Q&A with a Commenter on my Quick Chili in an 8 Quart Pressure Cooker video:
COMMENTER: I’m surprised you don’t drain your ground beef.
DadCooksDinner: What? Why in the world would you do that?
COMMENTER: To drain off the fat. After cooking. Everyone does it.
If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?
Every now and again I get asked “Why don’t you drain your ground beef?”. I was surprised the first few times I was asked. I had never heard of such a thing.
Do I drain my ground beef? No! Why would I? Sure, it may get rid of some of the fat. But I want that fat in the recipe - fat is flavor.
Speaking of flavor, I’m not just draining fat. I’m draining all the juices that escaped the meat - that’s even more flavor down the drain.
If you worry about fat, buy leaner ground beef. “Ground Beef” is usually 70% lean, 30% fat. Maybe I could understand draining that. But, why not buy 80% lean ground chuck instead? Or 85% lean ground round (my favorite for chili), or ultra-lean 90% to 92% ground sirloin?
Why throw out all the flavor?
Ahem. Sorry. I'll stop ranting, and ask a question:
Reader survey: Do you drain ground beef?
So, it’s time for a survey. My question to you, dear readers:
Do you drain ground beef? Yes or no. If yes, why? Why?? WHY!?!?!?!?
Please let me know in the comments. I promise I’ll stop yelling.
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Pressure Cooker Quick Chili (with Canned Beans)
Pressure Cooker Frito Pie
Pressure Cooker Cincinnati Chili
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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William Spearman says
Do not know of a champion chili maker who strains/drains the meat........
Jane SNOW says
Your rant makes perfect sense. I usually drain some of the fat, leave some. There was a fear-of-fat period when I even WASHED it after draining. I never thought to just buy leaner ground beef. Duh.
I'm sad to say I'm not a natural cook, so I follow directions. So I drain the fat (and the juices!). So, I trust you MIke, and what you say makes perfect sense. So, I won't drain it for a while and see how it goes. 🙂
Razzy 7 says
Depends upon what ground meat I'm using. If it's 90-10, for example, I wouldn't drain it. If it's a high fat to meat ratio I would. The flavor is in the juices that come from the meat, not the actual fat. I sometimes use a fat separator, where the fat separates from the juices and I pour off the fat and keep the juices.
I just bought what is going to be a handy tool from QVC. It's item # K-45776 Set of 2 Grease Strainers with Bowls and Lids. Look up that item number on QVC and watch the video. These strainers have several different uses and will be very handy I think.
Actually, some flavors dissolve in fat some in water and some in alcohol. So fat does carry flavors from the food.
I do not drain my ground beef. Of course we use 96/4 beef so there is very little fat to drain. My son always drains the fat but he uses 80/20 hamburger.
I do not drain my ground beef, for the same reasons as you, it takes away flavour. I tend to buy lean or extra lean, so there's never very much fat anyway
Yep, I do. I buy the 93% fat-free stuff and then drain after cooking. If I don't, I notice that whatever I'm making is greasier in taste and texture and I don't like it.
Mike in Austin says
Not just "no" but "hell no"! For a less greasy mouth feel, I'll add a little masa to my taco meat. It also adds a more Mexican flavor. I usually use 80/20 ground chuck.
My mom was a drainer, and that's what I learned. However, about 10 years ago I started buying mostly the 90% ground beef, and decided to stop draining.
Martha Doane says
I do not drain ground beef. I agree that it is foolish to pour away the flavor. I do skim fat off stock because grease on soup is unpleasant. I render down extra fat trimmed off pork or beef (brisket etc) to use when frying. I figure I paid for those products and do not want to waste.
Nope - not a drainer. I generally buy ground sirloin, so there's not much fat to drain.
We always get lean meat then don't drain. Bland food is the wurst!
I'll admit I usually drain it. There's usually a noticeable price difference between 85 and 90 % ground beef and for a lot of our purposes, we don't need the extra fat/grease. Tacos, spaghetti, and such where the extra grease is more apparent often call for some draining. I can see the point of your argument, though. Probably worth a little consideration for the future, but a lot of times that extra fat isn't really desired, even at the expense of some flavor.
I used to drain it, but I haven't in years. If it's something I don't want the extra fat in like say tacos, I just buy leaner beef. I agree you're draining away some flavor.