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Tips on Draining Ground Beef

Updated April 17, 2017

Minced meat is used to make many delicious recipes including tacos, lasagne, meatballs and pasta dishes. Browning minced meat crumbles is a necessary task for these delicious dishes. Properly draining the grease from minced meat crumbles is imperative. If not done accurately, the dish could become over-saturated by the grease, or the food could have a greasy texture. Leaving too much of the grease in minced meat crumbles also increases the fat content of the dish, which can be very unhealthy.

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Fat Content

The fat content of the minced meat is in direct correlation with how much liquid you have to drain from the meat. The leaner the beef, the less you have to drain from the pan after browning the beef. Fat contents are listed on the packaging of the meat. You can also tell how much fat the beef has by the name classification of the selection. Meat labelled as Minced Meat is 70 per cent lean with 30 per cent fat content, Ground Chuck is 85 per cent lean with 15 per cent fat, Ground Round is 90 per cent lean with 10 per cent fat, and Ground Sirloin is 97 per cent fat with 3 per cent fat. Purchase the leanest beef your budget can afford and you will drastically reduce your draining.

Draining Methods

A variety of draining methods are available for minced meat. After removing the skillet from the heat source, some cooks move all the meat to one side of the pan. They slightly tilt the pan to the side and suction off the liquid with a turkey baster. Another way to remove the grease is to remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Deposit the meat into a bowl lined in paper towels to catch the extra liquid. Finally, cooks can place a colander in the sink and pour the meat from the skillet inside. Toss the meat inside the colander with a spoon so all the liquid can escape.


According to a study in "The Journal of The American Dietetic Association," rinsing minced meat after browning it can significantly reduce the fat content and remove the grease. To rinse the meat, drain as much of the liquid as possible and place into a colander or mesh strainer. Set the colander or strainer into a bowl. Heat 1 qt. of water in a microwave-safe container for 4 to 6 minutes. Make the water extremely hot, but not boiling. Pour the water over the meat in the strainer and let drain for 5 minutes.


There are a variety of ways to dispose of the grease after you drain the beef. The easiest way is to rinse it down the kitchen sink. The grease can coagulate and clog up your drains. It is very important to run extremely hot or boiling water down the drain after the sink after the grease to rinse it all the way through the pipes. You can also drain the grease into a glass container with a lid, such as a pasta sauce or pickle jar, and throw it away. Some cooks drain the grease into an empty tin can, place it in the refrigerator to harden, then discard it in the garbage.

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About the Author

Caroline Baldwin, a corporate communications director located in South Carolina, began writing in 1998. Her work has been published in publications across the United States and Canada including Rolling Stone, Boating Life, Waterski and Wakeboarding magazines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication studies from The College of Charleston.

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