Food Guide

7 Reasons Why Ground Beef Smells Like Cheese – You Won’t Believe #3!

Have you found yourself wondering if it is safe to eat ground beef that smells like cheese? Maybe you have a hamburger in the frying pan and suddenly notice the strong odor of cheddar wafting up at you.

The first thing that may come to your mind is “Whoa! Is this meat spoiled?” You are not alone.

Many people wonder about things like this, but do not know where to find an answer.

This article will discuss what could cause the meat to smell like cheese and how to handle it safely.

Why Does Ground Beef Smell Like Cheese?

Ground Beef Has A High Amount of Fat Content

Ground beef is made up of fatty tissue, which means it has a strong aroma.

When you cook ground beef, it releases a lot of water and fat that can mix with the amino acids in the meat to create a chemical called trimethylamine oxide (TMAO).

TMAO breaks down into an odorless gas that has a strong cheesy smell.

This process happens when cooking nearly any protein such as chicken or eggs, but it’s more noticeable with high-fat foods like ground beef because there’s more room for all those chemicals to mix together.

And while this doesn’t mean you’ll be smelling like cheddar no matter what kind of food you eat, it might make your dinner not taste as good!

The Seasoning Make It Smell Like Cheese

The two ingredients have similar scents because the molecules that create the aromas are very similar in nature.

As you cook ground beef, small droplets of fat will break off and rise to the top where they will then evaporate into smelly vapors that carry this scent with them.

The most common type of seasoning in both cheese and ground beef is salt, but many others can be used such as pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cumin.

Dry-aged Ground Beef Has That Funky Smell

The cheesy smell in ground beef usually occurs with dry-aged ground beef or steaks that have produced a lot of lactic acids.

These natural byproducts can cause the meat to emit an odorous molecule similar to blue cheese, which may be unpleasant for some people’s noses!

Is It Safe to Eat Ground Beef That Smells Like Cheese?

Fresh Brand – Ground Beef 90% Lean/10% Fat, 1 lb

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If you have double-checked all the factors above and find nothing wrong with them, then don’t worry, the ground beef is safe for eating!

To ensure your safety, you should cook the beef at a high enough temperature (160 degrees Fahrenheit), any bacteria will be killed, and the minced beef will be safe to eat.

How to Get Rid of Cheesy Smell from Ground Beef

While cheesy-smelled ground beef is safe to eat, not all of us enjoy that funky smell.

Getting rid of the cheesy smell from ground beef is not an easy task.

There are many things that can cause the cheese to have a strong odor, which makes it difficult to remove.

However, there are some methods one can try out in order to get rid of this odor.

Rinse It Real Good

The first thing one must do is rinse away any excess cheese before cooking with ground beef again.

Rinsing off excess water from the ground beef will help reduce the cheesy smell during the cooking process.

Cook It Evenly

To prevent this from happening, you should always cook your ground beef on the same day you purchase the package, and cook until it is no longer pink inside.

Also, you should make sure to never put cooked meat back on the same plate where raw meat was before.

Choose the Newly-Produced Package

If you’re looking for fresh ground beef, you should check with grocery staff since they might know it better.

Have a look at the package, meat ingredients and the expired date to ensure that you pick the proper packaged ground beef.

The Bottom Line

This can often make people think they are experiencing an olfactory hallucination when they smell cheese while cooking ground beef, but it’s not your imagination! Cheesy smell from ground beef is not only unappetizing, but it can also be dangerous.

We hope this article gives you some insights on how to clear out that pesky stench once and for all! If you have any other queries, leave us comments in the section below!

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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