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Old 08-10-2009, 03:53 PM   #1
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Fat Content Question

i need some clarification

lets say you are buying 100g of 85/15 ground meat (beef, turkey, whatever) - from my understanding, that means that 85g will be lean protein, and 15 g will be fat - correct?

now, generally my wife and i buy ground turkey (99/1 or 93/7, depending on the application) because it is lower in fat than almost any other ground meat you can normally find at the store....but, the other day i saw 96/4 ground beef, and thought it was a great find (aside from the price)....so i get home, and my wife commented that she thought the label was misleading because beef is naturally higher in fat and that 4% of beef fat may still be higher than a less lean grind of turkey

so, to put that in a less confusing manner, is it possible that the percentages on the label refer to the fat content compared the original cut of meat, instead the fat content of the final product? or, even more to the point - am i able to tell which packet of meat has the least far per serving by looking at just the numbers, regardless of the animal?

hope that makes sense - let me know if it doesn't

for what it is worth, the 96/4 beef i bought produced alot more liquid when browning than 93/7 turkey - but im not sure if the liquid was juice or fat (ill have to look more closely next time)

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Old 08-10-2009, 04:26 PM   #2
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The percentages given on the package are for the package contents.

If you buy ground beef, it may well be a combination of different cuts of beef so the amount of fat intrinsic to a particular cut would not be measurable.

One difference compared to the turkey may be intra-muscular fat or marbling in the beef that is not present in turkey. That could drive the actual fat content up beyond the percentage on the label. Another factor could be the inherent moisture content of beef vs. turkey.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:27 PM   #3
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If I'm not mistaken, 96/4 has to be the lean/fat content for that package.

96/4 for ground beef would be bland and very dry meat! Average ground beef is 70/30. Ground chuck is usually 80/20, and lean ground beef 90/10.

90/10 is useless for things such as hamburgers because there's not enough fat to hold them together, nor do they have hardly any flavor.

Before I purchased 90/10 or higher lean content, I would buy a steak or a lean roast and use thin slices instead of using it ground into "sawdust."
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arky View Post
Average ground beef is 70/30.
Not by me. I almost never see 70/30 ground beef. I think I have seen it once. the average in the stores by me is 85/15 with the low end being 80/20.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:36 PM   #5
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I see anywhere from 80% to 88% lean as the most common mixes around me.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:37 PM   #6
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I usually buy the 80/20 or 85/15, but I've seen some packages simply labled "ground beef" ! Kinda makes ya wonder whats in there?
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB View Post
Not by me. I almost never see 70/30 ground beef. I think I have seen it once. the average in the stores by me is 85/15 with the low end being 80/20.
Then you must have butchers that trim much closer than we do. 70/30 is common and I almost never see 85/15. Then again, each family not only has a regular doctor, but we also have a cardiologist!

Unlabeled ground beef, if you ask your butcher, I'd be willing to bet is 70/30 or 75-25
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:41 PM   #8
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We often even see 93/7 Arky.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:44 PM   #9
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If you buy ground beef, it may well be a combination of different cuts of beef so the amount of fat intrinsic to a particular cut would not be measurable.
right, thats what i thought

but if the intra-muscular fat changes the content, the % numbers become pretty useless? so it seems as though we cannot say that a lb of 90/10 tukery and a 1lb of 90/10 beef have the same fat content...thats annoying!

in generally, we don't really buy ground beef, but the most common i see is 85/15.....also, i make burgers from 93/7 turkey all the time, and they come out VERY juice - i have to add a bit more liquid seasoning (soy sauce, worcestershire, ketchup, bbq, etc), but it results in a very tasty burger that is good for you...the biggest problem for dryness is that they have to cooked well done, instead of beef which can be cooked to taste

not to say that a higher fat content burger wouldnt make things even better, but i just find that the extra fat/calories isn't worth it most of the time....i make exceptions for parties and restuarants
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Old 08-10-2009, 05:01 PM   #10
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I just browned some Aldi meat for walking tacos and I had to drain the fat from the pan 3 times. 5# of meat, 1.5 cups of fat. Thats about 30%.

I really like the 60/40 beef pork blend that I grind. Very low fat but the pork holds more moisture so it transmits the spice nicely.

As for percentages on packages, the percentages are the approximate analyzed meat to fat ratio. In other words they weigh it, cook it until its paste and then compare the weight of the liquid fat to the original weight. The "approximate" comes from the fact that they cannot do it to every bit of grind that comes out of we would have none to eat.
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