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Healthy Habits: Blotting and Straining Browned Ground Beef

When searching the internet for tips on simple ways to reduce calories in cooking, I came across an interesting article from the Beef Checkoff Program, which is overseen by the USDA, that I thought I would share with you. The full article can be found here, but I will attempt to summarize it for you. It is really a very simple process that can save you from consuming unwanted (or needed) fat and calories!!

  • After browning your ground beef, drain the fat from the skillet.
  • Take a slotted a spoon, remove the beef from the pan, and place it on paper towels. This will allow the towels to soak up some of the grease. Make sure to blot the top of the beef as well.
  • While the beef is sitting on the paper towels, heat up 4 cups of water in a glass measuring cup in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes. You want the water very hot but not boiling.
  • Place beef in a mesh strainer or colander and place it on top of a larger, sturdy bowl.
  • Pour the water over the beef and let drain for a few minutes.
  • That’s all! You just saved upwards of 10 grams of fat and 100 calories by taking those few extra minutes during preparation!*

*When using 80/20 ground beef.

The article says that minimal flavor from seasonings will be lost, but I am sure that you can always sprinkle on a little more if necessary before continuing on with your recipe.

There you have it! The article contains charts that let you know just how much fat you are removing according to the different processes and cuts of beef.  Of course, another way to cut calories and fat when cooking with ground beef is to make sure that you are using a leaner beef such as 90%.

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[...] you can put a Healthy Habit to good use by ridding the ground beef of the excess fat that isn’t needed or wanted! [...]