View Full Version : How much fat is lost from cooking ground beef?

03-22-2015, 09:54 PM
If I cook 1lb of 80/20 ground beef and simply tip the pan to the side and drain the fat off, what is a conservative estimate of how much fat I have removed? Everything I read talks about rinsing or blotting the meat. I have no interest in doing that. I know I could measure the drained fat and calculate but it's too late for that, I already cooked the meat. How do you guys usually calculate this when you cook ground beef?

03-23-2015, 05:56 AM
Well, it certainly depends on how much fat you can afford and also what food you are preparing because you can actually turn 80/20 ground beef to be as lean as extra lean ground beef if you are willing to pan fry them in crumbles (rather than patties) and then run the cooked crumbles under hot water and then blot them with paper towels. The highlighted line below shows this way to maximally reduce the fat content of cheap ground beef.


That being said, this method is perfect if you need the beef to be used in crumble form where you don't care about flavor because you will obtain flavor from another source (i.e. for use in tacos or in marinara sauce for a pasta meat sauce). So, if you are not using the beef in that manner, look at the chart above and it should give you a better guestimate of how much you can reduce the fat content by using a different method. (OP, sadly your example is not one listed in the research I came across).

03-23-2015, 09:59 PM
Would it be safe to say that 25% of the fat is cooked out this way?

03-24-2015, 04:28 AM
I use fitday.com to track calories/macros/micros and with it you can input weight of the raw cut of meat (ground beef), the method of cooking (broil, pan fry, baked), and will tell you the macros/calories of it cooked.

For instance; Inputting 0.5lb of raw for the portion of "Beef, ground, 80% lean meat / 20% fat, crumbles, cooked, pan-browned (a.k.a. hamburger, ground chuck)" is 405 cals, 25.9g fat/0g carbs/40.2g protein.

03-24-2015, 04:33 AM
I buy 96/4 ground beef and still drain and rinse the meat, there is hardly any fat on the meat and I am still able to make burgers, tacos, etc.

my wife loves it and I always trick people when I cook for them. I use the right spices and cook it the right way and you never know the difference and it saves a ton of calories. I can eat a half lb burger with sweet potato for around 650 calories.

03-24-2015, 05:40 AM
Not really sure there is a good way to actually know. I buy my beef in quarter of a cow sections from a local farm.. The butcher says "you gotta leave fat on the meat for it to form properly and cook properly".. so I just crumble mine (because I eat it in salads, tacos, wraps, etc..) and then after cooking put it in a strainer over the garbage can and blot with a paper towel a couple times. Still leaves plenty of fat/flavor on it, and I use 200 cals per 3 ounces for what I do.

03-24-2015, 07:48 AM
bout thri fiddy. i personally calculate the whole thing , i dont care about whats dripping out. i take the raw calories. if you keep it consistent, thats all that matters. there is no way to know what amount of grease is wasted everytime