Minced Meat vs Ground Meat (7 Key Differences & Features)

Arianna Foster
Published by Arianna Foster
Last Updated On: December 5, 2023

Although minced and ground meats are often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same.

I’ve eaten countless pounds of both during the decade I’ve been on a carnivore diet, so I talked with my butcher and a nutritionist friend to find out everything about the differences between these two.

Here’s what you need to know.

Quick Summary

  • Minced meats are made from skeletal muscle obtained from one kind of meat. Ground meat is made from a mix of meat.
  • Minced meats must be chopped finely with a knife, while ground needs to be put through a meat grinder.
  • Ground and minced meats have different meaty flavors.

7 Differences Between Minced Meat and Ground Meat

Although seemingly the same, minced and ground meat differ in these seven areas.

1. Ingredients

A close up shot of minced meat coming out of a meat grinder

The biggest difference between minced and ground meat is in their ingredients.

Minced meat is 100% meat from one animal. This can be pork, beef, lamb, or chicken. Skeletal muscles attached to the bones are the main meat used to make minced meat.

Ground meat can be made from one single animal or a mix of two animals. For example, the most popular mix is beef and pork. Also, ground meat has additional ingredients, such as soy, water, and animal fat. Minced meat doesn’t have these ingredients.

Note: This doesn’t mean ground meat is worse quality than minced meat. It means this meat has different purposes and doesn’t necessarily function as minced meat. 

Also Read: Carnivore Ground Beef Recipes

2. Production Process

The production process is another major difference between ground and minced meat.

You make minced meat using knives, a cutting board, or a food processor.

Here’s how to make minced meat step-by-step:

  1. Cut the meat into one-inch thick chunks.
  2. Then cut the meat into half of its current size.
  3. Freeze the meat strips for 20 minutes.
  4. Chop the meat with a sharp knife. Pile the meat and chop again. Repeat until you have tiny pieces.

Alternatively, you can use a meat processor to chop the meat into cubes, freeze it for 15 minutes, and mince it with a food processor.

On the other hand, you make ground meat with a meat grinder.

Here’s how to do it step-by-step:

  1. Take out meat and fat as per your preferred ratio (80/20 is best, but you can insert more fat if you want fattier ground meat).
  2. Chop the meat into cubes.
  3. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. Place the cubes and other ingredients into the grinder hopper and grind.

3. Texture

A texture image of minced meat and ground meat

Minced meat has a coarser, leaner, and chunkier texture. It’s chewy unless finely chopped.

Lean ground meat is dry and crumbly, while fattier is smooth and more succulent. It has a fine texture in the form of long pieces that resemble strings.

The differences in texture are due to the different processing methods. Mincing is done by taking whole-muscle meat and finely dicing it with a knife.

Ground meat is put through a meat grinder. It’s been forced through a metal with many holes in it, and then it’s sheared by a rotating blade.

You can change the size of the holes to get different coarseness. Still, the ground is more homogenized than minced meat.

“If you try to make meatballs or a burger using 4% lean ground beef, you will have a dry result. Fat is crucial for flavor, and that is where moisture comes from.”
- Jess Pryles, Australian Chef

For example, if you were to make a burger patty, beef would hold better and be less crumbly than a minced one.

4. Flavor

Minced meat is 100% pure meat, so it has a strong meaty flavor. It’s not diluted with other ingredients.

Ground meat has other ingredients and is more flexible. You can get ground meat from a single animal if you like one flavor or choose a mix if you like a more flavorful dish.

Leaner ground meat, such as low-fat beef, has a somewhat dry and less salty flavor because it isn’t very oily.

On the other hand, minced meat, especially beef, has more fat, so the flavor is oilier and more tender.

5. Uses

A person cooking chili con carne using minced meat

Because of their texture differences, ground and minced meat are used in different dishes.

Coarse and choppy minced meat is best used in long-cooked recipes and those that don’t need a solid meat shape. Some popular recipes are chili con carne, pie, stew, sausage rows, and curry.

Unlike minced meat, ground meat has a smoother consistency, so this meat is best used in dishes that require the cooked meat to keep its shape. It’s best used in burgers, kebabs, and meatballs.

6. Nutritional Info

Minced meat has more protein, iron, sodium, vitamin B1, and B6. Regular ground beef has more calories, fat, zinc, potassium, and fatty acids.

However, the number of calories depends on the type of cooked or raw meat. Regular ground meat will have more calories than minced, but lean will have fewer calories.

For example, 100g of minced meat has 240 calories, while 100g of lean beef has 230 calories [1] [2].

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7. Price

A close up shot of a person holding a dollar

The price depends on where and what kind of meat you buy. Generally, beef mince is more expensive than ground meat because it’s 100% meat.

However, ground meat can be more expensive in some places because of the complicated processing process and the fact it needs a meat grinder with very sharp blades.

Ground meat has different prices depending on the meat and fat ratio. For example, lean ground meat is more expensive than fatty one.

If you’re looking for a reliable beef supplier, check out our review of ButcherBox. This meat delivery service sells grass-fed and grass-finished beef.

FAQs

Can I Substitute Ground Beef for Minced Beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground beef for minced beef in most recipes. However, if you need the meat to hold its shape, go for ground lean meat, as it holds the shape better.

What Are the 3 Types of Ground Beef?

There are four types of ground beef, which are ground round, ground sirloin, ground chuck, and ground beef. These differ in cut, fat content, and grade.

Is Minced Meat Real Meat?

Yes, minced meat is real meat. It’s made from one single kind of meat, such as beef, pork, lamb, or another.

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About the author

Arianna Foster
Nutritionist/Editorial Director
Arianna Foster is the editorial director and senior reviewer at Carnivore Style. She loves sharing her passion for nutrition, diverse cooking techniques, and the many health benefits of a meat diet with readers.
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