So, how do you know that the ground beef is fully cooked when you are stir frying it on a sauce pan ?

4 Answers 4


Ground beef cooks quite fast. It doesn't need more than 5 minutes (depending on the base of your pan and the amount of meat of course). Just take a piece and rip/cut it open. If it's brown inside, and not red or pink, it's fully cooked.

  • 2
    But, be sure not to overcook it: it also dries out pretty fast.
    – nico
    Apr 22, 2012 at 7:45
  • 2
    My husband would like to know exactly how long because he's color blind.
    – user20843
    Oct 20, 2013 at 21:11

For the color blind people:

If you're cooking the meat in crumbled form (not burgers), after you've broken it up and let it cook for a couple of minutes, add a cup of water to the pan.

Continue cooking until the water has evaporated. You might have some fat left in the pan if it was a fattier grind, but the moisture will both help prevent overcooking the beef, and give another indicator of when it's cooked long enough.

  • Has anyone tried this? Wouldn't adding water steam the beef instead of browning it? How was the resultant flavour? Apr 25, 2019 at 23:44
  • I've done it lots of times. The browning occurs during the "cook for a couple of minutes" before you add the water. Maybe there's not as much browning as cooking without water, but there's also less overcooked rubbery bits.
    – Joe
    Apr 26, 2019 at 12:28

The USDA explicitly warns NOT to rely on color as an indication of doneness. Per the USDA, meat may brown before it is safe to eat and also meat may be safe to eat before it browns.

If your recipe has you cook the meat after it is browned (e.g., brown the meat, then add ingredients, then cook in an oven for 25 minutes), you're probably fine. If you're using browned meat as-is, check that the internal temperature is 160°F using a cooking thermometer.

  • 1
    It's going to be difficult to check the internal temperature of ground beef, as it is ground to small size
    – thelawnet
    Dec 1, 2020 at 6:26
  • 2
    @thelawnet: Maybe so, but the Food Safety FAQ, linked to from the help/on-topic explicitly states that chefs should "Follow the cooking time and temperature guidelines set out by [their] local regulatory agency." That's what my answer recommends. I find it kind of broken that the top answer to this question suggests "check the color," whereas the USDA explicitly says not to do so.
    – Brian
    Dec 1, 2020 at 14:17

When you buy ground beef you see it has white spots. That is what makes it oily. You will know when it's fully cooked when it is a medium brown color it should be ready. Make sure to keep an eyes on it when it's dry add a bit of water. Then cover it. Then you do this once more let it dry and it should be ready. MAKE SURE THERE IS NO RED OR PINK

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