Why is my Ground Beef a different colour on the inside ???

Greetings Carnivores,

A few quick words today to re-hash an issue I hear about ALL the time.

Some of the questions I am MOST frequently asked are:

Why is the inside of a package of Ground Beef darker than the outside?

How do you explain the colour difference between the two?

Do you dye your meat?

The answer is simply, pure food Science.

We have all seen this: you buy a package of Ground beef and, after arriving home from the shop you find the inside is ‘darker’ in colour than the outside?   DON’T PANIC !! The butcher hasn’t sold you bad meat, nor has he wrapped OLD Ground Beef with fresh, or added dye to it.

It turns red because it’s reacting with the oxygen we breathe not because of dye and, it turns brown in the wrapper when there’s no more oxygen to react with it.

The colour difference is due to a naturally occurring chemical reaction called oxidation. The enzymes (and iron) in the protein (meat) are reacting with the oxygen we breathe.

When meat is freshly sliced or ground, the surface of the meat is exposed to oxygen. Exposure to the air we breathe turns the meat from a dark purplish colour to a nice bright red. And, in the case of ground meat products, since the inside has not been exposed to the same amount of oxygen as the outside, the colour difference between the two can be quite dramatic.

The same holds true if you buy a large, vacuum packed beef Primal cut. The instant you open the bag, the oxidation process begins.

This is what the meat industry refers to as the “Bloom”.

Now, go out there and hug your Butcher !!

So, there you have it Carnivores …

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Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

11 thoughts on “Why is my Ground Beef a different colour on the inside ???

  1. Do you know how much meat,especially ground beef, I’ve thrown out because it looked funny to me?? Thank you again as always for explaining! There were some ships I went to and the meat was off though.. Stopped going there though!

    • You really shouldn’t keep ground beef in the fridge for any more than a couple of days. It will look a little bit brown because of the whole oxidation thing I explained. But it will be fine to eat, I always use my nose has a good indicator of whether or not its bad. That and touch, even if it’s slightly slimy throw it away.

    • The number of times folks have accused me of doing something underhanded to the ground beef because of the oxidation process … well, I just can’t begin to count. I think it comes down to a non-trust issue. People will believe what they want to believe … if WHEN I can prove to them otherwise.
      Always great to hear from you Aunti

  2. Golly, you must hear it all! Finding a really good butcher that you trust is like finding a good hair dresser or OB/GYN. Sometimes you end up with unpleasant results before you find someone you trust. That’s one reason that Deerslayer and I process all our own meat.

    • Someone told me once … “you already KNOW what you want to buy … what you’re actually SHOPPING for is … the RIGHT person to sell it to you”
      I find this statement to hold true for just about everything … you’re looking forward to a trustworthy relationship with your mechanic, barber, butcher, car salesman, … the list goes on.
      AND … when I find that JUST RIGHT person … I’m very, very loyal.
      But, … you’re right DSW … it’s all about trust.

  3. What a great post! I cannot tell you how many times I’ve tried, over the years, to convince people NOT to throw out their ground beef because of this! I just came across this when I remade my Juicy Lucy Burgers this week.

  4. Pingback: Nasty practices, revealed | Carnivore Confidential

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