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Rinse Cooked Ground Beef to Reduce Fat

I use ground beef in lots of my recipes. I have heard that you can reduce fat in cooked ground beef by rinsing it. How do you do that?
Rinse Cooked Ground Beef to Reduce Fat

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Blotting the beef with paper towels and rinsing the meat with hot water can reduce fat content by as much as 50 percent. A 3-ounce portion of pan-broiled beef crumbles, after blotting, has 195 calories and 12 grams of fat. A 3-ounce portion of pan-broiled crumbles after blotting and rinsing has 135 calories and 6 grams of fat. Here’s how to do it according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association:


  • Brown ground beef in a pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Microwave 4 cups of water in a 1-quart glass measuring cup or bowl on High for five to six minutes or until very hot but not boiling. Exercise caution when you remove it from the microwave oven.
  • Line a plate or other container with three layers of paper towels. Drain fat from skillet, then remove beef crumbles to the plate or container. Allow to stand for one minute and blot with more paper towels.
  • Place beef in a fine-mesh strainer or colander over a bowl.
  • Pour hot water over the beef to rinse away the fat. Drain the beef for five minutes.
  • Proceed with cooking as the recipes directs. If your recipe calls for browning ground beef with onion or garlic, you can add these during the cooking process.



Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

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