To accurately gauge the amount of fat in ground beef, look to the percentages. If the package is labeled “80% lean,” that means it’s 20% fat. Fresh ground beef goes through a number of natural color changes. The beef may look bright red on the surface, where it has been exposed to oxygen, while the inside remains purplish-red.
A. Ground chuck 20-25% Fat
B. Ground sirloin* 15-20% Fat
C. Ground round 15% or Less Fat
* What Cooking Light most frequently uses in recipes calling for ground beef. Our Test Kitchens staff considers 15% ideal.