March 27, 2014

Kitchen Tip: Draining Ground Beef (Power Cooking)

Aug25

Power Cooking, Cooking in Bulk, Freezer cooking are all synonymous with quick and easy techniques that I use to help get dinner on the table with less stress and less mess. Draining ground beef is one of them.

When I shared my Power Cooking video with you, I realized that there are so many “behind the scenes” tips and tricks that
I intrinsically do without thinking about them, yet just one of those kitchen tips may revolutionize the way you think about food preparation.

So, I am not going to worry about whether it seems “too easy.” I am just going to share them bit by bit and maybe just one of you will find it helpful.

When I cook ground beef, the one thing that simply makes sense is to cook up large quantities at one time. Frying up ten pounds of meat at one time only takes seconds more than cooking up only one pound at time. Yet, when I cook ground beef, the worst thing for me is spooning out all the excess grease, and in large amounts, it takes time and is so tedious.

To avoid that dilemma with large quantities,  place a colander over another bowl. On top of the bottom bowl I lay some tin foil on top of a grocery bag to help catch the grease mess. When I am done frying the beef, I let the meat cool for just a few minutes, and then I dump the beef in the top colander and let the draining do it’s magic. The grease all drains into the plastic bag/bowl, and then I can easily tie the top of the bag and throw it away. Yes, draining ground beef is a wonder tip. ;)

What could be easier?

You are then left with perfectly de-greased meat to add to your many freezer containers for quick and easy preplanned Power Meal preparation.

For those really watching fat content, if you want to take the de-greasing process a step further, I have even rinsed the cooked meat while it’s in the colander. It removes any excess fat, for very lean beef.

(P.S. Make sure you remove that plastic bag first if you attempt this tip.;)

Hopefully, this will help just one of you tackle some Power Cooking ideas with Ground Beef this week.


Comments

  1. So… I noticed this morning that all of my wordpress subscriptions are gone. Ack! This makes me sad because in the past week, I haven’t been notified of any of your posts! I added you back to my google reader until I can figure all of this mess out, but now it’s time to catch up on your great posts!

    ~Kristi

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  2. I have rinsed with hot water and drained grease/water mixture into another bowl for years. I do not use a plastic bag, though. I find a place in the dirt in the back yard and gently dump the contents.

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    Friend Reply:

    @Kimery, I don’t think you want to keep up the practice of putting used fat in your yard. That’s not a good practice since 1) it will attract bugs and rodents and 2) it will not add any amendments your soil needs.

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  3. Love this idea! Especially if you use an old bag you were going to throw away anyway. Thanks so much for the tip!

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  4. What a great tip! Thanks!

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  5. Whoa – just one example of seeing your mom do something and assuming it’s just what people always do! I don’t think I’ve ever not drained my beef once browned – and yes, I rinse it too!

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    Courtney Reply:

    @Mrs. Jen B,
    Same here – it’s just the way we’ve always done it! Great idea to share though!

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  6. melissa c says:

    I learned about rinsing beef from a blog not long ago, yet never thought to drain the beef in the colander beforehand! The old spoon method will no longer be done around this house for large quantities of meat….thanks for passing along the ‘simple’ idea :)

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  7. I had to cook a huge quantity of ground beef at my church for a big group there and the kitchen lady there gave me a tip I never would have thought of and was hesitant to try, however, it turned out great! You boil the meat. I know it sounds crazy. You put the meat in a large pot and cover with water and add minced onion and turn it on to boil. You make sure you break it all up and stir it around every once in a while. You will know it’s done when it’s not pink anymore and it just looks done. You then just drain it in a colander and there is no grease on the meat. It’s SO easy and it’s SO much faster than browning meat and there is no grease smell either!!

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  8. Thank you for sharing this! I do cook a bunch of meat at one time and freeze, and I do dislike dealing with the spooning of the grease! I am totally going to use this tip! Please share more! :-)

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  9. Thank you so much for this tip! Is there a place that you have your power cooking recipes? I looked at the recipes tab but I didn’t see the “Southwest Chicken” or any of the other meat recipes you shared at the Becoming Conference to do ahead of time and freeze.It was just going too fast to write it all down! LOL! I love the muffins and pancake bulk recipes though and will definitely try them out!

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    Jen Reply:

    I am slowly working on getting those all up. I have about 20 of them, but hate putting up recipe posts without my own photos in, so it means making them all….BUT, that may just not work out. :)

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    Kristy S Reply:

    @Jen,
    Yay! I can’t wait to start putting some in the freezer! I did a mini power cooking session yesterday. I felt so good at what I had accomplished and the time that I have saved for upcoming meals!
    Thanks so much for all you do, Jen! Love it!

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    Elizabeth @ Ready. Set. Simplify. Reply:

    @Jen,
    Oooo! I can’t wait! I totally understand wanting your own photos, but if you wanted to get them up faster, maybe you would consider sending some of the recipes to some other bloggers to make & take photos to send you. Just a thought. I would do it! :-) Thanks for all you do. I’m really enjoying your blog.

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  10. I am a vegetarian (have been since I was 13) so I never learned how to make meaty dishes. My husband and kids eat meat, so I am trying to find easy recipes and ways of cooking beef and chicken for them. How do you thaw/use the beef when you take it back out of the freezer? Thanks for the tips!

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  11. This is a great idea! I do drain browned ground beef, but always did it over a small bowl, and then had to figure out what to do with that – usually emptied into a can and thrown in the garbage. This is a much easier system, and I will use it. Thanks for sharing it, and please don’t worry if your tips are too easy, there are lots of us who will use them!!

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  12. I have also always drained my ground meat with a colander. It’s a hands free way of accomplishing one task while working on chopping vegetables for the next stage of a recipe. However, the bag in the bowl was a new concept for me. Love that idea. Thanks for sharing it.

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  13. What an awesome tip!!!! I usually and painstakenly drain small quantities of ground meat with a slotted spoon and then discard of the grease in a can which I place in the trash. Making sloppy joes for dinner tonight. I cant wait to try it out!!! THX!!!

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  14. This is the exact method I use. It is such a time saver! But now I’m inspired to cook more in bulk!

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  15. cassandra says:

    reading some of these replies saddnes me that people never heard of using a strainer… i learned to cook at a young age and taught myself and even i have been doing that. ive never used a bag for easy cleaning which is a good idea and healthier for my drain.. but what breaks my heart the most is that most people dont really know how to cook anymore its so much easier to get prepared boxs or fast food…

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  16. I have never heard of rinsing the meat to lower the fat. I just Googled it and this article http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_files/reducing%20fat%20in%20ground%20beef.pdf
    tells you if you cook the ground beef in a pan, drain and then rinse, you can take 70/30 meat that has 30 grams of fat down to 4 grams of fat!!!! This is going to save me a fortune! Thank you!

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    Jen Reply:

    Wow, thanks for doing the research for me. I have just been doing that for years because it made sense, but didn’t know the “science” behind it. YAY! So glad that will help.

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Trackbacks

  1. [...] researching another topic, I ran across another solution to the same problem of Draining Ground Beef. This one uses the plastic bags from the grocery store to collect the fat. When I tried it I had to [...]

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