Emily’s stupid question of the day

This might go down in history as the dumbest Mommin’ It Up post ever (and seriously, that’s saying something) but I have a VERY REAL quandary that’s plagued me for years and I need your help.

How do you drain the grease when you brown hamburger?

See? I told you it was stupid.

But I am completely serious here! Last Friday I made a quadruple batch of chili for a school event, which required browning eight pounds of hamburger. I cooked two pounds at a time, and it required both me and Andy to drain the grease each time. Our method was to attempt to hold the skillet up and rotate it just enough for the grease to come out. We aimed for the grease to flow into a glass jar.

Needless to say, we had a giant mess on our hands. And we spilled a lot of hamburger. And Andy almost caught his sleeve on fire. Four times.

There has to be a trick to this. Clue me in, people!

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  1. Linda Stewart says:

    I use a bowl type strainer with small holes and just pour the meat into it then stir it around a bit. All the grease drains out and I can toss the cooked meat back into the pan. It also gives you a chance to wipe the excess grease out of the pan as well.

  2. Drain it in a colander, makes it so much easier.

  3. What Amy said! Love you!

  4. Yep I use the colander too. Last night as a matter of fact. Easy-Peasy!

  5. Marcie Schwieterman says:

    Use a strainer. But this is coming from someone that has second degree burns on her arm from boiling water.


  6. Use a strainer ๐Ÿ˜‰ Easy Peasy with no Greasy ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Tilt the skillet & use a turkey baster to slurp the fat out ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I use a turkey baster and suck it out while leaning the pan up to one side.

  9. I use a colander sitting over a jar or can etc, and line the colander with some paper towels for extra grease removal

  10. oooh, turkey baster – good idea!

  11. I usually soak it up with paper towels. My mom has a strainer that goes over the top of the pot and makes fat draining significantly easier.

  12. I place the lid of the pan over the pan but leave a little gap. Then, with both hands on either side (gripping the pan & lid), tilt the pan so the grease can drain out into a jar or can. The lid keeps the hamburg from coming out. You may lose a tiny bit of hamburg, but nothing really noticeable.

  13. If there isn’t a whole lot, I just tilt the pan a bit and use paper towels to soak it all out. With lots of grease, I do what Terri said! (Not a stupid question, though – took me a while to learn these tricks!)

  14. Line a large bowl with foil, making sure to overlap the sides. Place a colander in the bowl, and then (carefully!) drain the grease. Once the grease hardens just throw away the foil. It makes cleanup a breeze ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I prop my skillet up onto 2 trivets to get the grease to one side, while smooshing (that’s a technical term) the burger over to the “high” side. Then I use a big spoon to dip out the grease. I put it into a red Solo cup (can’t type it without singing!) that I then place in the refrigerator. I keep it in the refrigerator, adding grease whenever I brown hamburger, and when the cup is full/hardened, I throw it out! Hope this helps!

  16. I use that Pampered Chef drainer too, but I have a hard time holding on to it and the pan at the same time. Sometimes I scoop the hamburger out of the pan with a metal slotted spoon then pour the grease in the jar (which I keep in the freezer until it’s full). Or just buy 90% lean ground beef and don’t drain it.

  17. I usually just use a large tablespoon and spoon it out and put in in an empty can

  18. I am seriously on the verge of barfing –
    I use a colander and try not to think about what I am doing

  19. Dan (Em's dad) says:

    Next time you have a question on this level of difficulty, call me.

  20. I’m with Jamie. Lining a bowl with foil literally changed my hamburger draining life! Place a colander over it and tada, you’re done. Such easy clean up!

  21. I usually ring for the housekeeper.


  22. I use the baster while tilting it to one side. I have a glass jar to contain it, but since some grease always drips out at one point, I have the jar right under the lip of my pan. I knew I had to save those baby food jars for something!

  23. I learned something new! I thought everyone drained it the same way, lol. I personally do the pan lid method – hold the lid slightly tilted into the pan, and then drain into a jar in the sink (for any spills). Although one day I may get those pampered chef strainers.

  24. I didn’t read all the comments, but I put a strainer in the sink, and put a wal-mart plastic bag underneath to catch the grease (grease will clog your sink, I know from experience!). Then just throw the plastic bag away.

  25. Are you draining grease or water? Depends on the kind of meat you’re browning. We raise our own beef (and sell it locally as well). The grassfed beef we eat is about 85/15 but has virtually no water or grease to drain. The little bit of grease that is left behind usually just gets left in the pan – it adds some flavor and because it’s grassfed, it’s high in Omega 3, the good fat. =)

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