How to Brown Ground Meat

Ground meat is a staple of many great meals, including chili, lasagna, casseroles, tacos and shepherd’s pie. Pick a meal recipe your family will love and follow the simple steps below to get started.

Browning Meat 101

Properly browning your meat is essential recipe step for all: it adds an intense, rich flavour to the dish, and also makes for a more appealing visual presentation. Ground meat is also one the most inexpensive meal planning options. 

Task Overview

Estimated time: 10 minutes
Estimated cost: $10
Skill level: Beginner
Number of people required: 1

Tools & Materials:


  1. Oil the pan
    This is an optional step: you may prefer to brown the meat in its own juices, but make sure to use a non-stick pan or skillet. Otherwise, film the pan with olive oil to help prevent it from sticking and scorching the bottom of the pan, especially if you are using a stainless steel skillet. You can also add flavor by using a mixture of olive oil and butter.
  2. Preheat the pan
    Warm the pan over medium-high heat.
  3. Add your ingredients
    Add your meat to the pan, spreading it out evenly. If you wish to add water for extra tenderness, pour ¼ cup of water per 1 lb of meat. You can also use stock instead of water to add more flavour.
  4. Cook the meat
    Use a spoon or stiff spatula to stir the meat in the pan so it cooks and browns evenly. As it cooks, continue to break the meat into smaller and smaller pieces. Add any herbs or spices such as garlic, onion, salt and pepper, and stir to distribute them evenly. The meat is cooked once it has browned evenly and doesn’t show any signs of pink.
  5. Drain the meat
    If you are browning the meat for use in a recipe (such as tacos or lasagna), drain it in a colander to remove the fat drippings and excess water. Do not pour the drippings down the drain as it can clog your sink.

Meat Browning Tips:

  • If you’re browning meat in batches allow the pan to reheat between each batch
  • Cooking other ingredients such as vegetables in the remaining fat can add even more flavour to your meal
  • Once browned, the meat can be used right away or frozen for up to three months
  • To remove excess fat, pour the meat onto a plate and dab it with a paper towel
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



Store details