So last month I was getting ready to throw together some dishes with ground beef in them, and musing out loud about "hmm, I wonder how much fat is still there after I brown and drain it". My daughter, who had a science fair project due about 12 hours later and hadn't started it yet—she's about as good at "planning ahead" as I am—was like, "well duh, dad, you should just measure it and find out."
Duh. And, two birds, one stone. Not bad.
Conveniently, I happened to have 1-lb packs of 20%, 15%, and 4% ground beef on hand (from Trader Joe's, if anyone is keeping score at home).
So, like a boss, I used the science fair as an excuse to sit back and play iphone games while she did all the cooking and measuring.
Here's a quick summary of the procedure:
* We have a digital food scale, accurate to the nearest gram.
* Weighed out the raw beef for each sample (full package, empty package, subtract).**
* Browned the beef (in its own juices, no oil).
* Drained the beef and captured the tallow. Assumed the runoff was 100% fat (cause everything else evaporates).
* Weighed out the tallow.
* Weighed out the pan after cooking and subtracted out the weight of the empty pan (to account for extra fat that stuck to the pan and was thus also removed from the original).
Here are the basic results. If anyone wants the actual data tables, PM me. Because, well, it's a science project, so there are data tables.
Starting macros: 23g fat per 4 oz raw
Drained + left in pan 15.4g fat per 4 oz raw
Ending macros: 8g fat per 4 oz raw (actually about 7.6, but rounded up)
Starting macros: 17g fat per 4 oz raw
Drained + left in pan 10.1g fat per 4 oz raw
Ending macros: 7g fat per 4 oz raw
Starting macros: 4g fat per 4 oz raw
Drained + left in pan 0.4g fat per 4 oz raw
Ending macros: 4g fat per 4 oz raw
She thought about rinsing it, but (a) who the heck wants to do that, and (b) there would be no simple way to measure the results of that.So yeah, there it is.
Basically, here's the deal in a nutshell:
* If you buy "medium" (85/15) ground beef, you're a spendthrift. Just buy the fatty stuff.
* The 96/4 beef only has half as much fat after cooking, and it also has another gram of protein per raw ounce. But honestly people, the difference is so small that only pre-contest people should care. And, you (dudes) want to be eating that kind of animal fat anyway, to keep your androgenic hormones high.Yay last-minute projects.
**Amazingly enough, we found that Trader Joe's consistently OVER-packs its ground beef packages... the ones marked as "1.00 lb" (aka 453 grams) consistently had between 465 and 470 grams of beef in them. That's about 4% overage, which means TJ's is losing about 10-15 cents of revenue per package.