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Pouring Off Burger Fat

by (364)
Updated about 14 hours ago
Created April 18, 2012 at 9:23 PM

A few people here are probably going to point out everything wrong with my situation here, but I'm really just asking for a little insight on one specific issue.

I'm a college student in a dorm, on a meal plan, I only have a mini-fridge/freezer and a microwave, and I've found that an easy source of protein is Great Value 85/15 frozen pure beef patties. I can microwave them very easily, they don't take up a lot of room, and they supplement my meal plan nicely.

When I microwave the patties, the fat/grease ends up pooling in the bottom of the bowl. Since they're obviously CAFO beef, I don't want to consume that stuff. So I pour off the liquid fat twice (after 2 and 3 minutes) and rinse it with water to get the extra dangling bits.

My question: the patty originally had 17 grams fat and 240 calories, so how does pouring off that liquid fat impact the nutritional profile? Its obviously going to be leaner, but can anyone estimate what I'm left with? I know its difficult to estimate without knowing what volume of fat I'm pouring off, but can anyone give it a shot?

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3043 · April 23, 2012 at 1:43 AM

I haven't looked for tallow in stores, but from my farmer it was $2 for 8 oz. beef people at armrest markets might have some, and some butchers might sell cheap fat for rendering (which can be rendered in a small crockpot.)

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Compared to the shit they serve in the dining halls, a plain CAFO burgers is definitely my best option.

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I've never heard of a college student who can either afford or find tallow haha. But I understand your point. Thanks!

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

bill - I don't know, and I don't think you know, what you're talking about regarding "energy". I'm trying to get protein and calories and simply replacing ground beef with sweet potatoes or rice doesn't make sense. I'm already eating sweet potatoes, quinoa, and rice pasta in small amounts.

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8879 · April 20, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Didn't say they were. You seemed worried over lost fat calories and live in a dorm. So I offered something many think to be pure junk but are actually a pretty darned good compromise. You eat crap burger meat after all, right? Ha ha.

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652 · April 19, 2012 at 1:24 PM

That's really weird Nance. I have 85/15 as well from multiple sources and the liquid appears to be almost all fat. If I just pour everything into a dish and put it in the fridge it hardens into a milky white solid.

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2178 · April 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I think the OP knows all of that - the question is what is the nutritional data of the patties minus the fat he pours off.

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364 · April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM

Instant mashed potatoes aren't the same as beef, in any way haha. I do well with tuna, sweet potato, a little quinoa.

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37187 · April 18, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I forgot to say what I do! Unless I'm making burgers, in which case I craftily perforate them partway with a fork and pour liquid on them, I crumble the ground beef and stir the water/fat back in. With CAFO ground beef, though, I'd probably discard it and mix it with some melted butter or grassfed tallow.

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37187 · April 18, 2012 at 10:30 PM

@Evelyn, my grassfed ground beef is 85/15 and nearly all the liquid is water. If I had any fat I'd pour it back on.:-))

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8879 · April 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I'm a big fan of instant mashed potatoes. They are just freeze dried flakes so while not paleo, very dorm friendly. I'd second Nance's suggestion that some of the concerns over CAFO fat are exaggerated. If it's between malnutrition vs. CAFO fat, I'd go with the latter. I too have thrived on it.

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364 · April 18, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Oh, and coconut milk smoothies. :)

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364 · April 18, 2012 at 9:41 PM

The grease is pretty disgusting, and since it naturally separates out of the beef when I cook it, my only option to consume it (if I so choose) is to slurp it. That's nasty. You're right about the water though, since the patties are frozen. But I can tell by looking at the runoff that there is a lot of fat there. But yes, I do have coconut oil, butter, olive oil, avocado, fish oil, walnuts, and almonds in my diet. I'm still eating a high fat diet, just not from these CAFO burgers.

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364 · April 18, 2012 at 9:39 PM

My issue is that I was undereating for several months (to the detriment of my testosterone and thyroid) and so I'm back to counting calories just to get enough food to sustain my workout routine. I'm not being completely meticulous about it, but I like to have a general ballpark estimate. Depending on how many burgers I eat per day or per week, and how much of an impact draining the fat has, we could be talking thousands of calories over time that I'm either overeating or undereating.

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8879 · April 18, 2012 at 9:32 PM

I dunno Nance, I usually get 80% ground beef, admittedly a bit fattier, but get quite a bit of grease with it.

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37187 · April 18, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Part or much of the liquid could be water, since you're starting with a relatively low-fat product. Are you adding butter or some other good fat to replace what you're discarding? Although I buy grassfed ground beef, I've eaten a lot of CAFO fat in the last year from cuts of beef and have to say I've thrived on it so it's better than low-fat.

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5 Answers

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8879 · April 18, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Yeah, you could measure the fat (so long as it doesn't also contain watery liquid) and or weigh the patty before and after. Are you counting calories? If not, I wouldn't bother worrying. The protein is there and unless you're losing weight and need more calories in your diet it's not an issue.

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364 · April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM

Instant mashed potatoes aren't the same as beef, in any way haha. I do well with tuna, sweet potato, a little quinoa.

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364 · April 18, 2012 at 9:39 PM

My issue is that I was undereating for several months (to the detriment of my testosterone and thyroid) and so I'm back to counting calories just to get enough food to sustain my workout routine. I'm not being completely meticulous about it, but I like to have a general ballpark estimate. Depending on how many burgers I eat per day or per week, and how much of an impact draining the fat has, we could be talking thousands of calories over time that I'm either overeating or undereating.

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8879 · April 18, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I'm a big fan of instant mashed potatoes. They are just freeze dried flakes so while not paleo, very dorm friendly. I'd second Nance's suggestion that some of the concerns over CAFO fat are exaggerated. If it's between malnutrition vs. CAFO fat, I'd go with the latter. I too have thrived on it.

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8879 · April 20, 2012 at 1:33 AM

Didn't say they were. You seemed worried over lost fat calories and live in a dorm. So I offered something many think to be pure junk but are actually a pretty darned good compromise. You eat crap burger meat after all, right? Ha ha.

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1299 · April 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

CAFO beef fat isn't quite ideal compared to grass fed, but it's probably better than whatever else you're filling up with. The PUFA ratio doesn't matter so much because all beef is low in PUFA and you can easily balance that out by eating fish occasionally.

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Compared to the shit they serve in the dining halls, a plain CAFO burgers is definitely my best option.

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3043 · April 19, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Rinsing ground beef has been a way to reduce fat, but it appears that cooking it can reduce it as well.

http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_files/reducing%20fat%20in%20ground%20beef.pdf

I would reduce the fat by halfish, but would probably replace the grease with tallow or butter, so calories should remain about the same.

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I've never heard of a college student who can either afford or find tallow haha. But I understand your point. Thanks!

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3043 · April 23, 2012 at 1:43 AM

I haven't looked for tallow in stores, but from my farmer it was $2 for 8 oz. beef people at armrest markets might have some, and some butchers might sell cheap fat for rendering (which can be rendered in a small crockpot.)

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6719 · April 19, 2012 at 11:40 AM

"Great Value" frozen beef patties are from Grain fed cows. The fat you have the option of pouring off is of VERY LITTLE VALUE to you. First, its O3/O6 is reversed from what grass fed is. And, if you are eating either 'safe starches' such as rice AND/OR potatoes then you do not NEED any 'energy' from such a source. Unless you are <10% BF throw it out and let your body burn some of your fat instead.

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2178 · April 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I think the OP knows all of that - the question is what is the nutritional data of the patties minus the fat he pours off.

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364 · April 22, 2012 at 3:24 PM

bill - I don't know, and I don't think you know, what you're talking about regarding "energy". I'm trying to get protein and calories and simply replacing ground beef with sweet potatoes or rice doesn't make sense. I'm already eating sweet potatoes, quinoa, and rice pasta in small amounts.

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12540 · April 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM

My recommendation, after some judicious fiddling here in my kitchen is to consider the calories to be whatever is listed for an 85/15 burger, if you are draining the patties after cooking. The reason I suggest this is because it is expected that these patties will be grilled or prepared on a flat-grill most of the time, therefore, that fat that you're draining off would be lost to the grill anyway -- and you'd still have a slightly higher fat ratio that remains in the meat.

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