How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (2024)

Table of Contents
Kick grey, watery, boring mince to the curb, forever. Dishes to cook with mince Mince 101 How to cook mince perfectly, every time Some of my best mince recipes Massaman Meatballs Spicy Beef Sambal Noodles Aloo Keema & Cumin Rice Cheat’s One-Pot Lasagne Xian Spicy Beef Burgers Char Siu Glazed Meatloaf Speedy Sweetcorn & Pork Ramen Thai Spicy Pork & Egg Breakfast Spicy Kimchi Pork Noodles Sichuan-style Shepherd’s Pie Northern Chinese Cumin Lamb Dumplings Lamb San Choy Bow Thai-style Mini Sausage Rolls Japanese Chicken Curry Udon Thai Chicken Laab Chicken & Carrot Confetti Fried Rice After more great reads? Try these. What’s the best beef to use for a stir-fry? 30 chicken stir fry recipes you HAVE to try 28 lazy weeknight dinners made in 15 minutes or less Popular on Marion's Kitchen Typhoon Shelter Prawns Chinese Honey Chicken How to Cook Korean BBQ At Home Bolognese Roll-up Lasagne How to cook mince? This is the ONLY way. Dishes to cook with mince Mince 101 How to cook mince perfectly, every time Some of my best mince recipes Massaman Meatballs Spicy Beef Sambal Noodles Aloo Keema & Cumin Rice Cheat’s One-Pot Lasagne Xian Spicy Beef Burgers Char Siu Glazed Meatloaf Speedy Sweetcorn & Pork Ramen Thai Spicy Pork & Egg Breakfast Spicy Kimchi Pork Noodles Sichuan-style Shepherd’s Pie Northern Chinese Cumin Lamb Dumplings Lamb San Choy Bow Thai-style Mini Sausage Rolls Japanese Chicken Curry Udon Thai Chicken Laab Chicken & Carrot Confetti Fried Rice After more great reads? Try these. What’s the best beef to use for a stir-fry? 30 chicken stir fry recipes you HAVE to try 28 lazy weeknight dinners made in 15 minutes or less Stay in touch with my latest recipes and updates!

Kick grey, watery, boring mince to the curb, forever.

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (4)

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Mince. It’s such a great, versatile stand-by, especially in the realm of weeknight dinners, and so handy for making the kinds of fuss-free meals you know everyone’s going to love, like lasagne, meatballs and bolognese. But mince can get a bad rap, too. And honestly, haven’t we all been there? I’m talking about watery, greige, bitty meat that’s a bit blah and just doesn’t taste like much. Well, my friends, prepare to kiss that kind of disappointment goodbye with my guide on how to cook mince. I have some cooking secrets that stop awful ground meat in its tracks, as well as some excellent recipes to use it in.

Dishes to cook with mince

I’m always kind of shocked at everything you can do with mince and how much flavour you can pack into it. For an affordable supermarket staple, it really punches above its weight. I use beef, chicken and pork mince for everything from Thai stir-fries and meatballs to noodles, spring rolls and fried rice dishes. In fact, some of my most popular recipes on my channels are mince ones. But the most important thing? You’ve GOT to cook it right.

Mince 101

First, choose good-quality mince – and one that’s not too lean. Contrary to popular belief, fat equals flavour, so you want to make sure there’s a bit of it going on in your mince. The alternative? Lean mince can be dry and chewy when it cooks, which is the complete opposite of what you want.

Mince with less than 10% fat is considered lean; mince with about 15% fat is the best of both worlds as it’s not too fatty (mince can go up to 20% fat) but it’s not super lean either, so you get a good balance of flavours. Sometimes, if my beef mince does happen to be too lean, I will cut it with a bit of pork mince for extra fattiness.

When buying beef mince, if it isn’t bright red that doesn’t mean it’s not fresh. Red meat oxidises when exposed to air, which makes it go a bit brown, so don’t be put off by a brownish colour. Just check the use-by date for freshness if you’re worried, or use your nose and make sure it doesn’t smell rancid.

How to cook mince perfectly, every time

My tip for cooking mince properly? It’s simple, and it starts with a ripping hot pan or wok (yes, you can cook spag bol in a wok and it is all the better for it). Add your cooking oil followed by the mince, then spread the ground meat over the pan and – here’s the important part – leave it. That’s it. I don’t touch it at all for 5 or 6 minutes, giving it time to really sizzle and become coloured, crusty and golden. A good giveaway that it’s had time to char and get delicious is when things start to smell like hamburger patties cooking.

When you flip the mince over, it should have nailed a gorgeous golden colour. Break up any clumps, then repeat the process to cook the other side. You can pour off some of the fat that’s formed in your pan, but I’m a ‘go with the fat’ kind of a girl and I think it gives incredible flavour. Of course, it’s your call at the end of the day!

Another little tip of mine for cooking burger patties is to not season the meat mixture with salt, as salt can toughen the mince. I prefer to season the patties as I cook them in the pan, preferably over a reasonably high heat and for not too long as the mince can dry out.

Some of my best mince recipes

Time to discover all manner of wondrousness you can make with mince, whether it’s beef, chicken, pork or lamb.

Massaman Meatballs

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (5)

Use up the last of your massaman curry paste in these hyper-tasty meatballs; they take 5 minutes to prep and just 25 to cook!

Spicy Beef Sambal Noodles

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (6)

Put my browning technique to the test in these spicy, beefy, easy noodles.

Aloo Keema & Cumin Rice

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (7)

Spice, mince, potatoes and rice… I don’t believe dinner gets any better.

Cheat’s One-Pot Lasagne

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (8)

I’ve converted hardcore Italian skeptics with this cheating, Asian-flavoured, made-in-one-pot, triple cheese lasagne. Just try it!

Xian Spicy Beef Burgers

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (9)

Full-flavoured beef patties that sizzle with Sichuan pepper and cumin, with caramelised onion, capsicum and yoghurt in a bun… these burgers are next level.

Char Siu Glazed Meatloaf

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (10)

A Chinese-inspired meatloaf using pork and veal mince, with a delicious, sticky glaze and quick pickled carrots. It’s on high rotation at my house.

Speedy Sweetcorn & Pork Ramen

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (11)

Feel like ramen but don’t want to spend hours simmering a broth? This is the express recipe you need for a quick and tasty Japanese noodle soup. A few little cheats turn everyday ingredients into a knockout weeknight dinner that’s ready in minutes.

Thai Spicy Pork & Egg Breakfast

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (12)

When it comes to breakfast food, cereal or toast ain’t got nothin’ on this: hot and spicy pork with golden eggs and handfuls of fresh herbs. If this doesn’t wake you up in the morning, nothing will.

Spicy Kimchi Pork Noodles

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (13)

Fiery pork noodles? Yep, so hot right now. Dive into this bowl of pure comfort and lose yourself in the spicy goodness.

Sichuan-style Shepherd’s Pie

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (14)

A dish with an off-the-charts comfort factor. I mean, chilli meat sauce AND cheesy mash? Come on!

Northern Chinese Cumin Lamb Dumplings

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (15)

Spiced lamb dumplings with chilli oil for dipping – what’s not to love? And these ones are just so easy to make. They really take no time at all to whip up the filling, fold and cook. They’re a great appetiser or party food – or just to enjoy all on your own.

Lamb San Choy Bow

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (16)

Finger-licking good lettuce wraps, stuffed with lamb and noodles. Freshness and flavour, all on one plate.

Thai-style Mini Sausage Rolls

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (17)

Bursting with Thai flavours, these bite-sized beauties are even better dipped into a sweet chilli sauce.

Japanese Chicken Curry Udon

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (18)

Considered real Japanese comfort food, Japanese-style curry is typically eaten as curry Katsu (a curry sauce with rice and either sliced, crumbed chicken or pork) but is excellent in a soup iteration for thick, chewy udon noodles, boosted with chicken mince and finished with a whole raft of fun and delish toppings.

Thai Chicken Laab

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (19)

I love how the chilli kick and the fragrance from the herbs really bring the chicken to life. You could also try this one with pork or turkey mince, too.

Chicken & Carrot Confetti Fried Rice

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (20)

This kid-friendly confetti fried rice is a big hit in my household – it’s packed full of veggies, has zero spice (although you can add yours after you serve the little ones!) and has fun egg ‘noodles’ on top.

So there you have it: a cheat’s guide on how to cook mince, what to look for at the supermarket, my top cooking tip to get maximum flavour out of it and some totally delicious recipes to try your new-found skills at.

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (26)How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (27)

How to cook mince? This is the ONLY way.

Kick grey, watery, boring mince to the curb, forever.

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (28)

Mince. It’s such a great, versatile stand-by, especially in the realm of weeknight dinners, and so handy for making the kinds of fuss-free meals you know everyone’s going to love, like lasagne, meatballs and bolognese. But mince can get a bad rap, too. And honestly, haven’t we all been there? I’m talking about watery, greige, bitty meat that’s a bit blah and just doesn’t taste like much. Well, my friends, prepare to kiss that kind of disappointment goodbye with my guide on how to cook mince. I have some cooking secrets that stop awful ground meat in its tracks, as well as some excellent recipes to use it in.

Dishes to cook with mince

I’m always kind of shocked at everything you can do with mince and how much flavour you can pack into it. For an affordable supermarket staple, it really punches above its weight. I use beef, chicken and pork mince for everything from Thai stir-fries and meatballs to noodles, spring rolls and fried rice dishes. In fact, some of my most popular recipes on my channels are mince ones. But the most important thing? You’ve GOT to cook it right.

Mince 101

First, choose good-quality mince – and one that’s not too lean. Contrary to popular belief, fat equals flavour, so you want to make sure there’s a bit of it going on in your mince. The alternative? Lean mince can be dry and chewy when it cooks, which is the complete opposite of what you want.

Mince with less than 10% fat is considered lean; mince with about 15% fat is the best of both worlds as it’s not too fatty (mince can go up to 20% fat) but it’s not super lean either, so you get a good balance of flavours. Sometimes, if my beef mince does happen to be too lean, I will cut it with a bit of pork mince for extra fattiness.

When buying beef mince, if it isn’t bright red that doesn’t mean it’s not fresh. Red meat oxidises when exposed to air, which makes it go a bit brown, so don’t be put off by a brownish colour. Just check the use-by date for freshness if you’re worried, or use your nose and make sure it doesn’t smell rancid.

How to cook mince perfectly, every time

My tip for cooking mince properly? It’s simple, and it starts with a ripping hot pan or wok (yes, you can cook spag bol in a wok and it is all the better for it). Add your cooking oil followed by the mince, then spread the ground meat over the pan and – here’s the important part – leave it. That’s it. I don’t touch it at all for 5 or 6 minutes, giving it time to really sizzle and become coloured, crusty and golden. A good giveaway that it’s had time to char and get delicious is when things start to smell like hamburger patties cooking.

When you flip the mince over, it should have nailed a gorgeous golden colour. Break up any clumps, then repeat the process to cook the other side. You can pour off some of the fat that’s formed in your pan, but I’m a ‘go with the fat’ kind of a girl and I think it gives incredible flavour. Of course, it’s your call at the end of the day!

Another little tip of mine for cooking burger patties is to not season the meat mixture with salt, as salt can toughen the mince. I prefer to season the patties as I cook them in the pan, preferably over a reasonably high heat and for not too long as the mince can dry out.

Some of my best mince recipes

Time to discover all manner of wondrousness you can make with mince, whether it’s beef, chicken, pork or lamb.

Massaman Meatballs

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (29)

Use up the last of your massaman curry paste in these hyper-tasty meatballs; they take 5 minutes to prep and just 25 to cook!

Spicy Beef Sambal Noodles

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (30)

Put my browning technique to the test in these spicy, beefy, easy noodles.

Aloo Keema & Cumin Rice

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (31)

Spice, mince, potatoes and rice… I don’t believe dinner gets any better.

Cheat’s One-Pot Lasagne

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (32)

I’ve converted hardcore Italian skeptics with this cheating, Asian-flavoured, made-in-one-pot, triple cheese lasagne. Just try it!

Xian Spicy Beef Burgers

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (33)

Full-flavoured beef patties that sizzle with Sichuan pepper and cumin, with caramelised onion, capsicum and yoghurt in a bun… these burgers are next level.

Char Siu Glazed Meatloaf

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (34)

A Chinese-inspired meatloaf using pork and veal mince, with a delicious, sticky glaze and quick pickled carrots. It’s on high rotation at my house.

Speedy Sweetcorn & Pork Ramen

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (35)

Feel like ramen but don’t want to spend hours simmering a broth? This is the express recipe you need for a quick and tasty Japanese noodle soup. A few little cheats turn everyday ingredients into a knockout weeknight dinner that’s ready in minutes.

Thai Spicy Pork & Egg Breakfast

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (36)

When it comes to breakfast food, cereal or toast ain’t got nothin’ on this: hot and spicy pork with golden eggs and handfuls of fresh herbs. If this doesn’t wake you up in the morning, nothing will.

Spicy Kimchi Pork Noodles

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (37)

Fiery pork noodles? Yep, so hot right now. Dive into this bowl of pure comfort and lose yourself in the spicy goodness.

Sichuan-style Shepherd’s Pie

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (38)

A dish with an off-the-charts comfort factor. I mean, chilli meat sauce AND cheesy mash? Come on!

Northern Chinese Cumin Lamb Dumplings

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (39)

Spiced lamb dumplings with chilli oil for dipping – what’s not to love? And these ones are just so easy to make. They really take no time at all to whip up the filling, fold and cook. They’re a great appetiser or party food – or just to enjoy all on your own.

Lamb San Choy Bow

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (40)

Finger-licking good lettuce wraps, stuffed with lamb and noodles. Freshness and flavour, all on one plate.

Thai-style Mini Sausage Rolls

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (41)

Bursting with Thai flavours, these bite-sized beauties are even better dipped into a sweet chilli sauce.

Japanese Chicken Curry Udon

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (42)

Considered real Japanese comfort food, Japanese-style curry is typically eaten as curry Katsu (a curry sauce with rice and either sliced, crumbed chicken or pork) but is excellent in a soup iteration for thick, chewy udon noodles, boosted with chicken mince and finished with a whole raft of fun and delish toppings.

Thai Chicken Laab

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (43)

I love how the chilli kick and the fragrance from the herbs really bring the chicken to life. You could also try this one with pork or turkey mince, too.

Chicken & Carrot Confetti Fried Rice

How to cook mince, perfectly | Marion's Kitchen (44)

This kid-friendly confetti fried rice is a big hit in my household – it’s packed full of veggies, has zero spice (although you can add yours after you serve the little ones!) and has fun egg ‘noodles’ on top.

So there you have it: a cheat’s guide on how to cook mince, what to look for at the supermarket, my top cooking tip to get maximum flavour out of it and some totally delicious recipes to try your new-found skills at.

Stay in touch with my latest recipes and updates!

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