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Ground beef is Canada’s most popular meat.

And is it any wonder? It’s a family favourite, quick and easy to prepare, and good for you too!

Ground beef is the great kitchen chameleon’ – use it in stir-fries, casseroles, soups and sauces – or shape it into meat- balls, meat loaf or burgers. Dressed up for guests or dressed down for simplicity – ground beef is the perfect starter for so many different recipes!

Inside you’ll find the ground beef basics – how to buy, store and cook it. We’ve also included what’s new about ground beef and some recipes designed to inspire you. There are more beef recipes just a click away on our website at www.beefinfo.org.

So have some fun at mealtime with ground beef – and best of all, get your whole family involved in the making!

At the Meat Counter

What’s in a name? The label name on a package of raw ground beef refers to its maximum fat content (as regulated by law). In addition, you may find ground beef labelled with the name of the beef cut used for making the grind (e.g. Ground Sirloin).

Raw Ground Beef Label Name

Maximum Fat Content

Best Use


Extra Lean Extra Lean Ground Round Extra Lean Ground Sirloin


Cabbage rolls, meat loaf, stuffed peppers and casseroles


Lean Lean Ground Chuck


All-purpose – flavourful lean burgers, meatballs and chili

Medium Regular

23% 30%

Burgers and meatballs Brown and drain for pasta

What to buy? With so many ground beef varieties to choose from, which one do you pick? The chart below will help you decide.

sauce, casseroles and tacos


Caro ne Dewar

Caroline Dewar Home Economist, Beef Information Centre

Nutrition Matters:

  • The label descriptions Extra Lean, Lean, Medium or Regular refer to the maximum fat levels allowed (as in the chart above) for ALL ground meats (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, veal and lamb).

  • Recent studies show that all types of ground beef have considerably less fat than the maximums allowed.

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