With so many delicious uses for ground beef, it can be confusing which type to choose when you see all the options available in grocery stores and butcher shops. Ground sirloin vs ground beef is one of the most popular debates and we’ll shed some light on the differences between them!
Ground beef is used for all kinds of recipes, from hamburgers and meatballs to chilis and Bolognese sauce. That’s why it’s good to know when it’s best to use ground sirloin or regular ground beef.
Wondering how these two compare for grilled hamburgers? We’ve got it covered!
📋 Side By Side Comparison
|Ground Sirloin||Ground Beef|
|Cost||$6 per pound||$4.50 per pound|
|Fat Content||8%-14% fat||7-30% Fat|
|Best Uses||Moist recipes with liquids: chili, Bolognese, Salisbury steak, stuffed veggies, soups, casseroles.||Hamburger patties, meatballs, meatloaf, cottage pie, sloppy joes.|
|Cut||Sirloin primal.||Trimmings from various beef cuts.|
|Shrinkage||Low to moderate||Depends on the fat content.|
Prices pulled from shopping website for comparison. Prices vary by location.
What Is Ground Sirloin?
Ground sirloin is a type of ground beef, but the meat comes specifically from the cow’s sirloin primal. In some cases, it can also contain meat from the rib and short loin.
If you buy your ground sirloin from a butcher, you can ask them specifically for the cut of beef you want to be ground.
With a fat content between 8% and 14%, ground sirloin is lean but also tender. In fact, you might even find it labeled simply as “lean ground beef”.
What Is Ground Beef?
Ground beef is made of leftover meat from various cuts that are put through a meat grinder. It’s usually a mix of several parts and if it is made from a specific cut, you should see that noted on the label.
Depending on the beef quality and the cuts of beef used to make it, ground beef can vary greatly in terms of fat content, flavor, and texture.
It can have between 7% and 30% fat, and this information should be available on the packaging.
In general, ground beef is significantly fattier than ground sirloin which makes it excellent for burgers, tacos, burritos, and pretty much any dish requiring minced meat. The price tag will also be lower as well!
Other Types Of Ground Beef
Whether you like to purchase your beef from the grocery store or a butcher’s shop, there are a few more types you can come across.
Ground chuck consists of minced meat from the chuck primal, found between the cow’s neck and shoulder.
This type of ground beef has a fat content around 15%-20% which makes for excellent burger patties. Chuck may be a pretty tough cut of beef, but it’s much more tender when processed through a grinder.
When looking at ground chuck vs ground beef, the fat content is what makes the biggest difference.
In general, ground beef is a little fattier so if you use it for burgers or meatballs expect more shrinkage compared to the chuck.
The round is a lean cut found in the back area of the cow. Since this is a pretty lean cut, expect ground round to have around 12% fat.
It has a mild flavor so it works great in well seasoned dishes and recipes that also include sauce or another liquid.
You might also find ground round labeled as “extra lean ground beef”.
If you are trying to avoid fatty dishes, then lean ground round is probably the best options.
⚖️ Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef
We discussed the main types of ground beef so it’s time to see how the regular kind is different from ground sirloin. They’re a little different in every area, including fat content, flavor, and texture.
Ground beef has around 25%-30% fat, while ground sirloin is much leaner with a fat content around 10%.
The latter is more expensive and, unless you are shying away from the extra fat for health reasons, ground beef is an excellent budget choice.
Of course, using lean meat like sirloin for burger patties is possible, but you may need some add-ins to bind the meat like an egg, or a small amount of breadcrumbs.
The leaner the meat, the drier it will be when cooked, and this stands true for lean options like ground sirloin.
Regular ground beef has a much higher fat content so it will be softer when cooked compared to ground sirloin.
Ground sirloin will have a more mild flavor compared to ground beef because of one simple rule: fat adds flavor.
As ground meat cooks, some of the fat will render, keeping the meat moist, and some will caramelize, adding extra flavor.
As a general rule of thumb, ground beef will be juicier and more flavorful than ground sirloin.
Of course, the difference can sometimes be difficult to notice because of seasonings, other ingredients, and the method of cooking.
The difference in fat content for these two types of ground meat impacts their nutritional value as well.
Ground sirloin is richer in protein and lower in calories when compared to ground beef. It also has slightly more iron and a little less cholesterol and calcium compared to ground beef.
Here’s a side-by-side comparison that will give you an overview of the contrast between ground sirloin vs ground beef nutrition:
|Nutrition||Raw Ground Sirloin (Per Serving, 4 oz.)||Raw Ground Beef (Per Serving, 4 oz.)|
|Iron||2.51mg (14% DV)||1.85mg (10% DV)|
|Calcium||13mg (1% DV)||27mg (2% DV)|
In general, if you buy ground meat and the cut is named on the packaging, it will be more expensive than the generic ground beef.
A pound of sirloin is around $6 per pound, while ground beef is around $4.50 per pound.
The price difference can be significant if you need to buy a larger quantity of meat or if you’re simply trying to lower your grocery bill.
Both of these types of ground beef can be even more expensive as there are different grades of beef.
Prime ground beef is the best quality, followed by choice ground beef which is still good quality. The cheaper select ground beef will have less fat and may not be as tender, but it still works great for many dishes!
♨️ Best Uses For Ground Beef
The higher fat content of ground beef makes it the best choice for recipes that actually rely on that fat for flavor or when the meat needs to stay in one piece.
It’s also perfect for recipes with longer cooking times, as the extra fat content will make it less likely for the meat to dry out.
For some dishes you might need to drain the fat, especially if you are working with ground beef that’s in the 25%-30% range of fat content.
🍲 Best Uses For Ground Sirloin
Lean meat such as ground sirloin lends itself to dishes that are moist, or include liquids.
Of course, it can serve as a replacement for the fattier ground beef in any recipe if you are trying to eat less fat.
🍔 How To Make The Perfect Burger Patty
As you can see from our smoked hamburgers recipe, it doesn’t take much to get excellent results.
The same recipe works great for grilling if you are in a rush to put food on the table. If you’re up for a bit of experimenting, try our homemade version of McDonald’s Travis Scott burgers. You might love them even more than the original!
You can keep things super simple and add just salt and pepper to the ground meat before forming the patties. We love adding a small amount of chopped onions just to spice things up.
If you have some other seasonings you enjoy in your burgers, there’s no reason not to use them.
For the juiciest, most flavorful burgers use regular ground beef with 20% fat or ground chuck which has a similar amount of fat.
Is it possible to make tasty hamburgers with ground sirloin? Yes, but you need to be careful not to cook them for too long or they’ll dry out. Leaner meat also tends to crumble easily.
Adding egg to the mixture will bind it and help your burgers stay in one piece as they cook.
Is the meat a little too moist? Add a small amount of breadcrumbs to absorb the extra liquid.
❗Burger Tips & Tricks
For every type of ground meat, there’s a perfect internal temperature that needs to be reached to get the best texture and flavor.
Consult our free printable burger temperature chart which takes out all the guesswork so anyone can enjoy amazing hamburgers!
Just like the quality of the meat matters, so do the other ingredients. Not using the best buns for burgers can have a negative impact on your recipe.
A little experimenting never hurts, so why not try some of the best onions for burgers and see which ones become family favorites!
Lettuce is another common topping for hamburgers, and there’s room to try different varieties. Here’s a guide for the best lettuce for burgers where we discuss various options.
If you have leftover burgers it’s worth keeping them. In fact, I like to grill extra burgers on purpose. Here are some of the best ways to reheat burgers. They make a wonderful quick meal for a busy weekday!
When you’re in a rush and all you have are frozen burger patties, don’t panic. You can totally grill frozen hamburgers and quickly suppress the annoying sound of rumbling stomachs around you!
Ground sirloin is leaner and milder in flavor than ground beef so it works best in dishes that have a more complex aroma.
Ground beef is a generic term for any kind of minced meat that comes from a cow and it’s usually made from trimmings coming from different areas of the animal.
Ground sirloin is ground meat specifically from the sirloin primal cut. It can also include meat from the rib and short loin.
Some producers label ground sirloin simply as “lean ground beef”.
If you’re planning to make juicy burgers, meatballs, or meatloaf, the best ground beef is the one with 20% fat and 80% lean meat.
Another good option is ground chuck. This is meat from the shoulder processed through a meat grinder and has a similar fat to meat ratio.
Ground sirloin is lean, tender, and has a mild flavor. In comparison, ground beef is usually made from tougher cuts such as round and chuck.
For best results, cook ground sirloin over low-medium heat. Having a low fat content, it can easily dry out when overcooked.
Now that you know the difference between ground sirloin and ground beef, the best way to see which one you prefer, is to make burgers from both types of meat, and why not other recipes too!