% Fat in Ground Beef
- al b. darned Nov 17, 2012 02:40 PM
There are good portion of us here who buys their beef already ground rather than grinding it ourselves. I have been buying mine lately from a small family owned grocery store with a very good butcher. They proudly proclaim they grind their own ground beef fresh several times a day. Just like all stores, they label their ground beef by the percentage of fat it contains.
My question is, how do they determine the beef is 80%, 85%, etc.? More importantly, how do I know if it's if it's accurate? Is there any way for me to check at home if my 85% ground beef is really 85% beef? Can you take a certain amount of raw beef and weigh it? Or should I just trust them?
I wasn't questioning the honesty of this place, but just the question in general.
I'm not sure what you mean by, "They weigh the meat and the weigh the fat." A pound of meat weighs a pound and a pound of fat weighs a pound. And some of the meat they grind already has fat in it. Is there a certain volume they use to determine the fat to meat ratio?
re: al b. darned
If they're grinding 10 pounds of meat, they'll want to end up with about 8.5 pounds of meat, and 1.5 pounds of fat to get 15% fat.
While a pound is a pound, it's still only a pound if the scale says it's a pound -- so it all has to be weighed.
Chococats response below tells you how they measure the fat already present in the meat.
Most shops that house- grind their beef have special devices to measure the fat in ground beef- I think Univex makes one, as does Hobart. They are pretty easy to use- put in a small meat sample and the thing goes through a couple of heating cycles, the fat loss is measured, and voila- the machine tells you the % fat in the meat. I suppose you could get a used one on eBay if you really wanted to know. If you are that distrustful, you can always switch suppliers.