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What Are the Best Tips for Making Ground Beef Tacos?

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  • Written By: Eugene P.
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 25 September 2016
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There are several ways to make ground beef tacos. One of the most common is to use premade shells and commercially available taco mixes. Some of the best ground beef tacos, however, can be made just as easily with a homemade spice mix. Similarly, the shells can be quickly made fresh and crisp instead of using the brittle corn shells that are often sold. Other factors, such as the moistness of the meat and the ingredients used to make the tacos, also can help to increase the flavor and texture of the tacos.

While prepackaged taco seasoning mixes are readily available, it is easy to make such a mix at home. The main ingredients are cumin, garlic and coriander. These spices can easily be acquired in ground or whole form. Aside from just mixing them to match the tastes of the cook, using whole spices and roasting some of them before grinding them can provide a deep flavor that fuses well with the ground beef.

After the spices are combined, the next step is to brown the ground beef. The meat should only be cooked until done and not overcooked, which can make it dry, grainy and tasteless. Sometimes, adding a small amount of water while browning the meat can help to preserve the moisture. It is equally important to drain the meat so the ground beef tacos are not overpowered by the flavor and mess of excessive grease.

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Ingredients such as onions and bell peppers can add a large amount of flavor to the taco filling. These should be cooked with the beef so it has a chance to take on some of the flavors. Hot chili peppers, if they're being used, also should be cooked at this point so their natural oils have a chance to develop.

Instead of using store-bought shells for ground beef tacos, fresh shells can be made at home. This can be done by taking a regular tortilla and frying it in oil. The only difficult part in making them is holding the shell at an angle while one side cooks to make the shape of a folded taco shell. The resulting shell will be crispy and flaky, but still somewhat soft on the inside.

The toppings used on ground beef tacos also can bring out the flavors of the cooked food. Ingredients such as shredded lettuce, tomatoes and green onions all help to give the ground beef a base from which to work, enhancing its flavor. Having freshly prepared toppings can really complete the taste of ground beef tacos.

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