Should You Rinse Ground Beef?

You might want to rethink trying this viral trend

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Not gonna lie: When I see someone rinse ground beef in the sink, I gag a little. Though I’ve seen a few people commit this kitchen heresy in private, the first time I saw someone publicly rinsing beef under the sink—and calling it a “hack”—was in this TikTok video a couple of years ago. TikTok user Emily Harper purports to show a trick she learned in nutrition class, noting in the video, “All this grease is disgusting. So get rid of it!” She then puts her cooked ground beef in a strainer and runs it under the sink faucet, washing away the grease and putting the dry meat back in the pan.

Unsurprisingly, the internet lost its mind in outrage and it went viral for all the wrong reasons. “That video of someone rinsing their ground beef is going to ruin my week,” tweeted one person. “Who rinses off ground meat!” exclaimed another TikToker in a duet. There were so many negative comments on the video that Harper had to turn them off.

@eemilydharperr Another kitchen tip for you 😊 #ThinkingAbout #HouseTour #cooking #fyp #foryou #viral #kitchentip ♬ Spongebob Tomfoolery – Dante9k Remix – David Snell

Should You Rinse Ground Beef?

The short answer is no. First of all, that “grease” is rendered fat, which is what gives the delicious flavor to your ground beef. While it’s fine to get rid of some excess grease, you always want to keep some of it in the pan. If you rinse away all the grease, you’re literally rinsing away flavor, and your beef will end up dry. Find out if draining and rinsing meat reduces the fat content.

Secondly, pouring that grease down the sink is terrible for your pipes. Yes, the grease is in a liquid form when you pour it from the pan, but as soon as it cools, it’s going to gum up and potentially block your pipes. The fats from grease bond together with other discarded fats and chemicals to create blockages. These can cause serious problems in the sewer system and lead to backups in your neighborhood. Even a teaspoon of grease down the drain now and then can add up. You should always dispose of grease and cooking oil the right way (for instance, by letting it cool in a container first and then tossing the container) without putting it down the sink. Find out if you should wash your food before cooking.

How to Drain Grease from Ground Beef

First of all, don’t deal with hot grease–wait until it cools. Next, you need to pour it into a disposable container, such as a yogurt or sour cream container or an old can. You can also use a plastic bag that has some debris such as used paper towels or vegetable peels that can help soak it up. Another option is to install a disposable grease trap in your sink drain. Finally, you can always save meat or bacon grease to use for cooking later, like grandma did.

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