I do this, but I don't try to figure out the difference between before and after. I can't tell if what I am blotting or draining is necessarily oil or juices. I err on the side of caution of this type of thing.
I've read some about this- and I actually rinse my browned ground beef to remove fat. It makes a considerable difference in the fat content. Obviously if you are making a burger or sausage you wouldn't rinse it, but any method of removing fat helps.
If it's something like browned ground meat, try this:
First, brown the meat as you normally would. Then get several layers of paper towels and weigh them on a sensitive scale. Let's say it's 15 grams. Then put the ground beef on the paper towels and blot until you are satisfied the grease is gone. Remove the ground beef to another plate. Using the same paper towels, wipe the inside of the pan to remove all the grease in there. Weigh the paper towels again. Let's say they're now 30 grams.
This means that the difference is 15 grams. It's all fat, presumably. 15 grams * 7 calories (per gram of fat) = 105 calories for all the servings. Now let's say you only eat half of the ground beef - you have to divide 105 by 2 to arrive at the calories saved per serving. In this case, it would be 105 / 2 = 52.5 calories.
So you could then subtract 52.5 calories from the total calories for that meal.
Now this is NOT an exact science. For example, how did I come up with 7 calories/gram of fat in the first place? It's based on the assumption that animal fat and human fat have approximately the same water content - which is just MY guess and I did not look it up. PURE fat is 9 calories/gram but of course you are not talking about pure fat, you are talking about grease in a pan which will also have juice and such in there.
But ... it's still worth doing. I'm actually going to brown some ground beef for spaghetti sauce for lunch today and I think I'm going to try this paper towel experiment. I'll report back with what I find -- but I'll still track it based on the raw uncooked weight of the ground beef, which is the safest way of all.
In some cases, it depends on the source of your nutrition facts. Sometimes it specifies that something is drained, sometimes it doesn't. I tend to add everything manually via sites like NutritionData, because they generally specify.
Unless you're talking about something *really* greasy (pepperoni comes to mind), it's probably not going to make much of a difference. Even in that case, it might not. But even if your tracker isn't 100% accurate, it's usually better to over-estimate your intake than under-estimate it. I'd just degrease the food (every little bit counts, even if your tracker doesn't reflect it) and track it normally.
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How much of an impact does this tend to have on calorie and fat content? I always blot the grease out of turkey burgers or sausage patties, for example, but I'm curious as to how much this affects the nutritional content of the food - whether it actually makes any tangible difference, or if that difference is negligible. Or what about draining grease from a pot when cooking (i.e. when browning ground meat for sloppy joes)? I'd like to have a general idea of the impact so that I know tracking things accurately when I enter them into my nutrition calculator.
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