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What is the best ground meat for chili?

Chili is a classic American dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. It’s a hearty and flavorful meal that can be made in a variety of ways – with or without beans, spicy or mild, thick or soupy. But one of the biggest questions when making chili is what type of ground meat to use.

After consulting with experts and conducting research, we have found that the best ground meat for chili is a combination of ground chuck and ground sirloin. Here’s why:

Ground Chuck

Ground chuck comes from the shoulder of the cow and typically has a higher fat content than other cuts of beef. This is what makes it perfect for chili – the fat adds richness and flavor to the dish. But it’s important to choose a leaner cut of ground chuck, around 85% lean and 15% fat, to avoid too much grease in your chili.

Ground Sirloin

Ground sirloin is taken from the rear of the cow and is typically much leaner than ground chuck. This cut has less fat, but more protein, making it a good balance to the ground chuck. The combination of the two results in a meat mixture that has the perfect balance of flavor and texture.

Why the Combination Works

The mixture of ground chuck and ground sirloin provides the essential flavors and textures required for a perfect chili. The beefy leanness from the ground sirloin balances out the richness and flavor of the ground chuck. The two cuts also have different textures, which provide a satisfying mouthfeel when combined.

Using a mixture of ground chuck and ground sirloin also gives the cook more control over the fat content of the chili. Too much fat can make the dish greasy and unappetizing. But using a lean cut of ground chuck and lean ground sirloin ensures that the dish is rich and flavorful without too much grease.

Other Meat Options

While ground chuck and ground sirloin are the best options for chili, there are other meats that can be used as well. Ground turkey or chicken can be substituted for beef for a lower-fat option. But be aware that these meats have less flavor than beef, so be sure to add plenty of seasoning to make up for it.

Pork can also be used in chili, but it’s important to use a lean cut to avoid too much grease. Ground pork can be combined with ground beef for a different flavor profile.


In conclusion, the best ground meat for chili is a combination of ground chuck and ground sirloin. The two cuts provide the perfect balance of richness and lean protein, as well as different textures. This combination also allows for control over the fat content of the dish. While other meats can be used, beef remains the classic and most flavorful option for any delicious and comforting bowl of chili.


Is 80 20 ground beef good for chili?

When it comes to chili, the type of beef you use can make a big difference in the final outcome of your dish. One common question that arises is whether 80 20 ground beef is a good choice for chili. The answer is yes, 80 20 ground beef is often considered one of the best choices for chili.

The term 80 20 refers to the fat ratio in the beef, with 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This fat content helps to provide a rich and hearty flavor to the chili, and also helps to keep the beef from drying out during cooking. Using leaner beef, such as 90 10 or 95 5, can result in a dryer and less flavorful chili.

When using 80 20 ground beef in chili, it is important to drain off any excess grease that accumulates during cooking. While the fat is important for flavor and moisture, you don’t want the chili to be greasy or overly fatty. Draining off the grease allows you to retain the benefits of the fat without overwhelming the dish.

In addition to the beef, there are a few other key ingredients to consider when making chili. These typically include vegetables such as onions, peppers, and garlic, as well as spices like chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. These ingredients work together to create the signature chili flavor that we all know and love.

80 20 ground beef is a great choice for chili. Its fat content helps to provide flavor and moisture, and when combined with the right vegetables and spices, can create a deliciously rich and hearty dish that is perfect for a cold winter day or any time you’re craving some good comfort food.

How do you make beef so soft and tender?

Beef can be a delicious and satisfying protein source, but sometimes it can be tough and chewy. The good news is that there are several ways to make beef as soft and tender as possible.

One popular technique to tenderize beef is using a meat mallet (or kitchen mallet). A meat mallet is a tool that has a flat surface on one side and a spiky surface on the other. The flat side is ideal for pounding steaks, as it helps to break down the muscle fibers and soften the meat. Simply place the steak on a cutting board and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper. Then use the mallet to pound the steak in several directions, making sure to apply even pressure. This will also help to thin out the meat, which is ideal for faster and more even cooking.

If you don’t have a meat mallet, don’t worry! You can still tenderize beef using other kitchen tools you might already have. A heavy skillet, saucepan or rolling pin can also do the job. Place the beef between two pieces of plastic wrap or wax paper and use the tool to pound it evenly. Make sure to apply enough pressure to break down the muscle fibers without damaging the meat.

Another technique to tenderize beef is marinating it. A marinade is a mixture of ingredients that can be used to add flavor and moisture to the beef, while also helping to break down the muscle fibers. The acid in the marinade (such as vinegar or lemon juice) works to break down the collagen in the meat, which makes it more tender. You can also add ingredients such as herbs, spices, and oils to the marinade to give the beef even more flavor. Marinate the beef for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours in a sealed plastic bag or covered container in the refrigerator before cooking it.

Lastly, cooking beef low and slow can also help make it tender. Slow-cooking methods such as braising, stewing or roasting can help to break down the muscle fibers and make the beef more tender. The longer time also gives the meat an opportunity to absorb flavors from any spices, herbs, or sauces.

There are several ways you can make beef as soft and tender as possible. Consider using a meat mallet or other kitchen tools to pound the meat, marinating beef before cooking it, or slow-cooking it using methods such as braising, stewing, or roasting.