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Ground beef grease?

After cooking some burgers earlier I wondered, for the first time I think, if I should be saving and using the leftover grease. Maybe add to soup or make some sort of gravy? Any suggestions?

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  1. I do not use leftover hamburger grease , mainly because I have enough leftover bacon grease that I wouldn't have room for any more leftover grease.

    But like any other oil, it can be filtered and reused. For almost ever. As long as you strain the impurities out after every use, bring it up good and HOT before using to kill any potential bugs in it and refrigerate religiously, it will go on.

    In fact, I just saw an episode of DDD w/Guy Fieri on Food Net and they went to a place (can't remember the name now, think it was in Illinois or some where in the Mid West) where the establishment has been using the same hamburger grease to fry (like deep fry practically) for 90 YEARS. That some serious frugality. And everyone loves the place. I bet it's awesome.

    Anyway, that would be my only use for it. I suppose, as it's beef fat, you could use it to fry potatoes or fries in it , like Mickey D's used to do.

    1. I've heard of good home cooks in my parents generation who just combined all their best rendered fat into one jar, regardless of whether it's pork fat, beef fat, chicken fat, bacon fat, pancetta fat, etc.

      3 Replies
      1. re: eight_inch_pestle

        Does this really work? I save all mine but would strain and refrigerate if I could use it.

        1. re: melpy

          related question. has anyone had fat on the top of frozen stock go bad? i thawed some stock from the deep freeze which may have been 2 years old. Is is possible that it goes bad in the deep freeze?

          1. re: jwg

            how could it go bad if frozen? the flavor may be a bit off from being in there so long, but it should be entirely sound to eat.

      2. I often make gravy from browned ground beef drippings but I've never "saved" it. I guess you could refrigerate it and keep it for a short time (or freeze it if keeping it longer than a day or two is what you have in mind) but it's the fond combined in the fat, not the fat itself, that flavors the gravy. Frankly, I think there are better and more helful ways to make soups and gravy.

        1. You can use it to fry potatoes and other starches. Before I really learned to coook, I often made burger patties with onions in a frying pan, then removed them and fried cooked egg noodles in the seasoned fat until they started to brown. Good eats!

          Melt the fat and use it instead of oil when roasting vegetables. Add it to soups that use beef broth, where it will make storebought broth seem more like homemade.

          1. Thanks for the great advice, everyone. Reading the comments I realized that, growing up, bacon grease was the only meat fat we ever cooked with. Chicken, pork and beef I've had to learn later in life. It sounds like I wouldn't bother to save hamburger grease long term, but it's good to know that, like chicken and pork, I can find ways to re-use it as gravy, soup, etc.

            And to note, I did use the fat later to fry thinly-sliced potatoes, and they came out delicious. My heart may hate me later, but vegetable oils just don't do justice.

            1. I know the flavor of the fat is a big reason many people save it, but animal fats also make extremely flaky and delicious pie crusts and other pastries. You just have to boil the impurities (i.e. solids and flavor components) out of the fat. Add the reserved, solidified fat to a pot of cold water, bring it to a boil, and then cool. The clean, purified fat will sit in a solid layer on top and the impurities will remain in the water. I've done it with bacon grease just from curiosity, and it works remarkably well!


              9 Replies
              1. re: LauraGrace

                Is the meat flavor completely gone, or do you use it only for savory baked items?

                1. re: greygarious

                  The bacon grease was surprisingly neutral-tasting. I probably wouldn't use it instead of butter for, say, croissants or something, but I'd feel quite comfortable using it for fruit pies.

                  1. re: LauraGrace

                    Bacon grease and beef tallow make for great corn bread.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      How long can you store bacon fat/ grease in the fridge?

                        1. re: Smachnoho

                          Pretty freakin' long. Like months, maybe even a year. Not based on science, just my personal experience.

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            If you ask a Southerner, like say ... Paula Deen, the answer would be "forever!"

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Are you *supposed* to get rid of bacon grease... ever? I definitely have a jar of bacon grease in the fridge that has been continuously added to and used from for months. Not dead yet! :)

                              1. re: LauraGrace

                                I think it will be good until it smells weird, as long as it is kept clean . Unlike some hunters I know who left a can of bacon grease under the sink uncovered. I was helping them do something, looked inside and there was a dead mouse. He had eaten till he died right in there. God only knows how many dirty things got in there before that. Men clueless :!)

                2. = lard, no? Collect it in the freezer and when you have enough you can deep-fry your pork for carnitas in it.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Joebob

                    Great idea. But just to clarify, lard is rendered and clarified Pork fat. I think fat from cows may be known as Beef lard?

                    1. re: Phurstluv

                      I think the lard one buys in the grocery store can be mixed. I might be wrong about that.

                      Rendered beef fat is called tallow, but I don't know if I've ever seen it sold as such.

                      1. re: LauraGrace

                        That's right, I couldn't remember the word : tallow.

                        1. re: Phurstluv

                          And before it's rendered - suet.

                          1. re: BobB

                            Oh, bless you, Bob -- I knew there was another word that was escaping me and I could NOT make myself think of it. Suet!

                            1. re: BobB

                              Isn't the term suet reserved for the fat around the kidneys?

                              1. re: greygarious

                                Yes suet is the fat protecting the animal's kidneys according to Jennifer McLagan in her book, Fat, An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient with Recipes. Tallow can be from sheep too.

                    2. Sometimes, after frying up a couple of burgers in a pan, I'll toss in something like spinach or collard greens to saute' in the burger grease. Probably not the "proper" way to cook the veggies, but it's a frugal use of the leftover grease, and tasty enough for my needs.

                      1. I keep all my schmaltz (fat) from chicken, roasts, hamburger, even gravy fat and cook roast potatoes in it from time to time, then I keep that fat too and reuse. Haven't killed anybody yet!

                        1. Yeah you can use any grease to make biscuits and stuff. Just let it cool and when it is hard like butter you cut in the flour. I made seed cakes with grease from bonemarrow that came on top of the stock while I was cooking it for soup. They were really yummy. Saturated fat is good for us in moderate amounts. You cant live without any. It is important for formation and function of lungs and other organs as well as brain. Pork fat is very important for proper brain function.
                          Beef fat has more of butter flavor than bacon of course. Bacon is smoked so you can only use that fat in soups from cabbge and beans mostly.

                          1. You can use 'rendered beef fat' for making old fashioned lye soap also! I've made lots of it in the past.

                            Oh, our poor arteries! I mostly buy the leanest ground beef I can to avoid all the unhealthy fat. And when I use it in chili etc, rather than a burger, I drain and rinse it to get rid of all that heart attack in the pan grease!

                            But to each his own.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: chocolatejam

                              I dont buy regular gr beef often and it is only in special traditional Yugoslavian recipes. My dad lived till 88 and mom still alive at 88, neither of them had any problems with arteries and they ate all the greasy traditional food.
                              I dont gave that much grease in my house that I could make soap LOL
                              75% of our dinner plates are vegetables, none overcooked and we eat whole grain. As I wrote above we cannot live without some saturated fat. Look at up online. It is especially important in brain and lung health.
                              Moderation in all things is key. Most likely that you will get a heart attack is if you eat refined food like white starch and sugar. If you develop cell insuline resistance you are screwed. Next after that is Metabolic Syndrome and that is when you get diabetes, heart attack, strokes, inflamatory condiitons etc.
                              Look at up online. There is lots online about Metablic Syndrome.

                              1. re: chocolatejam

                                Sorry that was Metabolic Syndrome.
                                The best thing is to eat all whole foods as they come in nature but in moderation and be very active. I am 63 and my husband 74 and we still work in our own businesses. Never had any major health problems. We drink lots of liquid and eat fruit ever day. It is all our own and organic.

                                1. re: manchuria_girl

                                  i eat no grains or processed sugar, and no crap industrial oils. plenty of saturated fats animal foods and veggies. my health markers are all excellent.

                                  the lipid hypothesis has been one terrible fraud perpetrated on the west.

                                  oh, and cholesterol from food does not translate to elevated blood cholesterol. our body produces cholesterol. without it, we would die.

                                2. re: chocolatejam

                                  you rinse cooked beef? yuk.

                                  all the flavor is going right down the drain.

                                3. If we are talking about run of the mill ground beef, the stuff processed with pink slime, there's no way I would save that grease.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ecyor

                                    Hi ecyor
                                    We dont have that where we live. None of the ground meat is processed with that stuff. I dont buy ground beef as much anyways as I do nice cuts of meat and we eat lots of sea food and fish and chicken and turkey.
                                    One can save the fat if they want to but not do it too often. I made my biscuits with bone marrow grease from long bones I cooked and those are not processed with anything. Bone marrow fat is very healthy. Anyways I eat traditional cuisine and have low cholesterol. I guess I come from a healthy stock.
                                    I found some risk factors for atherosclerosis. Studies of saturated fats do not show that they increase risk of atherosclerosis. Numerous other factors are way more important and those are :
                                    -trans-fatty acids
                                    -blood cholesterol level
                                    Also risk factors for Metabolic Syndrome which is a pre-cursor of heart attack and diabetes 2 are:
                                    -progressive weight gain
                                    -lack of activity
                                    -sedentary lifestyle
                                    -eating excessive amounts of carbohydrates
                                    -consuming alcohol-free diet
                                    So you can see that saturated fats are not even mentioned and studies dont even show that they cause atherosclerosis.