Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef: What’s the Difference?


The debate between ground sirloin and ground beef has raged on since the dawn of time (or at least as long as these two cuts of meat have been on the menu). Is one better than the other? Which one should you pick?

In this article, we’ll explore the differences between ground sirloin and ground beef and hopefully settle the debate.

Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef

It’s no secret that beef can be expensive—and, yes, the cost is something you want to keep in mind when you’re cooking at home (or, honestly, when you’re ordering takeout).

With ground beef prices on the rise and consumers looking for more bang for their buck, we decided to investigate some of our most common beef cuts and share some information on whether they live up to their price tags.

Today, we’re comparing two of our favorite beef sources: ground sirloin and ground beef. Does a pound of one cost more than twice as much as a pound of another? Is one more tender or flavorful than another? Are either good for making meatballs or hamburgers? We aimed to find out in today’s post!

As we do, it’s important to note that the primary basis for comparison lies in the lean: fat ratio of each cut. In other words, if you’re going to be cooking with ground beef or ground sirloin (or any other cut of beef), you’ll want to know how much fat is present in your meat before you start cooking—and why fat matters when it comes to taste and texture.

While it’s true that a higher fat content means more flavor, it’s also true that beef with a lot of fat has very little versatility in cooking or applications. So what should you look for? We’ll look at these two cuts, their differences, and their similarities.

Let’s start with a quick picture overview of each.

What is Ground Sirloin?

Ground sirloin is minced meat from the middle area of the steer’s hindquarters, also known as the sirloin section. The cut comes from a muscle that gets a lot of exercise, which means it’s very lean and contains little marbling (the streaks of fat that give meat flavor). 

With a lean:fat ratio of 90:10, ground sirloin has about half as much fat as ground chuck 80:20 (which comes from closer to the cow’s rear end) and nearly two-thirds less than ground round 85:15. This means ground sirloin is more suitable for dishes like chili or spaghetti sauce that call for a large amount of meat but need to be low in fat. 

The leanness of ground sirloin may also cause it to cook more quickly than other ground beef types, making it unsuitable for dishes like burgers and meatballs, where a little extra fat helps keep them juicy and prevents overcooking.

As with protein, it is higher in protein than both chuck and round but lower in moisture content. These factors—leanness, lack of marbling, high protein content—make ground sirloin ideal for grilling or broiling; if you pan-fry it you will likely lose some moisture through evaporation.

What Is Ground Sirloin Best For?

The taste of ground sirloin is milder than beef, but it also has a slightly gamey flavor that works well in certain recipes. While ground sirloin is quite lean, it does have a fair amount of fat and cholesterol, so you may want to use it in dishes where fat can be trimmed off or cooked out, such as Salisbury steak, spaghetti, or chili.

It’s also great for making sausage. You could also add some beef broth or water to your meatloaf recipe if you’re using ground sirloin instead of beef. 

Some of these dishes call for extra ingredients to be added to help make them more flavorful and moist, so you’ll want to add those after cooking your meat because it will lose some of its flavors if cooked with other ingredients.

For example, you can add a little bit of tomato paste or Worcestershire sauce when making spaghetti sauce or tacos and then cook it with your meat before adding any other ingredients.

These, however, are not appropriate uses for ground sirloin: Steaks and roasts – While ground sirloin can be used in place of beef when making certain dishes, it’s not a good substitute for steaks or roasts. Reason? It doesn’t have enough fat to keep it from drying out during cooking. 

What is Ground Beef?

The most commonly available type of ground beef is made from a combination of multiple cuts that are ground together into a fine texture, including less than 90% lean meat and fat trimmings (above 10%) from areas like fatback flank, chuck, skirt, and rib.

This type of beef is common in restaurants and at home because it is inexpensive to buy compared to other cuts of meat.

If you do choose to purchase ground beef, it’s important to note that some cuts of beef are better than others. Ideally, you want to seek out leaner types of ground beef as they are healthier than higher-fat ones and contain less saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol—which all contribute to heart disease in adults and children alike.

On the contrary, fatter cuts are more flavorful and tend to be juicier when cooked. They’re also often less expensive than leaner cuts of beef, so if you can afford it and don’t have any heart-related health issues, then opt for a higher fat content—just make sure to trim off as much visible fat as possible before cooking.

What Is Ground Beef Best For?

Having a higher fat content and less lean content, ground beef is best for dishes where you want to add moisture or flavor.

Ground beef is great for making burgers, cottage pies, tacos, sloppy joes, meatballs, or meatloaf because it holds together well when cooked. Ground beef produces more flavor and juiciness in these dishes than other types of ground meats like sirloin. 

While making these dishes, be sure not to overcook ground beef as it will dry out quickly and become tough and chewy. It’s best to cook ground beef patties until they are no longer pink in the center (160 degrees Fahrenheit), or you can cut into a patty with a knife and see only clear juices.

The same goes for other dishes like tacos or meatballs; don’t overdo it!

Unsuitable uses of ground beef include stir-fries, stews, and dishes where you want to retain moisture, like casseroles or pasta sauces. The higher fat content in ground beef means it will release more oil when cooked, which will make your dish too greasy.

Types of Ground Beef

The most common types of ground beef are:

  • 80/20 – Ground Chuck
  • 85/15 – Ground Round
  • 90/10 – Ground Sirloin

Ground Chuck

Ground chuck contains 80 percent lean meat and 20 percent fat (the 80/20 rule). It offers a good balance between flavor and healthiness. It is one of three significant cuts of beef obtained from the neck and shoulder area of cattle.

It’s a tough cut, but it makes for excellent ground beef because it has a good amount of fat that adds flavor to burgers or meatloaf.

It also has less marbling than other types of ground beef, which means you don’t have to worry about excess grease when cooking up your favorite recipes! It’s ideal for hamburgers, meatballs, and sloppy joes. You can also make steakburgers with ground chuck; just be sure to season them well before grilling, so they don’t taste too beefy.

Ground Round

Ground round has 85 percent lean meat and 15 percent fat (the 85/15 rule). It’s a good source of protein, with just 11.5 grams of fat per serving. Obtained from the round primal near the rump, this leaner option is popular in European countries and great for those who are looking to reduce their cholesterol intake without sacrificing flavor.

You can use it as you would any other type of ground beef: in spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, tacos, or chili. Because it has less marbling than other types of ground beef, it will have a less juicy consistency when cooked—but that doesn’t mean you can’t make some delicious dishes!

Ground Sirloin

Ground sirloin is made from sirloin and has 90 percent lean meat and 10 percent fat (the 90/10 rule). As a result, it is one of the leanest types of ground beef you can buy, with just 1 gram of fat per serving. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have flavor.

It’s often considered to be a great substitute for filet mignon because of its rich taste and juicy texture. It also offers more iron than other types of ground beef, which means it’s perfect for those who are trying to increase their intake of red blood cells.

It’s ideal for chili, spaghetti sauce, or anything where you want a flavorful but low-fat option.

What is the Difference Between Ground Sirloin and Ground Beef?

There are a few differences between ground sirloin and ground beef in terms of nutritional value, taste, fat content, and price. While both types of meat can be used interchangeably in many recipes, there are some important distinctions to keep in mind when making your choice at the grocery store or butcher shop. 

1. Fat content and Nutritional value

The primary difference between ground sirloin and ground beef is in terms of fat content, with sirloin having less than ground beef – making it a better choice for those looking to reduce their overall caloric intake or decrease their risk for heart disease and stroke.

The nutritional value of ground sirloin and ground beef are very similar, with both containing a significant amount of protein, zinc, and iron. 

2. Taste and texture

While both types of meat can be used interchangeably in recipes, some dishes specifically call for ground sirloin or lean ground beef, which can result in different flavors and textures. With ground beef, you’ll get a more tender texture as well as a slightly richer flavor due to its higher fat content.

On the other hand, ground sirloin will have a less tender texture but will be much leaner than ground beef, with a flavor that is closer to that of steak.

3. Price and availability

The price of ground sirloin is generally higher than that of ground beef, with a pound of sirloin typically costing $3 to $4 more than a pound of ground beef. However, suppose you are looking for an alternative to traditional red meat due to dietary restrictions or personal preference.

In that case, ground sirloin may be worth your extra money since it is lower in fat and cholesterol than ground beef. Furthermore, it is also easier to find at most grocery stores and butcher shops.

Ground Sirloin vs Ground Beef: Which is Better?

The truth is, it depends on your recipe and what you’re using it for. For example, if you’re making a ground beef casserole or tacos, there are no real differences between ground sirloin and ground beef—both will work just fine. But if you’re looking to make hamburgers or meatballs, then you might want to consider opting for ground beef over ground sirloin.

Because of its higher fat content (about 20 percent), ground beef can help keep burgers from drying out during cooking. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a leaner option, for dishes such as spaghetti, go with ground sirloin.

Generally, it’s all about personal preference when choosing between these two types of ground meat. While both will taste great in any dish, some people prefer one over another based on their texture and fat content. 

How Do You Store Ground Beef?

As beef is a perishable item, you’ll need to store it properly to stay fresh and safe to consume. Proper storage involves keeping beef in sealed, airtight containers to avoid exposure to other food or contaminants.

You should also keep ground beef in your refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less, and never place it on your kitchen countertop or other areas where it can sit out for an extended period – especially if you live in a warm climate.

What’s The Best Way To Cook Ground Beef?

Ultimately, there are a lot of different ways to cook ground beef. It’s one of those things that can be cooked in almost any way you can imagine. But what is the best way to cook ground beef? And why does it matter anyway?

The answer lies in how you plan on using your ground beef after cooking it. If you’re going to use it for tacos or some other dish where texture isn’t important, then cooking time and temperature aren’t as big of an issue as they would be if you were planning on making meatballs or hamburgers with your ground beef.

Generally, though, we recommend cooking ground beef at medium-high heat until it reaches about 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that you have excellent juicy burgers without overcooking them.

You’ll also want to avoid over mixing your ground beef while cooking so that you don’t end up with tough meatballs or patties when all is said and done.

Sirloin and Mushroom Ragout over Spaghetti Recipe


  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine or vermouth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • For the spaghetti:
    • 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente
    • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
    • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the ground sirloin until browned.
  2. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes with juice, beef broth, tomato paste, white wine or vermouth, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and let cook for 15-20 minutes until thickened and the vegetables are tender.
  5. To serve, ladle the ragout over cooked spaghetti noodles and garnish with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Beef and Broccoli Lo Mein Recipe


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 8 ounces lo mein noodles


  1. In a large skillet or wok, cook the ground beef over medium heat until browned and fully cooked.
  2. Add the olive oil, broccoli florets, garlic, and green onions to the pan, stirring well to combine.
  3. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the broccoli is tender but still crisp.
  4. Stir in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil until evenly combined.
  5. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, then add the lo mein noodles and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  6. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet with the beef and broccoli, tossing to combine.
  7. Serve immediately, garnished with additional green onions and sesame seeds if desired. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Ground Round And Chuck?

As you can see, ground round and ground chuck are very similar in texture and flavor. However, they’re not exactly interchangeable—ground round tends to be leaner with a ratio of 85:15 than ground chuck (80:20), which means it’s slightly less fatty (although we wouldn’t call it low-fat). 

How Long Can Raw Ground Beef Be Stored In The Refrigerator?

The USDA recommends that raw ground beef be stored in your refrigerator for no more than two days and that you should cook it within one day of purchasing it. 

How Do You Keep Ground Beef From Turning Brown?

If you’re not going to cook your ground beef right away, then you can put it in an air-tight bag before you refrigerate it. This will help keep it from turning brown while still disallowing for some of its natural juices to escape—which is good news if you like a little bit of moisture in your burger patties!

Can You Use Ground Sirloin For Burgers?

You can use ground sirloin for burgers, but it’s not necessarily recommended. The flavor of ground sirloin is a bit stronger than that of ground chuck, and its texture is a bit more coarse—which means it may not be as tender or flavorful when cooked in a burger patty as ground chuck would be. 

Is Ground Sirloin Good For Spaghetti?

Ground sirloin is excellent for spaghetti! It’s a little bit more coarse than ground chuck, which means it has a more pronounced flavor and a slightly firmer texture when cooked—which is great if you like your pasta al dente!

Related: What To Bring To A BBQ Potluck

When Should You Not Use Ground Beef?

While ground beef is great for a wide variety of dishes, there are some instances in which you should not use it. If you’re making stew, stir-fries, and any other dish that requires moisture retention, ground beef might be a disappointment as the higher fat content can render your dish more greasy than you would like. 


As you can see, sirloin and ground beef both taste great, whether eaten alone or cooked in a delicious recipe. But if you’re looking for meat with higher fat content for cooking at high temperatures, look no further than ground beef.

The important thing to remember is that both of these cuts of meat are healthy options for your diet and your family’s health, so use them however you like!

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.