4 Ways to Drain the Grease From Ground Beef

From paper towels to a turkey baster.

Ground beef is a key ingredient for making meatballs, casseroles, patties, tacos, meatloaves, sauces, and more. Many people may choose leaner varieties over regular ground beef to remove the fat, but leaner ground beef can be pricier than the regular varieties. Here are four easy ways to drain the fat as you brown ground beef:

Why Drain Ground Beef?

Ground beef is typically made from the less tender cuts of meat, according to the USDA. The grinding process tenderizes the meat, improving its flavor and keeping it moist.

The heat from the cooking process melts the white marbling on raw ground beef into a translucent liquid fat (a.k.a. grease).

Many people may choose to drain the fat to reduce the beef’s fat content, while others just prefer a less greasy mouthfeel. Don't worry about your meat lacking flavor—you will likely add herbs, spices, and other ingredients to bring out the beef’s natural flavor.

<p>Dotdash Meredith Food Studios</p>

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

Best Ways to Drain Ground Beef

Use Paper Towels

As you brown your ground beef, angle the pan slightly and use a paper towel to soak up the fat from the pan or skillet. To keep your hand from the heat, use a pair of tongs to move the paper towel around and push the paper towel. You can also use the tongs to push the paper towel inward to soak up the grease from the ground beef.

Dispose of the soaked paper towel, then repeat this process until the desired amount of grease is removed from the pan or the skillet.

Stainless Steel Strainer

Once the ground beef is cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, place a stainless steel strainer on top of a wide ceramic, glass, or stainless steel bowl. Transfer the beef to the strainer and allow the bowl to catch the excess grease.


Push the cooked ground beef to one side of the pan or skillet, then tilt the pan slightly to allow the grease to pool together. Use a spoon to remove the grease from the pan and spoon it into a ceramic, glass, or stainless steel bowl.

Turkey Baster

To use a turkey baster to remove the excess grease, scoot the cooked ground beef to one part of the pan or skillet and angle it to collect the grease on the other side. Use the baster to siphon the into a separate container or into the trash can.

Read the original article on All Recipes.