You’ve been making taco meat wrong your entire life!

Eddie Lance
4 min readDec 7, 2020

I imagine when making tacos that most of you take ground beef and fry it up in a pan, add water, and some sort of taco packet seasoning you purchased at the market. This is what we were taught from our parents and we have been doing the same ever since. Hey — it is familiar like a McDonalds cheeseburger and it’s likely if you go to family or friends house it will taste the same there too. Pretty safe way to go about your life, I suppose.

Is this how taco meat tastes at a particularly good Mexican restaurant? No such luck guys. I think I stumbled upon something that rivals these establishments.

I will now suspend further storytelling and get down to business.

What you see here is chopped up onion and peppers. What kind? Well in this case:

Poblano Pepper
Anaheim Pepper
Sweet Pepper

It really does not matter what you use. This is what I had in the fridge. Normally I would like to have more onion, but this is what I had available and I can make up for it using onion powder in a moment. The red peppers are sweet, not spicy I like to include them for color when possible.

The powder you see is vegetable stock seasoning. I also like to use those cubes you can get. Just add in one cube as that is plenty.

Look — I do not like giving specific amounts of ingredients. We are not baking, and the science of measurement does not purtain. You will get the hang of “eye balling” it, be conservative at first if you want to but it is hard to mess this up.

Now add in 2 pounds of ground beef into a crockpot. Crockpot? Yes, I applied the “low and slow” technique and that is the secret sauce of this recipe. Turn it on and set to low at this point. This is where we are strarting to have some fun!

Next, add in the following spices. In order of most amount to least.

Chili Powder
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

Think of the portions as a whole and the total amount would equal the contents of a store boughten taco seasoning packet. Sometimes I add in Cayenne Pepper but please just a pinch.

Total cooking time is around 6.5 hours when I do it. I would think 4–7 hours would be fine. You can cover it at this point and let it do its work.

Every hour mix everything up and chop the hamburger up a bit using a wooden spoon. It can be any other type of spoon but that is what I enjoy using. Take note that I did not add any liquids initially.

After about an hour you will notice some excess grease so let us take care of that by taking a paper towel and scrunching it up and by using your hand soak it up and discard. Perhaps repeat the process a few times. Now you can add in ¼ cup of water. Repeat this process later if need be. We do not want to be serving this meat greasy or dry. That is why we add water.

That’s all folks! You get the texture of restaurant quality as well as the taste. I no longer allowed to cook taco meat any other way in our home. Also — I am not allowed to bring home McDonalds cheeseburgers as well but that’s another article another day…