Should You Rinse Ground Beef? Here’s the Final Verdict

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Ground beef is a staple ingredient in many kitchens across America, with millions of recipes using it as a base for a variety of dishes. However, there seems to be a growing controversy among cooks and food enthusiasts regarding whether or not to rinse ground beef after browning it. While some argue that rinsing helps to remove excess fat and impurities, others maintain that it strips the meat of its flavor and may even compromise food safety.

Also read: 9 Keys to Build a Healthy Lifestyle

Should You Rinse Ground Beef?
BWFolsom via


To get to the bottom of this ongoing debate, the BHG team of culinary experts and the Better Homes & Gardens Test Kitchen director, Lynn Blanchard, had something to say about it. 

The verdict? Don’t rinse your ground beef! According to Blanchard, doing so would remove the rendered fat that imparts the meat with its flavor.

In addition to the loss of flavor, rinsing ground beef can also cause potential damage to your sink and plumbing. Once the hot grease cools, it hardens and can clog your drains. Therefore, it’s essential to dispose of any excess fat properly, preferably by placing a colander over a bowl large enough to hold it and transferring the ground beef to the colander. This allows the extra grease to drip off the meat and into the bowl. After that, let the strained grease harden, then dispose of it in the trash.

If you’re looking to consume less fat or notice excessive grease pooling in your pan, there are better options than rinsing ground beef. For example, you can purchase leaner ground beef, which will naturally emit less grease, or drain the beef using a colander or paper towel.

If you prefer to drain the beef, simply use a colander over a bowl and easily transfer your ground beef. This will enable any extra fat or juice from the meat to drop into the bowl below it. Once you’ve drained the grease, let it cool and harden, then dispose of it in the trash. If you don’t have a colander, no problem! You can easily substitute it with a plate or tray that is lined with two separate layers of paper towels. After the cooked ground beef has been transferred to the paper towel-covered dish, simply pat and blot away any additional grease until the surface appears dry.

 After that, return the beef to the pan, and discard the paper towels.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to reduce your fat intake, you can opt to purchase leaner ground beef, which will emit less grease naturally. The Test Kitchen tests recipes calling for “ground beef” using 85% lean ground beef, “lean ground beef” using 90% lean ground beef, and “extra-lean ground beef” using 93% to 95% lean ground beef.

It’s also worth noting that you should never rinse raw ground beef before cooking it. Not only is it unnecessary, but it can also spread harmful bacteria on your kitchen surfaces. The USDA and food safety experts recommend against it, and it’s best to avoid the practice altogether.

In summary, rinsing ground beef is unnecessary, and it can also be harmful to the flavor of your dish and the health of your plumbing. 

If you’re looking to reduce the amount of fat in your recipe, you can either purchase leaner ground beef or drain the beef using colander or paper towels. Both options are far better than rinsing your ground beef.

Ultimately, cooking is all about personal preference, and the choice to rinse or not rinse ground beef ultimately comes down to individual taste.

However, if you’re looking to create the most flavorful and delicious dishes, it’s best to follow the advice of food experts and avoid rinsing your ground beef altogether. By doing so, you’ll be able to create a more delicious and healthier meal for yourself and your family.


  • Olu

    My name is Olu. I am a passionate entrepreneur who loves to write about Pets, Home Improvement Hacks & Products, Fitness, and Travel Lifestyle. I have two bachelor's degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Applied Accounting with a CPA designation. I currently shuffle time between completing a Master of Business Administration Degree Education, Professional Practice, and Content writing. I have freelanced lifestyle content and posts for many top authority websites like MSN, and Wealth of Geeks.

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