How to brown mince

Make sure your frying pan is hot. Add a very small amount of oil and allow it to heat up but not so much that it smokes.

Add the mince in small amounts – don’t cover the surface of the pan completely. Adding too much meat will reduce the temperature of the pan and the meat will not brown. It will release all of its liquid becoming tough, stewed and grey.

Avoid over-stirring the mince as it fries. Allow the mince to develop a good brown colour before breaking it up and turning.

If the meat or the oil is beginning to scorch, reduce the heat. Lift the pan off the heat for a minute to allow it to cool down.

Use a slotted spoon to place the cooked mince into a bowl once browned. If cooking several batches of mince, it’s important to deglaze the hot pan between each one with some wine or stock and scrape off all the crusty brown bits stuck to the pan. This is wonderfully flavourful when browned but if allowed to burn, it will give the mince a bitter taste. Set aside the deglazing liquid to use in the sauce when you are making Bolognese or chilli.

Skill level


Equipment you will need for this technique

  • Large frying pan
  • Wooden spoon