This is a great frugal living/healthy eating tip

@jesssp (2739)
Canada
January 28, 2010 3:13pm CST
Usually it's hard to make those two things match up but this tip does it. If you always buy extra lean ground beef for the reduced fat content but hate spending the extra money you can get the same result by simply draining the fat from regular hamburger after you fry it and then rinsing the meat in a colander. I worked with a lady who did this but I have never tried it. Recently the in-laws gave us a bunch of beef, which was very nice of them, but I usually buy extra lean ground beef so I wasn't thrilled with seeing pound after pound of regular. I did a quick search and found this http://healthy.hillbillyhousewife.com/groundbeef.htm I'm definitely going to try it out, and I'm happy that I can still use the free meat without eating a bunch of extra fat! Have you ever tried this? Does it work well or is there a down side?
5 people like this
18 responses
@much2say (44478)
• United States
29 Jan 10
I have heard of this, but I don't completely do it. I cook up the less expensive ground beef (the 80%) and drain out all the fat that I can. But I don't take the extra step to stick it in a collander to rinse it out. I like to keep a little bit of fat in there - only because it seems to help meld all flavors together. For instance, last night I had some frozen 80% in the freezer, so I used it for taco meat. I noticed (from experience) that the more fat I take out, the drier the meat tastes. I'll bet that if I rinsed it for something like spaghetti sauce, it's that's probably be ok. I'll try that next time I make some!
1 person likes this
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
2 Feb 10
That's definitely true, it does get dry and it definitely effects the taste. I find with tacos or spaghetti sauce I don't notice it as much because it's mixed with either taco sauce or tomato sauce. But with things like burgers or meatloaf it isn't worth the sacrifice in taste.
1 person likes this
@much2say (44478)
• United States
2 Feb 10
I would think with burgers and meatloaf it would just crumble instead of keeping in tact (unless a lot of binding was used I guess?). I never tried that. For taco meat, I just use chili powder, oregano, and a dash of salt (no liquidy sauce), so I need the fat to help disperse the spices better since it's all dry. You remind me I forgot to buy taco sauce for this week when I went shopping earlier - hee hee.
1 person likes this
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
3 Feb 10
I have never been able to make burgers 'work' with extra lean beef. I've tried every different 'binding' known to man and they always just crumble and the bits that we're able to save from the grill are just terribly dry. I now just accept that burgers are not going to be health food! I like to use the more liquid taco sauce (Old El Paso) rather than a chunky salsa. I just use the seasoning in the envelope when I cook the meat and then mix a little of that sauce and some sour cream in with mine. Damn, now I'm really craving tacos and it's only 9 am!
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
28 Jan 10
Hi jesssp Unfortunately, there always seems to be a down side to all things that are good and it holds true here as well. Whether we like it or not, flavor comes from fat. I find that extra lean beef, while a much healthier choice, lacks flavor. Draining the fat from regular ground beef is fine, but rinsing it would be a mistake in my opinion. You have to do what works for you and I would try it one time and see the result but still disagree with the rinsing part. Good luck and happy, healthier cooking!
1 person likes this
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
29 Jan 10
Yep, you're right, as much as we don't like to admit it fat tastes good. When I'm cooking something like a sauce or taco meat then I don't care it it's extra lean because of all the extra spices and added flavor & texture. I think I'll try the rinsing for those. But when it comes to things like burgers where the meat is the focus it just doesn't work. As much as I would like it to and as much as I've tried to make it work the sacrifice on taste just isn't worth what's saved on calories or grams of fat.
@marguicha (162419)
• Chile
3 Feb 10
I have a meat grinder at home and it has proven worth the money I invested in buying it. Besides all those kitchen helpers are cheaper everyday. I buy meat the is on sale and start working on it. I get steaks from the best parts, dice some for caseroles and I grind odd and ends. I take away all I don´t want to eat there. Sometimes, if it´s too little, I make hamburgers to freeze then and there (add an egg, spices, ground stale bread). I pack everything in diferwnt bags. The rest I cook with an onion, carrot, celery leaves and whatever I have in the fridge to have a srater for any type of soup.You don´t have to put the grease in the soup, just those pieces you won´t like to eat. Once I forgot to turn off the range while making the soup and those hard parts I usually throw away became soft. I made a sandwich with them, mayo and mustard. YUMMY!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
3 Feb 10
I don't buy chop meat that often these days. But,when ever I did buy it I always drained the oil from it. I don't make spaghetti these days.
1 person likes this
@writersedge (22577)
• United States
1 Feb 10
I think draining it works just fine, but washing or rinsing it afterward can make for a watery taste. Grilling it can also drain the fat from the meat if you have an indoor grill.
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
28 Jan 10
It's true that the fattier ground beef is cheaper, but if you think about it, a good percentage of the pounds you're paying for is made up of that fat. When you drain the fat off, you're essentially reducing the amount of meat you get per pound. So it can end up making it not actually cost much less than buying lean. I wait until lean goes on sale, and then I stock my freezer. Most of the time, I just use ground turkey, because it's cheaper, leaner, and eating a lot of red meat isn't healthy anyway.
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
29 Jan 10
I thought about that too but this is what the article says about it: 'If you cook a pound of raw hamburger, it will become about 10-2/3 ounces of cooked meat. This is merely 2-ounces less than the most expensive super-lean ground beef. Regular hamburger costs less than half as much as super-lean ground beef. I am not willing to pay double for 2 more ounces of meat. For frugal folks trying to keep the grocery bills as low as possible, Regular Hamburger is the best choice.' And in my case the meat was free so I'm still ahead either way :)
1 person likes this
@thyst07 (2091)
• United States
29 Jan 10
Can't argue with free! It's amazing how much grocery pricing can vary from place to place though...at the grocery store I usually shop at, lean ground beef is definitely not double the price of the fatty stuff.
@owlwings (43038)
• Cambridge, England
29 Jan 10
I don't know when that page was written. It seems to me that the prices are rather cheap compared with what I pay. But then, when I was a kid, a piece of topside was around 1 shilling and 6 pence a pound (that would be around 5p - 7p in today's money and converted to US dollars in the rates prevailing then - early 1950's - would have been something like 20 or 30 cents a pound). These days I expect to pay about £6 - £8 ($10.00 - $15.00) per pound or more for an equivalent piece. According to the cost of living index, though, meat is still cheaper now than it was then.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
30 Jan 10
I've always done that to cute calories and cut cholesterol. It's fine as long as you add spices to your meat.
• Israel
30 Jan 10
That hillbilly site is funny. They have pictures of a faucet and of a colander just in case your reading skills are lacking and you might not know what one was. LOl It's just too funny.
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
2 Feb 10
It did seem like a pretty amusing site, I'm glad I found it!
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
28 Jan 10
I have done that & saw no downside at all. I can't believe how high ground beef is now. I like it so much because there are so many things u can go w/it but u sure aren't saving any money by buying it nowadays.
@sulsisels (1685)
• United States
29 Jan 10
Antiquelady,,remember when chicken was an economical meal? Those days are gone too. The fact is that there is really nothing cheap anymore and my weekly food bill proves that. Sometimes when I'm grocery shopping and more so at the check out, I want to cry..100.00 is absoultely nothing when it comes to groceries..sigh..
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36468)
• United States
29 Jan 10
HI SU, I remember very well. When i frst married a 100 years ago, lol if i spent 425 AT THE GROCERY my ex would have a tizzy fit, the old tightwad. Groceries are ridiculous for sure. I don't see how big families afford to feed them. I do buy things i don't have to have but i stay home all the time & very seldom ever go anywhere so u deserve a few treats.
@katsmeow1213 (28895)
• United States
28 Jan 10
I've always done that with my ground beef. Of course it doesn't work well when you're making like a meatloaf or something of that nature, the meat just stays greasy. But for the past few months I've not been buying ground beef. I've switched to ground turkey, which I use in place of every ground beef dish I'd normally have. It cooks the same, tastes pretty similar, is certainly healthier, and I've found it's actually a little bit cheaper.
@owlwings (43038)
• Cambridge, England
28 Jan 10
Turkey or chicken meat has almost no fat (most of the fat on fowl is just below the skin and in the offal - think of goose liver or pate de fois gras, so if you take off the skin, you are left with a meat that actually requires the addition of some fat in order to moisten it. Any wild game (deer, rabbit, hare or wildfowl) will generally have less fat than cultivated meat, except in the autumn and winter when they will have stored fat to survive. This is also the kind of fat that a human (who didn't have the benefit of central heating and gas-powered transport) also required in the cold season. Fat levels in cultivated meat are very carefully controlled by diet, environment and by feeding the correct hormones and enzymes that produce 'what the customer wants' (unnaturally lean meat) in the shortest possible time (which is to the farmer's advantage). What we do need is SOME fat (and some meat) in our diet. What we don't need is the over-indulgence in fatty meats and highly processed foods.
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
29 Jan 10
I always buy ground beef at the local butcher, which is way less expensive than the grocery store, but I don't think they carry ground turkey. I buy it every now and then at the grocery store but I'm pretty sure it ends up being way more expensive than the butcher's ground beef. And now that we've got this 'windfall' of free meat I have to use it up somehow, this seemed like a pretty good solution. Well, for tacos and stuff like that anyway.
@dorannmwin (36651)
• United States
30 Jan 10
I personally prefer to buy the lean ground beef as well. However, my husband frequently complains that he wants a little bit of fat in his diet, so I have started to buy the fattier ground beef for his desires. I've never rinsed my meat in a collander, but when I am browning the meat, I will certainly strain off the fat that is left in the skillet. I know that it is not the healthiest way to do it, but it works for us. Now, the thing that I will say about the less lean ground beef, it may be cheaper by the pound to buy it, but how much of the weight are you loosing in the fat?
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
2 Feb 10
This is what it says about losing weight: 'If you cook a pound of raw hamburger, it will become about 10-2/3 ounces of cooked meat. This is merely 2-ounces less than the most expensive super-lean ground beef. Regular hamburger costs less than half as much as super-lean ground beef. I am not willing to pay double for 2 more ounces of meat. For frugal folks trying to keep the grocery bills as low as possible, Regular Hamburger is the best choice.' Not that this article is the end all and be all of ground beef or anything, but it sounds like you still come out on top. Honestly, I can't see myself continuing to do this once our stock of free regular ground beef runs out, I will most likely just go back to spending the extra money and buying extra lean.
@Hatley (164170)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Jan 10
jessp I have never had very good luck with that hot water trick as it makes the meat too mushy and takes a lot of flavor out of it;.I would rather pay a little more and get really good lean beef. then cut back on something else instead.I just did not like the results at all.it seemed to make the meat mushy and watery eventhough I drained it thoroughly. the water rinsed meat makes an awful meat loaf,no flavor and its hard to get it to really stick together.
@jesssp (2739)
• Canada
29 Jan 10
I can see that happening. I wonder if it would still be good to use in a soup or something like that? But I think I will just keep spending the extra money and getting higher quality extra lean once this freebie meat is all used up!
@tammytwo (4300)
• United States
26 Oct 10
I don't fry my hamburger meat. I actually boil it and then I rinse it real well with warm water. I think the boiled meat just tastes better and seems to be better for us.
• United States
30 Jan 10
I always drain my meat when I cook it. I had always thought one was supposed to drain the beef before serving it. I buy ground beef in bulk at Sams Club because I use it a lot. I have several frugal cooking web sites that I use and have not looked at hillbilly wife so thank you for sharing this site with me. I am always looking for good meals that do not use a lot of ingredients.
• United States
29 Jan 10
I always drain all of my gound beef using a colander
@cutepenguin (6447)
• Canada
29 Jan 10
I've done this. I don't know if there is a downside other than that it is a bit messier.
@dragon54u (31628)
• United States
29 Jan 10
I have always done this! My mom used to do it, too, when I was a child (I'm 55). I can't afford the high prices of extra lean burger so I have always done this. I will save the drippings and put them in the freezer, though, along with bacon drippings--I will use a little of those to flavor fresh green beans, it makes all the difference in taste! I also used to use some to flavor homemade dog biscuits which I'll probably start making again since the prices have gone up so high. I'll also use a 1/2 teaspoon of them in hot water and pour it over dry dog food as a treat for them. I don't see a down side to it! You get healthier meals and if you save some of the drippings you have flavoring for other things, just don't use a lot.
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
29 Jan 10
it works, and if the meats free - hey! On the other hand - the meat cooks down that much more - so pound for pound, you get more meat when less of it is fat
@jewels49 (1783)
• United States
28 Jan 10
like katzmeow I have always drained my ground beef this way and it does work great. To solve the meatloaf setting in grease issue I bought a pan that goes inside my roasting pan, it's like a shelf with holes in it and the grease drains through the bottom holding the meatloaf above.