Ground meats are as versatile as chicken. Ground meats are very affordable, and you can use them to make several dishes, including BBQ meatloaf, BBQ meatballs, and BBQ hamburgers.
Just like there are many types of steaks, there are many types of ground meats.
However, the two most popular beef choices are definitely ground beef and ground sirloin.
What Is Ground Beef?
Ground beef is beef that has been chopped finely with a sharp knife or processed using a meat grinder. Ground beef can also be called minced beef or beef mince.
Although some people allege ground beef contains horse meat, there are strict laws that detail what ground beef must-have.
For example, US laws dictate that beef fat can be added to hamburgers. However, beef fat must be excluded from ground beef.
Additionally, some ground beef can be mixed with antimicrobial substances to neutralize salmonella or other pathogenic bacteria.
Is Ground Beef the Same as Ground Sirloin?
Technically, both ground beef and ground sirloin are cuts of beef. However, these are two very different cuts of beef.
In essence, ground sirloin can be ground beef, but all ground beef is not ground sirloin.
Ground meat labeled ground sirloin can only contain meat that is produced from the sirloin. Ground beef can contain meat from several cuts of beef.
Types of Ground Beef
There are multiple types of ground beef. This will help you understand how ground beef differs from ground sirloin.
Ground chuck comes from the chuck primal. The chuck primal stretches between the neck and shoulder of the steer.
Both the shoulder and neck are heavily used. Therefore, the chuck primal; contains sinew, tough muscles, connective tissue, and a healthy amount of fat.
If chuck is not prepared right, it will be as tough as nails. This is one of the reasons why chuck is usually made into ground beef.
Ground beef produced from chuck is 78%-84% lean. Therefore, it has a higher fat ratio than ground beef made from leaner cuts of beef.
Ground chuck is best suited to dishes that are formed into patties or balls like meatballs or burgers. The additional fat keeps the meat juicy as it cooks.
Ground round comes from the beef round primal cut. The round primal is close to the rear of the cow.
This is the same primal from which rump roasts, round steaks, and round roasts are fabricated.
Ground round has a 10%-15% fat ratio. Therefore, it is 85%-89% lean. Consequently, it is best for tacos or pasta sauce.
If you use Ground meat to make burgers, it can dry out if it is cooked above medium-rare.
Although the price may sound like no big deal, medium-rare is not high enough to neutralize bacteria.
Ground sirloin comes from the sirloin primal of the cow. The sirloin primal is in the center of the cow.
It is 90% lean and contains about 10% of fat. Therefore, it is much drier than other types of ground beef.
Ground sirloin should not be used for burgers since the lack of fat will cause the meat to fall apart.
Ground sirloin is usually labeled as extra-lean ground beef.
Ground Sirloin vs. Ground Beef
Now that you understand the difference between ground sirloin and ground beef, as well as the different types of ground beef, let’s get into the comparison guide.
Ground beef and ground sirloin are two very different cuts of beef. However, which one is better?
Sirloin is relatively lean. Therefore, it does not contain as much fat as ground beef.
This is why it is a popular choice for health-conscious people who still want to indulge in ground meats.
In contrast, ground beef contains more fat, which makes cut a popular choice for most individuals.
All in all, ground beef trumps ground sirloin in the fat department.
Fat equals flavor. Since ground sirloin contains less fat, it is less flavorful.
The average individual might be unable to tell the flavor differences between ground sirloin and ground beef unless they were testing both types of meat side by side.
However, with one bite of each type of beef, you will notice that ground beef has a juicer, more succulent flavor. Therefore, ground beef beats sirloin in the flavor department.
The texture of ground sirloin and ground beef also depends on the fat content.
Although the difference is relatively small, it is still very noticeable, especially if the ground meat is overcooked.
Ground beef has a higher fat ratio and a softer, richer texture. In contrast, ground sirloin has a drier texture, so it is much chewier than its counterparts.
Therefore, ground beef beats out ground sirloin once again.
If you still want your fill of beef but want to keep it restricted to a certain amount, ground sirloin is definitely the better option.
A 4-ounce serving of ground sirloin is about 200 calories. It contains 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, and 23 grams of protein.
In contrast, a 4-ounce serving of ground beef contains 308 calories, which is 108 more calories than ground sirloin. It is also carb-free and contains 31 grams of protein and grams of carbs.
Note that the nutrition information of ground beef is subject to change based on the type of meat used to produce the ground meat.
All in all, the winner of the nutrition category depends on how you look at it. For example, ground beef contains 8 more grams of protein than ground sirloin.
Therefore, if you want to increase your protein intake and the calorie count is not a big deal, ground beef may be better.
In contrast, if the calories are what is most important, ground sirloin may be the better option.
Ground sirloin is more expensive than ground beef. It costs about $5.70 a pound. Ground sirloin is considered a high-quality cut of beef, and it is much leaner. Therefore, it is more expensive than its counterparts.
In contrast, ground beef is only $4.30 per pound. The price difference may not seem like a big deal, but if you are saving money, it is a big deal.
If you purchase 5 pounds of ground sirloin for your party, it will cost $28. In contrast, 5 pounds of ground beef cost $21.50.
You will save $6.50, which you can use to purchase a bag of fries or burger buns.
The price may also depend on the type of ground beef. In general, ground beef can be regular or grass-fed. Grass-fed ground beef is considered superior quality, so it will cost more.
In addition to this, the price can also depend on the grade of ground beef. Ground beef is divided into 3 grades: prime, choice, or select.
Prime ground beef is the best quality as it comes from young cows who are fed a specific diet. Choice grade ground beef falls below prime and is still considered high-quality.
Select ground beef is the lowest quality.
Select grade beef is leaner and less juicy. Nevertheless, it is still flavorful.
Ground Sirloin vs. Ground Beef: Which Is Best?
Whether ground sirloin or ground beef is better depends on how you use it. Ground beef is super versatile.
Ground beef has a rich, fatty flavor that is perfect for hamburgers, cottage pie, Shepard’s pie, tacos, meatloaf, and sloppy joes.
Best of all, it’s super affordable and will not dry out if it is used to make Cottage pie which has a longer cooking time.
The only downside is that most ground beef recipes require you to drain the fat.
If you do not drain the fat from the ground beef, the fat will float to the top of your dish and become solidified as it cools down.
Although it’s pretty easy to remove the fat once it has solidified, it can make your leftovers look unappealing.
In contrast, ground sirloin does not have a high-fat profile, so it is really easy to dry out the beef as it cooks.
Therefore, it’s best to use ground sirloin in dishes that do not use fat as a flavor base, like burgers or meatloaf.
Ground sirloin will not produce as much fat as its counterpart.
Therefore, it is best to use ground sirloin with dishes that call for additional liquid, such as chili, spaghetti sauce, or Salisbury steak.
Ground beef vs ground sirloin is one of the most popular debates. Some people believe that ground beef is better, while others believe the latter is better.
Both types of ground beef are equally delicious in their own right. Therefore, I say it depends on your needs.
If you want leaner ground beef and are looking to decrease your calorie or fat intake, sirloin may be best.
In contrast, ground beef may be best if you want juicy, moist, and flavorful ground meat.
Nevertheless, you should try ground sirloin and ground beef before deciding which is better for you.
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I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.