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Sep 3, 2009 04:59 PM

Fast Food hamburger meat: Percentage fat?

I'm curious as to what percentage lean and what percentage fat is in the raw hamburger meat used by various fast food chains. Is there a comparison chart anywhere on the internet?

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  1. you're assuming the burgers contain only fat & lean tissue ;)

    seriously though, there's plenty of information on the web about nutritional content for all major fast food chains, but most of what you'll find refers to the finished/cooked product, not the raw meat...

    3 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Ha, ha, yeah. :)

      I was interested in the lean/fat content in the raw hamburger meat like it's marked in the supermarket. You know 80/20, 85/15, 90/10 etc.

      The least lean I've seen marked is 70/30. I tried it, not expecting much, and it made a surprisingly tasty burger, although it left a lot of liquid fat in the pan. I cooked it with the pan at an angle so the fat would pool away and not leave the burger grease laden.

      1. re: 2chez mike

        The USDA standard for "Hamburger" is a maximum of 30% fat by weight.

        1. re: 2chez mike

          If you're near a Trader Joe's, try their aged sirloin steak burgers. Prepare before looking at the fat content on the label! (Very tasty.)

      2. Probably more than I care to know.

        1. Most of the national chains will have their nutritional info online for their cooked burgers (not raw).

          Most fast-food burgers are thin, flat patties, and thus more fat and water cooks out of them than plumper burgers, usually at least 25% of the raw weight (thus, a quarter pounder raw is more like 3 oz cooked).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Karl S

            And because burger king is done on a moving "grill" it theoretically ends up loosing more fat than a grilled burger.

            1. re: Karl S

              McDonald's Canada reported the following facts on their website. A regular hamburger is 45.4 grams uncooked and 30 grams cooked, and the cooked burger has 8g grams fat. USDA says regular hamburger has 56% water with only 1% removed during cooking but more can evaporate while it is frozen (which McDonald's burgers are). USDA also says the maximum fat content for hamburger is 30% to still be called hamburger.

              Considering the above, McDonald's raw hamburger most likely has:
              56% water
              30% fat
              14% protein/fibre

              The weight loss during processing, storage and cooking is:
              15% water
              18% fat

              41% water
              12% fat
              14% protein/fibre

              So, in conclusion, McDonald's raw hamburger is pretty normal athough it may have maximum allowable fat content when raw. Their storage and cooking processes, however seem to lose more water and fat than what USDA reports as normal and that could be why their burgers seem thin and dry when done.

            2. I shop at a couple of restaurant supply stores that let me in, and 80/20 (or thereabout) seems to be the standard. But for my health's sake, I stick to the 93/7 when they have it, and do without if they don't.