The Simplest Straining Hack For Cooking Ground Beef

When it comes to cooking with ground beef, the possibilities are endless. Watching it sizzle in the pan as it turns crispy brown and fills the air with a delicious aroma is the best part about trying any one of the many ground beef recipes. But there's just one thing that almost ruins the process: grease. No one wants a thick layer of fat in soups or stews, as it'll just alter the final taste and texture. Thankfully, there's a simple hack using tin foil that might make straining ground beef less of a hassle.

You see, draining the fat in your kitchen sink is one mistake you should never make with ground beef. If you've done that before, now would be a great time to stop. Just after cooking, the grease is liquid because the temperature is still hot, so it flows easily. But animal fat is sneaky and will eventually solidify somewhere along your pipes when it cools down. The problem may not appear immediately, but eventually, enough fatty deposits build up along your kitchen pipes to clog them. Next thing you know, you're shelling out big bucks to the plumber to get your drain working again. Doesn't sound fun, does it? To avoid this disaster, most people simply mop up the extra oil with paper towels. But this is so wasteful, and it can get messy. So, reach for your roll of aluminum foil instead.

Straining ground beef without making a mess

One TikTok user has demonstrated one more of those things you didn't know you could do with aluminum foil. Simply spread a little tin foil over your kitchen drain in the shape of a bowl and place a colander over it. Once your ground beef has cooked well enough and all the extra fat has come to the surface, pour it into the colander and allow it to sit for about a minute or long enough to drain completely. 

Once you lift up your colander, you'll see that all that extra grease has collected nicely in your aluminum foil holder. All that's left now is waiting for the grease to harden so you can wrap it up. The main downside to this hack is that your kitchen sink will be out of use until you've tossed out the grease. If you want to keep your sink free while the grease solidifies, line a bowl with aluminum foil instead. Another benefit to using the bowl hack is that you can easily pop it in the refrigerator to make the oil harden much faster.

How do you make the disposal of ground beef grease more eco-friendly?

Whether you've collected the ground beef grease in your kitchen sink or a bowl, it will harden eventually, with or without the aid of your refrigerator. Once that happens, wrap it neatly in aluminum foil like a ball and throw it in your trash can — so easy. To be honest, not all comments on the TikTok video of this grease disposal hack were positive. While some thought it was great for handling the mess, others felt it was a waste of good aluminum foil.

If you're a sustainable cook looking for a better way to dispose of ground beef grease without generating unnecessary waste, there's one more tip for you to try. Chances are that you might have opened up a few cans for additional ingredients to complete your ground beef recipe. Simply collect the grease in any one of those empty cans in your kitchen and toss it out after the grease has solidified. This way, you're giving those cans a second use while simultaneously limiting how much waste you generate.