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Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For You? What You Should Know

Ground beef is an All-American favorite, but it’s not the healthiest choice of meat. Leaner cuts are slightly healthier, but you’ll reduce your fat consumption by opting for chicken, turkey, or fish instead of ground beef.

Some people try to cut back on fats by draining the grease from the ground beef, even though this practice impacts the flavor of your burgers. However, others take advantage of the flavorful grease by saving it for use in other dishes. But can this affect your health?

Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For Your Health?

Ground beef grease has a very high fat content, making it bad for your health. Regular long-term consumption of ground beef grease can raise your cholesterol and contribute to heart disease.

Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For You?
Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For You?

Ground Beef Grease is Loaded with Fats

A single pound of ground beef contains a whopping 105 grams of fat, which breaks down to 15 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving. And that’s not even counting the grease!

If you opt for 95% lean ground beef, though, you’ll drastically reduce your fat consumption as leaner cuts are composed of as little as 5 percent fat. But even then, a large cooked patty, including the grease, still contains 19 grams of fat, over 7 grams of that being saturated fat.

Beef has a high fat content, which is the reason why burgers can be so juicy and flavorful.
Beef has a high fat content, which is the reason why burgers can be so juicy and flavorful.

Diets High in Fat Can Cause Chronic Health Conditions

Given the fat content of ground beef, it goes without saying that it’s not the healthiest option- especially if the grease hasn’t been drained from your burger.

While any high fat diet can cause serious health issues over time, greasy foods can start harming your body sooner than you think. In addition to raising cholesterol levels and increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke, ground beef grease can upset your stomach and cause acne.

If you have a family history of diabetes or other risk factors, you should avoid greasy foods or at least go easy on them as grease consumption can contribute to the development of diabetes.

A diet high in fat and greasy food can lead to high cholesterol and a host of other health issues.
A diet high in fat and greasy food can lead to high cholesterol and a host of other health issues.

Draining Ground Beef Can Lower Fat Content

Ground beef isn’t good for you. Period. But most people wouldn’t be willing to give up an occasional juicy hamburger unless they’re a vegan. Fortunately, draining the grease from the ground beef will reduce some of the fat content- if you’re OK with sacrificing flavor.

If a drier and less flavorful patty doesn’t sound very appealing, fish and poultry are much healthier alternatives as long as you don’t fry them. Then you’d be right back to square one with the issues of grease and fat.

Excess fat may be drained from ground beef using a strainer.
Excess fat may be drained from ground beef using a strainer.

Always Dispose of Ground Beef Grease Safely

For decades, people have repeatedly made the mistake of pouring ground beef grease down the drain, which only clogs the pipes. If you decide to dispose of your ground beef grease, you should do so properly. There are a few ways that you can get rid of ground beef grease:

You can pour the grease outside. This isn’t the best option for the environment, but it’s much safer than pouring hot grease into the trash can, which is a fire hazard.

The most highly recommended method of disposing of ground beef grease is to pour it into an old soup can and stick the can in the freezer to cool. Then you can safely toss the can of cool hardened grease in the garbage.

You can also pour the ground beef into a bowl and allow it to cool that way, but since grease hardens as it cools, you’re going to have a hard time cleaning the bowl afterwards.

Of course, you can always save the ground beef grease and use it to add flavor to other dishes, but reusing the grease will increase the fat content of the dish that you are preparing.

Ground Beef Grease Can Be Used to Add Flavor to Future Dishes.

Ground beef grease is very flavorful, which is why many people don’t prefer the leaner cuts, nor do they drain their hamburger meat. But a lot of people aren’t aware of the fact that ground beef grease can be reused.

If you plan on frying some potatoes to go with your burger, you can fry them in the leftover ground beef grease and add some garlic and rosemary. You can also use the grease to caramelize onions, which makes a great topping for your burger.

Ground beef grease can even be used for roasting vegetables. While the vegetables will be more flavorful, they definitely won’t be as healthy. If you are counting calories, you can use ground beef grease to make candles, but it’s doubtful that you’d want your home to smell like a hamburger.

Ground grease can be reused for things like frying potatoes or caramelizing onions.
Ground beef grease can be reused for things like frying potatoes or caramelizing onions.

Frequently Asked Questions to Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For You?

How Do You Get Grease Out of Ground Beef Without a Strainer?

If you don’t have a strainer, you can alternatively drain the ground beef by removing the grease with a spoon or turkey baster. You can also lay your fried foods on paper towels to absorb the grease and make after-dinner clean-up easier.

Can You Cook the Grease Out of Ground Beef?

Although you can’t cook away ground beef grease, you can remove it by rinsing the meat. To do this, place the cooked ground beef in a strainer and pour hot water over it. Just don’t ever drain the grease into your sink.

What Should You Do with Ground Beef Grease?

You should pour the grease into an old soup can or bowl, place it in the freezer, and throw it out once it’s cooled. Alternatively, you can always just pour it out outside. Or you can always save it and use it in future dishes.

Conclusion to Is Ground Beef Grease Bad For You?

Ground beef grease is almost completely composed of fats, so it’s not wise to consume it if you are health conscious or counting calories. An occasional hamburger won’t kill you, but if you eat greasy ground beef on a regular basis, it could clog your arteries and contribute to serious health problems including heart disease.

But let’s face it. Ground beef grease brings out the flavor of the burger and can even be used in the preparation of other meals. Even so, poultry and seafood are healthier options. Ground beef should just be an occasional treat- especially if it contains grease.

Author Bio

Daniel Iseli (Head Chef)

Hi, my name is Daniel and I am passionate about cooking. I have been cooking for the past 20 years and am happy to share my best recipes and cooking-related knowledge with you.