What Is 80 20 Ground Beef?

What Is 80 20 Ground Beef

If you are a meat lover or a food enthusiast, you might have heard of 80 20 ground beef. But what is it, and what makes it so special? In short, 80 20 ground beef is a mixture of 80% lean meat and 20% fat. The fat content is what gives the ground beef its flavor and juiciness, making it a great choice for burgers, meatloaf, and other dishes that require a little bit of fat.

What Does 80/20 Mean?

When you're browsing the meat section at your local grocery store, you may see packages labeled as "80/20." But what exactly does that mean? Simply put, 80/20 refers to the ratio of lean meat to fat in the ground beef.

The ratio of 80/20 means that 80% of it is lean meat, while 20% is fat. This ratio is the most common for ground beef, but you may also come across other ratios like 90 to 10 or even 70/30. The higher the percentage of lean meat, the less fat the beef contains.

So, why does the ratio matter when buying ground beef? Knowing the ratio can help you make informed decisions about which meat to buy, based on your personal preferences and needs. Here's some advice on how to tell if a ratio of 80/20 is right for you:

How Ratio Affects Taste and Texture:

  • The fat content in 80/20 ratioprovides flavor and moisture, making it a popular choice for burgers and meatloaf.

  • However, if you're looking for a leaner option, you may want to consider a higher lean meat ratio like 90/10 or even ground sirloin.

How Ratio Affects Cooking:

  • The higher fat content in 80/20 ratiomeans it can be easier to overcook or dry out the meat.

  • However, the fat content can also make the meat more forgiving and less likely to dry out when cooked at higher temperatures.

Nutritional Value

When considering the nutritional value of 80/20 ratio, it's important to compare it to other ratios to get a better understanding of its impact on your diet. Here's a comparison of 80/20 to other ratios:

  • 90/10: This ratio contains 90% lean meat and 10% fat. While it's a leaner option, it can be dry when cooked without adding extra fat.

  • 85/15: This ratio is a slightly leaner option than 80/20, with 85% lean meat and 15% fat. It still provides a good amount of fat for flavor and moisture without being overly fatty.

  • 70/30: This ratio contains 70% lean meat and 30% fat. While it provides a lot of flavor, it can be high in calories and saturated fat, making it less healthy than leaner ratios.

When cooking with 80/20, it's important to note that the extra fat can add flavor and moisture to the meat. However, if you're trying to reduce the fat content, you can drain the fat from the pan or cook the patties on a grill to allow the extra fat to drip off.

The ratio s a good source of protein, iron, and zinc in terms of nutrition. However, it's also higher in calories and saturated fat than leaner ratios. If you're looking for a leaner option, 90/10 or ground sirloin may be better.

While 80/20 may not be the healthiest option, it provides a good amount of fat for flavor and moisture. By being mindful of portion size and cooking methods, you can still enjoy the taste of 80/20 while maintaining a balanced diet.

Cooking With 80/20 Ground Beef

Cooking with 80/20 ground beef is a versatile option that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some tips and recipes to get you started:


  • When buying 80/20 ratio, consider going to a butcher or meat counter where you can see the meat and ask for a specific grind.

  • Brown the meat in a pan over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula to ensure it cooks evenly.

  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the meat from the pan and drain any excess fat.

  • Season the meat with salt, pepper, and other spices to taste.

Recipes You Can Try With 80/20

Classic Burger

classic burger


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef

  • 4 hamburger buns

  • lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles (optional)

  • salt and pepper


  1. In your wooden cutting board, divide the meat into four equal portions and shape into patties.

  2. Season the patties with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.

  4. Cook the patties for 4-5 minutes per side or until fully cooked.

  5. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • salt and pepper

  • spaghetti noodles


  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.

  2. In a separate pan, brown the ground beef over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened.

  4. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper.

  5. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Serve the sauce over the cooked spaghetti.




  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • saltand pepper

  • ketchup (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the grounded beef, onion, breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.

  3. Shape the mixture into a loaf and place in a greased baking dish.

  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until fully cooked.

  5. Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf, if desired.

  6. Let the meatloaf rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

These recipes serve approximately 4 people, depending on serving size. By using 80/20 ground beef, you'll get the flavor and moisture of the fat while still keeping the dish relatively lean.

Benefits of 80/20 Ground Beef

  • Flavor: This ratio provides a good amount of fat to keep the meat moist and juicy, resulting in a more flavorful dish.

  • Moisture: The fat content in this ratio helps to keep the meat moist during cooking, preventing it from becoming dry and tough.

  • Versatility: 80/20 ground beef can be used in a variety of dishes, from burgers to meatloaf to spaghetti sauce.

  • Texture: The fat in this ratio adds a pleasant texture to the meat, making it more tender and satisfying.

  • Affordability: This ratio is often more affordable than leaner ground beef options, making it an accessible choice for those on a budget.

  • Nutrition: While it may contain extra fat, the 80/20 ratio still provides a good source of protein and other nutrients.

  • Cooking: This ratio is actually easy to cook with, browning nicely in a pan or on a grill.

Drawbacks of 80/20 Ground Beef

eating on diet

While 80/20 ground beef offers many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One of the most significant is the higher fat content. While this can add flavor and moisture to the meat, it can also be less healthy for some diets.

Consuming too much saturated fat from this ratio can increase the risk of heart disease and other health issues. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the target portion sizes and balance them with other healthy foods.

Another potential drawback of this ratio is the risk of overcooking or drying out the meat. With a higher fat content, it can be more challenging to cook it evenly without losing moisture. Overcooking can lead to tough, dry meat, which can be unappetizing.

To avoid this, it is essential to cook this ratio to the right internal temperature and not overcook it. It is also important to avoid pressing or squeezing the meat while cooking, which can cause it to lose moisture.

While the 80/20 ratio can be a great choice for many dishes, it is essential to be aware of these potential drawbacks and to use it in moderation. By balancing it with other healthy foods and cooking it properly, it can still be a delicious and satisfying option.


Why is 80/20 the perfect blend for burgers?

The answer to this is that burgers often need enough fat to keep a good flavor and to keep the meat moist. The 80% lean portion is enough o keep the shape, and the 20% fat portion is enough to keep it juicy, tasty, and tender. The 80/20 formula is also easy to cook and prepare in a burger patty without risking the meat being dry or tough.

Is 80 20 ground beef good for tacos?

Not only for burgers but also for taco beef. Yes, the 80/20 ration is a good choice when making tacos because it is lean enough to keep the fat content low, but it also has enough fat to keep the meat moist and tender when cooking. And since the fat is where the flavor comes from, you can expect your tacos to be flavorful and juicy.

What is the healthiest ground beef?

If you want to opt for a healthier option, then ground round and ground sirloin should be on your top list. Regardless of weight, these two offers the lowest fat content and contain less than 10 grams per serving.


In conclusion, 80 20 ratio is a great choice for any recipe that requires a little bit of fat. The fat content ensures a juicy and flavorful patty, making it the perfect choice for burgers, meatloaf, and other dishes. When cooking with 80/20, it's important to cook at a high temperature, pat the meat dry before searing, and season liberally. Whether you buy it from a grocery store or a butcher shop, incorporating this ratio into your recipes is a delicious way to elevate your cooking.