Draining fat off hamburger - yay or nay?


ok. i know this is an odd question, considering where i am posting, but i am conflicted (and figure it comes down to “what works for me & my family,” but wanted to get opinions of others as well: when i cook hamburger for things like tacos, casseroles, etc the recipe almost always calls for draining off the fat. until recently (even after staring keto), i have done this thinking it was for allowing the seasonings to soak in and simmer/soak into the meat…but now i am not sure that is the reason. after listening to 2ketodudes, i am wondering if it is tied to the myth that eating fat makes us fat rather than a benefit to the recipe/flavor itself.

do you continue to drain the grease & toss it (or have a way to save it for use later)? do you use it as seasoning and try to let it simmer/reduce with the meat & seasoning just as you would with water?

(Carl Keller) #2

I usually drain most of the hamburger grease off. I’m not against the grease in general, but the oily texture is just sometimes too much for my taste.


thank you. do you save it for something else or trash it?

(Pete A) #4

Neva. I eat it.

(Carl Keller) #5

I’ve been know to fry an egg or two or toast a keto mug bun in it after pouring about half of it in the garbage. Otherwise, I just pour it in the trash.


thank you


thank you; do you use it as-is (liquid) or try to reduce it some (using the fat rather than water for helping flood the meat with flavor (at least i think that is what it is doing)


We always eat it. Delicious. Or leave it in the cast iron pan and use it for cooking veggies. As for Bacon Grease, we treat this like gold and pour it into a glass container and use it to cook all our eggs. Of course there is no right answer to this question, but this user eats it all. Cheers.


thank you, @photonic.
do you keep your bacon grease in the fridge (and reheat when you need it) or keep it out at room temp for an easier (?) melt when you need to use it? I have seen people talk about doing this but not sure how to do it safely.


We keep it on the counter at room temperature just like our coconut oil and all the other oils we use. For some reason we still keep our butter in the fridge, but I think that is because it gets goopy at room temperature. When I grew up, my mom always kept butter out and covered - no ill effects that I know of.

With the bacon grease, I just use a spatula in the morning to get a gob of it and scrape it onto the edge of the pan. The heat on the pan then melts in down into the pan, swirl it around and ready to go!


sweet; thank you!

(Diane) #12

I keep my bacon nectar in a glass jar on the counter next to the stove. It’s a saturated fat which is stable at room temperature (doesn’t spoil). It’s what food manufacturers were trying to replicate when they hydrogenated cottonseed oil to make Crisco.


thank you for the info, @DiMo


It really depends on whether we are eating conventional meat or something more high end. I usually drain the fat from conventional ground beef, and throw it away. If it’s some nice grass-fed version that I’ve splurged on, I try not to waste any of it.

(Sophie) #15

I say nay. I always incorporate the fat from ground beef in whatever I’m cooking, whether it’s chili or stroganoff or hamburgers w/peppers-onions, whatever etc. It just makes life better. :smile:

(Christy) #16

Never. The flavor is in the fat. The seasoning only gets better when simmered in the fat.

(Ketopia Court Jester) #17

Hell, nay.

(Joshua Nicholson) #18

As a general rule, I’d say never drain the fat. Either use it in the meal or use it for something else like previous suggestions of saving it or cooking an egg or three.

HOWEVER if using the meat for something like a taco or hamburger (on keto bread of course) then I’d prefer to have the meat as dry as possible and not have a sloppy wet taco or bun - but I know people who love that too.

(Full Metal Keto) #19

I 2nd @JustPeachy, and my favorite way is to either add mushrooms which soak it up or peppers and onions. Fats carry the flavor of spices the idea that it helps a recipe absorb flavor is erroneous. That’s why we sauté garlic in oil, or ginger and scallions starting a final stir fry seasoning, to develop aromatic quantities and to give the spices a vehicle to coat the food with flavor. I use 85% grass fed ground meat and I start it with a couple of teaspoons of bacon grease. Don’t try to put too much meat at once or you’ll end up with fat and water and your meat will steam and toughen instead of developing a deep brown color and flavor. What fat there is usually soaks back into the meat when I do this. Maximum is about 12 oz. in an 11” skillet at a time. Do two batches if you have to, It’s worth the extra 6-7 minutes. I always save fat from roasting meat or poultry as well. Butter stays good at room temperature around two weeks before going sour. However if it kind of warm it separates and gets gross. Ghee can be stored at room temp like any oil. I leave my bacon grease out but if your jar is constantly getting some spooned off the top and you too it up the next morning cooking bacon it can start to go rancid after a while. I always have so much it’s like it’s free so I cook most of my food with that or less often coconut oil. Figure out a creative way to keep using it or refrigerate it for longer term. I’ve thought about making bacon soap I have so much. :grin:

(Alex) #20

i drain it directly into my stomach, generally :sunglasses: