cooked. It also takes on the color of any seasoning or sauce that you add. Ground chicken is a popular substitute for ground beef in health food circles because it has a lower fat content and a lower calorie content. It is mild in flavor and has roughly the same nutritional values as ground turkey.  


Ground turkey is made by combining the dark meat and light meat of a turkey along with skin and fat. It is lean, high in protein, and easily usable when making chili, burgers, meatballs, rice bowls, tacos, and more. Most ground turkey is made from excess turkey thighs and drumsticks, opposed to more expensive cuts like the turkey breast. That’s why it’s an affordable substitution for ground beef. It has a fat percentage under 15%. Some brands add additives to make a more appealing color and less crumbly texture. 

How to make a perfect patty? 

First, put two pounds of ground beef (or ground beef substitute) into a bowl and mix it with the seasonings you want to use. Get beef with a higher fat content for more juicy and flavored burgers. You can also add veggies. 

  • Get your hands wet with water to keep them less sticky and shape the meat into equal-sized balls. 
  • Gently press down the balls. They should be slightly thicker around the edge than in the middle. 
  • Make a small indentation in the center with your thumb. This will keep the center from swelling and cooking unevenly.  To cut down on prep time, you can also use a burger press! 

Final thoughts 

Ground meats are a crucial part of so many recipes and diets. There are many different kinds of ground meats you can use depending on what you want. Ground meats can be used for pasta sauces, tacos, burgers, rice bowls, meatballs, and more. Ground beef has three different kinds: chuck, round, and sirloin. You can also use ground bison, chicken, or turkey, as well as vegetarian and vegan substitutes. Try different kinds of ground beef, as well as different substitutes, to find what you like best. Take time with the family to experiment and make it fun! Cooking and eating are some of life’s greatest pleasures.

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