Friday, February 20, 2009

A science experiment

I've been wondering for a long time just how much fat you get rid of when you drain ground beef. I've also been taking draining it to the next level by rinsing my ground beef in hot water to get as much of that icky melted beef fat out of there as possible. Yes, I realized I'm probably also washing away any special beef flavor along with the fat, but seriously, it's ground beef. Not the choicest of beef cuts, you know?? Plus also, usually ground beef is the base for some kind of saucy goodness, not the flavor of the meal itself. I've always kind of hoped that a significant portion of the fat gets removed by draining/rinsing, and it seems like it makes sense. There is a very large exposed surface area for all of the fat to exit the meat easily, and when you heat it up like that, it melts and separates itself out, right?

So, tonight my dear husband requested we have tacos, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to see once and for all just how much draining and rinsing really helps. Here's what I found out:

I browned a pound of ground beef (well, 17.76oz, actually.), then I carefully drained as much liquid fat as I could off into a container and massed the drained fat. I was surprised to get 62g just by draining! The original fat content of the 17.76oz was (according to the nutrition label) 102g, so just draining removed 60% of the fat. That was way more than I expected.

However, I still could see the melted beef fat coating all my tasty ground beef crumbles. Bleh. So, I took the whole pan, beef and all, and massed it. Then I rinsed it out thoroughly with hot water, and drained off the water and massed it again. I rinsed off another 27 grams of fat. Woo.

So, all in all, my pound of beef lost 89 grams of its 102 original grams of fat. 87%!

So here's the bottom line:
Before draining and rinsing: (per 4oz) 290 Calories, 23gfat, 0g carbs, 20g protein

After draining and rinsing: 107 Calories, 3g fat, 0g carbs, 20g protein.

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