Soggy mince meat

I have found mince meat (all different kinds) purchased from the super market ooze a significant amount of colourless liquid when heat is applied, making the ingredient impossible to brown. Is it because water has been added and, if so, is it legal?

Hi @srw, welcome to the community.

Meat mince naturally contains around 60% water. A lot of this is released during the cooking process as the meat has been broken up (minced) allowing water to readily leave the muscle tissue when cooked.

With larger chunks of meat (steaks, roasts etc), it is harder for water within the meat to leave as the water has to pass through more muscle before it spills out onto the cooking surface.

Water isn’t added to mince. It is the mincing process which allows the natural water within the mince to be released.

To brown mince, one need to either cook it on a grill where the water can disappear through the grill or on a a very hot pan/plate surface. The heat of the very hot pan/plate quickly evaporates the water oozing from the mince whilst it cooks.

If there wasn’t fluids (water) being created from the mince when cooking, it means that something would have been added to the mince to hold the water in. Fluids from mince (and any meat) occurs naturally when meat is cooked. It is part of the cooking process.

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Thank you for the explanation. It’s very helpful.

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Take your time cooking and stirring on a medium to low heat and let the liquid collect. You will see it start to separate into a water and a fat phase. Keep cooking and the water will evaporate, as it does so the temperature in the pan will rise and the meat will brown in the fat. If you don’t want the fat take the pan off the heat and prop it up on an angle and scoop out most of the fat with a spoon. Then you are ready for adding other ingredients.

You may think this will make the meat dry but if you want to brown loose mince (not a patty) you can’t do it with water in the pan as it will not get hot enough.

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When I am browning loose mince, I use a hot flat pan with lots of area in relation to the amount of mince. Move the mince around, and let the water boil off quickly. If it has to be cooked in batches, then so be it. Don’t overcrowd that pan.

Once a lot of water gets into the pan, most of the heat gets directed into turning water into steam, and the temperature will be stuck at 100° which is too low for the maillard browning reaction to occur.

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The bread at Aldi is the same probably to keep prices down extra water gets added.Found out one day on a hot day the whole loaf turned into mush.Always Bakers Delight for me

No, you cannot make bread with excess water as it interferes with the rising and the texture when baked.

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Well that’s what they do to cut costs syncretic

How do you know that? Have you worked in an Aldi bakery or have some other knowledge of the way they make bread or is this just an assumption?

Have you ever tried making bread? Did you add extra water to see what happens?

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I have seen it with my own eyes thanks syncretic

You may well have done so and concluded that the mushy loaf you saw was due to excess water and that the reason it had excess water was to save money. I doubt either of those things are true but let us agree to disagree.