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ground beef flavorless

I purchase the best ground beef that my grocery store sells and I buy 15-20% fat for the flavor.
I don't buy the kind that comes in the plastic "tubes". I've notice for the past many years that there is absolutely no grease to skim off and the meat has little flavor.
Have any of you experienced this?
I'm going to try having the butcher grind up stew meat/chuck chunks.

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  1. Yes, the tube stuff is awful. DH came home with that recently and I thought "oh sh*t!"-- should have just skipped it all together.
    It's cheap crap with little flavor.

    1. We usually eat grass fed beef but occasionally need to buy ground beef at the store. While I am generally a fan of Aldi, we recently had hamburgers made with their 85/15 and I thought there was a lack of flavor. I never buy ground beef in chubs (the 'tubes'). Those are produced by huge ground beef processors and I believe it is more likely that the industrial ground beef has a better chance of being contaminate rather than beef ground by your local butcher.

      3 Replies
      1. re: John E.

        I think you've both missed the point of my topic, it's NOT about the cheap ground beef sold in plastic tubes...

        1. re: sylvan

          I was agreeing with you. I also was agreeing that some ground beef, i.e. the ground beef at Aldi, had little flavor so we were in agreement on both parts.

          1. re: John E.

            ah, that's cool, John E.
            I bought some grass fed ground beef today ($7 a pound) and am looking forward to its taste.

      2. Hello...
        the topic wasn't the tubes of ground beef, I merely stated I never buy it.
        the topic IS the lack of flavor in ground beef bought in grocery stores that they themselves grind up. I buy their best quality and 15-20% fat, there is not even orange fat to skim off. There used to be orange fat to skim off. Now, it's flavorless and lean. I have found for the last several years that it is flavorless and wondered if others have noticed the same thing.
        the topic is NOT the ground beef sold in plastic tubes, ie, chubs

        6 Replies
        1. re: sylvan

          Sylvan, not trying to drive you crazy, but thanks for this thread, because I had never even heard of, let alone seen a Tube or Chub. Do people really buy their chopped meat that way? Yuck!

          As for your actual comment. I too always buy 85-15 or 80-20 (will get 75-25 if they have it) and always get the store packaged product and don't have the butcher department grind it on the spot. I haven't found any difference over the years other than it seems harder to find the higher fat content packages. My one question for you is obvious. Are you seasoning it pre-cooked or not? I made a burger tonight actually and just added a dash of salt, pepper, garlic, Worchesterchire and some chopped onions and had the most flavorful burger with tons of oils coming from the burger. So can't say I'm in agreement

          1. re: jhopp217

            Jhopp217, I was informed by a Connecticut lunchroom worker that many schools receive their meats in chubs. As disgusting as it sounds, chubs really provide an efficient way for meat processors to package meats. Chubs are nothing more than a plastic bag in the shape of a tube, that is filled with ground meat and cinched at one or both ends. The only meat I have purchased this way thus far is ground turkey (frozen).

            1. re: Cheese Boy

              When I brought up chubs of ground beef and saying I do not buy them it was not really about the packaging. I do know that most large hamburger processing plants where the beef and beef parts come from several different sources and are ground together, are most often put into chubs. The ground beef ground by the local butcher is not usually packaged into chubs and that is the ground beef that I would prefer to purchase and consume.

            2. re: jhopp217

              Hi, jhopp217
              I bought some grass fed ground beef today and hope it will have some taste.
              In regard to seasonings....the meat used to/should have a meaty taste which I've found absent the last several years, ergo this thread
              And, yes, people buy that tubed ground beef because it's cheaper. I tried it in my youth (a long time ago) and couldn't eat it...these people are serving it up to their kids.

              1. re: sylvan

                One thing I've noticed (and I forget if you mentioned this or someone else on this thread) that I've noticed is people fall in love with the grill. To me, grilling a steak is a wonderful thing, but burgers tend to lose a lot of their juices in the cooking process, so letting them fry or broil is a better method for burgers. The burgers tend to cook in their own juices and that provides the flavor. Honestly, I can't imagine cooking a burger without a liberal sprinkling of salt, but even without, the meat should have flavor if pan fried or broiled.

                1. re: jhopp217

                  I think they like the grilled flavor

          2. It has no flavor because the scraps of meat blasted off the bones with a high pressure air hose has no flavor. The fat they add is from areas off the animal that itself has little flavor because the fat isn't the marbled king found in the meat rather it's from the outer layer between the meat and the hide. Get a butcher to grind up some shoulder WHILE YOU WATCH.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Puffin3

              But I thought the closer the bone, the sweeter the meat! Those scraps should be veritable flavor nuggets.

              1. re: Puffin3

                Puffin...I will have the butcher grind up shoulder for me. I bought corn fed beef today to see what it tastes like....but it's expensive and I have to drive 45 one way to buy it...

                1. re: Puffin3

                  you say they use the fat between the hide and meat...no wonder it has no taste anymore.

                2. Let us know how it goes with the ground stew meat/chuck.

                  I seldom use ground beef except for meatballs and (rarely) burgers, but when I do, I always "cut" it with ground pork. My mom would use ground lamb. Works very nicely.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: pinehurst

                    will update this thread after I've tried the corn fed beef and compared it to my grocer's excuse for a butcher's grinding up shoulder for me. I've tried ground pork shoulder and/or Italian sausage added to the regular gound beef and it's ok, but I do think that the ground beef should have flavor and not just used for filler...I could use oatmeal for that

                    1. re: pinehurst

                      yes, I "cut" ground beef with ground pork or Italian sausage Because the ground beef has no flavor by itself...

                    2. The ground beef from the major grocery stores near me (Safeway, Giant, Shoppers Food Warehouse) is junk. Plus they charge a lot of money. I've had better experiences with the beef from Asian or Latino markets as well as other small markets and butchers.

                      85/15 is my gold standard. At the large grocery chains I mostly see 80/20 or 93/7. :-(

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Steve

                        Hi, Steve
                        Same here with the major grocery stores. I live waaaaay out in the high desert and there's not much to choose from as everything here is new and are chains. There are a lot of Latino markets here and I've never thought of buying meat there...I'm going to make a note of that, thanks...
                        I've only bought spices and vegetables there. I'll look forward experiencing the taste of their meats. It will be a while, though, as I just bought 2 pounds of expensive corn fed ground beef which, being single, will last me.
                        Thanks again..

                      2. Update to this thread:

                        I bought and cooked corn-fed beef and it tasted terrific. However, there was no fat..
                        I was concerned it would have a gamey taste (which I don't like) but it did not have a
                        gamey taste.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: sylvan

                          Do you mean grass-fed, not corn-fed?

                          1. re: Karl S

                            thanks, I meant grass-fed, not corn fed

                          2. re: sylvan

                            sorry, I meant grass-fed, not corn fed..

                            1. re: sylvan

                              When I cook burgers for a get together, I spend a lot of time prepping lettuce, tomato, raw onion, fresh pickle, fried onions, Jalapeno peppers, bacon, pancetta ....... then buy FRESH rolls & several types of cheese. As a result I only buy REAL ground sirloin from a friend who grinds it fresh several times a day from hanging beef trimmings so I can cook the burgers med rare with no worries.

                              I only use chain store Ground Beef for Tacos and such where it is getting heavily seasoned & the ever living SH*T cooked out of it.

                          3. I have been trying to make a meatloaf and finally gave up. The ground "meat" now available is TASTELESS.

                            Don't know what to do. Any suggestions? The 'butchers' at the grocery chain stores won't do anything special these days. They get their ground beef already ground up and it has absolutely NO flavour.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: louroberts

                              I don't know what your budget is but if you don't have a good source for fresh ground from quality beef scraps, a stand alone grinder may be the way to go. Decent small electric models can be had for about $150.00. Very good ones for about $300.00, the later being pretty high performance & build to last a lifetime.

                              Grinding is very easy, very safe and you can customize the flavor extremes from very lean to more fatty and very mild to in your face beefy. You can also cook your own product med rare which is something I would not do with chain store chub ground beef.

                              I do beef, pork, chicken & turkey. A little more expensive in every case but far fresher, more flavorful & no mystery ingredients.

                              1. re: Tom34

                                Thank you Tom. Odd that this never occurred to me even though I remember my mom grinding beef (already cooked though) for sheppards pie and other recipes for leftover roasts. Remember those hand grinders that clamped onto the edge of the counter?

                                I'm going to look around BUT of course even home ground will only be as good as the meat. I grew up with meat from the local butcher (they've mostly disappeared) and ground beef was Round Steak minced with the tails from sirloin steaks also gound and mixed in.