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Dutchess_III's avatar

Doesn't most of the fat rend out of hamburger meat when you cook it?

Asked by Dutchess_III (37546points) March 25th, 2011

Like, when I brown “cheap” hamburger meat for spaghetti (or anything else) I wind up with a cup of fat, and I pour it out before I add the other ingredients. Or, like cooking a burger on the grill. A low fat meat, like ground chuck, keeps it’s size roughly, from when you start till you’re finished. A high fat ground beef, though, shrinks. So…assuming you do things like get rid of the fat that you can, is it any less healthy eating cheaper, fatter ground beef than it is eating ground chuck or whatever? Maybe even less calories, because you wind up with a smaller burger when you use the cheaper meat….?

(Actually, the leaner beef is more cost efficient that the cheaper stuff, in the end, for that very reason….)

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15 Answers

janbb's avatar

According to my nutritionist “no.” There is still more residual fat in the high-fat meat.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

If you look at the amount that cooks out versus the percent fat a bunch must stay in the cooked meat. You don’t lose 10 percent of the volume with 90 percent lean.

anartist's avatar

Some does, if you like them well done, which I don’t

Mikewlf337's avatar

Grilling takes away alot of the fat in the meat. There is still fat in the burger but not as much. I found this out by reading a survival manuel that I have. It says grilling is a tasty way to cook meat but valuable fat is lost in the process. You are not in a survival situation so losing fat isn’t a negative in your situation. You wan’t some fat to keep the burger juicy and in one piece. Meats with little fat such as venison tend to not hold up well if grounded into patties and grilled. Frying in a skillet will not loose much fat because the fat doesn’t go anywhere and the meat soaks it back up.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t think so. I believe a lot of what we see as far as shrinkage is water. Ground up fattier cuts are still going to be fattier even when cooked down.

Aethelwine's avatar

You might find the following link helpful:

Reducing fat levels in ground beef

gondwanalon's avatar

George Foreman Grill cooking helps more of the fat drain out of the meat but not all of it.

mattbrowne's avatar

Humans can’t taste protein. The reason why a hamburger tastes good is because of the fat in the meat.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

The link @jonsblond gave is neat, thank you :D

We oven broiled Wal Mart frozen hamburger patties last night on a grill tray with holes in it. Placed it over the top of a cookie sheet to catch the drippings; yum results. See what done did!

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I know some of it is water, epecially if it’s frozen, but I definately drain off more fat from a skillet of browned, inexpensive hamburger than I do a skillet of brown ground chuck.

@mattbrowne I wondered about that too! The choicest cuts of steak have more marbling that the leaner, less expensive one. Fat, in moderation, is not bad for us. Can’t make any kind of gravy without it.

Very nice link @jonsblond! In fact, it answers my question perfectly. The more fat you’re able to drain, the leaner the meat becomes. You can get ground beef to the same levels, or lower, as the leaner ground beef. But you also lose flavor, bulk and texture along the way.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I once worked in a semi-fast-food mexican restaurant that used to cook masses of ground beef on a grill. We’d smash the beef against a grate to drain as much stuff as possible then scoop the beef into deep metal bins. Overnight a layer of orange fat would form on the top which we could lift and toss away. Under the fat layer was a gellatin layer that had some of the flavor and spices, this we would cut into cubes and use to melt into the meat when reheating in order to flavor it up. I suppose it would work with family sized portions too?

janbb's avatar

I wish meat didn’t taste so good – I’d really prefer to be a vegetarian.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb That’s a hell of a great answer. It sums up my feelings exactly. I’d kill for a great salad and good veggies right now.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

More lurve for @janbb! Our grocery bill would be smaller than our gasoline bills if we could lose our taste for meats.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I used to work there too….Taco Tico. However, there you’d get a thick, like ½ inch layer of cold fat that you could just lift off. Hamburger at home just gets that wrapped around the individual pieces. Or…like in a roast you can get that on top when you chill it int he fridge. I just let it cook back in. It’s what gives a good roast its richness.

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