Sep 25, 2009

Making Cheap Ground Beef Leaner

I got a great buy the other day on ground beef at Giant Eagle, but it was the fattiest ground beef they sell.  I decided to brown up one of the value packs and freeze it for my later convenience, but I was a bit concerned about just how fatty it was.  Then inspiration STRUCK!  And I remembered a blurb I had read in Amy Dacyzyn's Tightwad Gazette II about making ground beef leaner.  So here we go....

First, I crumbled up the ground beef with some chopped onions and green peppers and browned the meat.

  Afterwards, just how much FAT was present was only too obvious.  Drain the meat well, then layer 3 paper towels in a dish and pour the meat on top.  Then blot the top of the beef and allow the oil to soak into the paper towels, like so:



Next, pour the meat back into your colander and using the sprayer nozzle or a small stream from the faucet, rinse the meat with warm water.  About a quart of water per pound should be sufficient. 



The numbers, according to the Tighwad Gazette II, are pretty impressive, and I quote, "A 3 oz. cooked portion of 70% lean ground beef has 18 grams of fat when fried in the form of a patty. But the same portion, fried into crumbles and then blotted and rinsed, has just 6.1 grams of fat."  So the fat reduction is 66% greater when following this method.

I used to wonder if buying lean ground beef were a savings, because you literally are throwing away nearly 30% of what you buy if you buy the fattiest ground beef.  But I came to look at it this way.  The grocer knows that the leaner the portion, the more they can charge.  A value pack of 73% lean ground beef at my store is $1.69/lb. regular price.  A similar pack of  85% lean ground beef is $2.59/lb. regular price.  If I could somehow magically remove all of the fat, the theoretical remainder would be .73 lb and .85 lb of pure beef, respectively.  If I divide the price paid by the pure beef weight, I will come up with the actual price of the beef once the fat is gone.


My net price for the meat (minus the fat) is $2.32 for the 73% lean ground beef and $3.05 for the 85% lean ground beef.   So go forth, and buy the fat with confidence!


2 lovely comments:

The Hagans said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow! I had to read that a little too slowly. I guess I have been out of Mr. Kelso's math classes for too long!!! :)

content2be said... Best Blogger Tips

I've forgotten more than I care to remember about all those years of math we took together. I'm amazed how rusty I am when it comes to math. Thank the Lord for calculators! I couldn't believe how many typing errors I made in this post. I tried to fix them all, but I must have been in a hurry!