How to Drain Hamburger Meat (3 Easy Methods)

Are you cooking hamburger meat, but aren’t sure how to drain it? Don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place!

In this article you will discover:

  • How to drain hamburger meat
  • What to do with the grease from the ground beef after you drain it
  • And much more

What You Should Know About Draining Hamburger Meat

If you have ever prepared hamburger meat before then you know how much grease is accumulated once it is finished. Draining it off is a necessary part of ensuring that you are serving meat that is healthy and free of added fat.

There are several ways that you can go about draining the hamburger meat once you have browned it in a skillet. Many of these ways include using a spoon, a colander, or even a turkey baster to rid your pan of excess grease caused by the hamburger meat.

Whatever method you use depends entirely on what supplies you have on hand and your preferred method. Keep in mind that it is never a good idea to pour the grease directly down your sink’s drain since this can cause a clog.

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What Supplies You Need to Drain Hamburger Meat

The supplies you will need to drain your hamburger meat will depend entirely on what method you choose to use. For most people, trying various methods can help you to decide which works best for your situation.

Since most people have spoons on hand which can work to get rid of the excess grease from your skillet easily. While having other supplies is optional, it is important to note that there are easier methods that can be used.

Here are some of the supplies you may need to drain your hamburger meat. Keep in mind that you may not need all of the supplies listed, just the ones with your chosen method.

  • Skillet to cook the hamburger meat in
  • Large spoon
  • Colander (optional)
  • Turkey baster (optional)
  • A small bowl or can to put the grease in
  • Paper towels
ground beef in the fridge fact

How to Drain Hamburger Meat

As previously mentioned, the steps you take to drain your hamburger from the skillet will depend on your personal preference. Just remember that you need to avoid draining it directly into your sink’s drain.

Wondering about some of the most common methods to drain your hamburger meat? Read on to learn more.

Method #1: Spoon Method

Using a spoon to drain the hamburger meat grease is a method that many people choose whether they have other supplies or not. This is mostly because it is a relatively inexpensive and easy method to use.

After browning the meat in a skillet, you will notice that excess grease has stayed in the pan. This is a normal after-effect of cooking hamburger meat since it contains various levels of fat that are removed during the cooking process.

Once it has browned completely, you can then remove it from the heat and begin the process of draining it with your spoon. Make sure that you have a container handy before you begin to remove the grease.

Carefully tilt the pan to one side while pushing the hamburger meat to the other side while pressing it to remove any more excess grease. Using a spoon, gently begin to scoop out the grease putting it into a small bowl or can.

At this point, you can use a paper towel to dab the pan to ensure that the rest of the grease has been removed. 

Allow the grease to cool completely and solidify before finally scraping it into your trash can. Remember that if the grease is still hot, it can burn a hole in your plastic trash bag and create a large mess for you to clean up.

Method #2: Colander Method

If you happen to own a colander, this may be a much easier method to use than spooning the grease out slowly. This is because using this method means that you can do it all at once and have the job done faster.

After you have browned your hamburger meat and broken it up to your desired consistency, you need to ensure that you have the proper supplies ready to go. Of course, you will need a colander and a ceramic or glass bowl for the grease to drain into.

With your supplies ready to go, all you need to do is carefully pour your hamburger meat into the colander that is sitting on top of a glass or ceramic bowl. Using a spoon you can move your hamburger meat around to ensure all the grease is removed.

As a word of caution, you will need to make sure that the bowl underneath is not made of plastic. This is because the hot grease will melt the plastic then you will have a huge mess on your hands and risk burning yourself.

Once the hamburger meat has been drained completely, you can then take a paper towel and dab any excess grease from the pan. After this, you can add your meat back to the pan to continue cooking your desired dish.

You can now either leave the bowl of grease at room temperature to solidify or to hurry the process along, you can place it in the refrigerator. Once the grease has solidified, you can scoop it out and toss it in the trash can.

Method #3: Turkey Baster Method

As an alternative method, you can always use a turkey baster to remove excess grease from your pan after browning hamburger meat. Like the spoon method, this can be done easily and is effective if you do not own a colander.

After you have browned your hamburger meat and broken it up to the desired size, you can simply carefully tilt the pan to one side. As you tilt the pan, you will need to push the cooked hamburger meat to the other side while using a turkey baster to suck the grease from the pan.

While this method is not fast, it can be effective in removing the majority of the excess grease that is left over from the cooking process. After you have removed as much grease as possible, you can take a paper towel and soak up the remaining grease.

Remember that you will need to be putting the grease in a glass container or a can instead of a plastic container. Allow it to cool completely before tossing the grease into your trash can to dispose of it.

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What Should You Do With the Grease from Draining Hamburger Meat?

While draining the grease is an important step in ensuring that you are not consuming too much of the fat, disposing of it properly is also vital. Knowing what to do with the grease after draining it from your hamburger meat will help you to prevent further messes down the road.

As previously mentioned, you mustn’t pour hot grease down the drain of your sink. This can wreak havoc on your pipes and cause them to become clogged initially and build up causing long-term problems.

The best way to dispose of the grease left over after you brown your hamburger meat is to make sure that it is completely cooled and solidified. Once you have made sure of this, you can safely toss it into the trash can without having to worry about it leaking if the bag rips.

Keep in mind that grease that sits for too long can begin to smell, so it is recommended that you take the trash out as soon as possible.

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How Long Does it Take For the Grease to Cool Down Before You Can Toss It?

When it comes to the grease that is removed from your hamburger meat, the time it takes to cool completely can vary. In most cases, it depends on the method you choose to cool it down including placing it in the refrigerator or leaving it on the kitchen counter.

If you leave the leftover grease in a container on your counter, you will need to know that it will take quite a while for the grease to cool completely. In most cases, this is about a 20-30 minute process which is complete when it has solidified.

Placing the leftover grease in the refrigerator speeds up the process since the hot grease reacts to the cold environment. In most cases, the grease placed in the refrigerator or even the freezer typically will solidify in about 10-15 minutes.

Once the grease has solidified and is completely cooled down, you can then feel free to toss it in your trash container. As stated before, you will want to take the trash out shortly after to prevent the grease from smelling.

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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