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Old 06-17-2008, 10:39 AM   #1
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Healthier Hamburger... Boiled?

I used to work at a little Italian restaurant.
The cook BOILED the hamburger she used in her
lasagna, spaghetti and other dishes.
She said it was healthier because almost all of the
fat is removed, and since she added spices and some
beef bullion, flavor was retained.

Does anyone here boil their hamburger instead of browning it?

Do you think it would be significantly lower in fat?

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Old 06-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #2
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Recall that meat gets it's "meaty" flavor from the Maillard Reaction which only occurs during the browning process.

Boiling meat in boullion isn't going to give it that flavor.

Browning meat and then draining it well in a colander works very well to eliminate fat, IMO.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:44 AM   #3
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Cooking meat in water is how you make broth. When you make broth, you save the liquid, not the meat. There's a reason for that. All the meat's flavor is in the liquid.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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Sounds like everything would taste like cheap Salisbury's steak after that.
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Old 06-17-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
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Ah ha! Learned something new!

But... if the meat is being incorporated into something like spaghetti sauce, would it matter? The sauce is the main flavor carrier, right?

Back to the restaurant.... this lady made the best lasagna and spaghetti I have
ever had in a restaurant, so the boiling didn't seem to negatively affect the dishes'
flavors.

Back to the original question..... do you think boiling vs browning would result in a
significantly lower fat hamburger?
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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I don't boil my burger, but I do sometimes leave it in the colander and drain the pasta over the top of it, which washes away any remaining grease.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:03 AM   #7
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In my opinion, for a sauce I guess it wouldn't matter much, might not be a "rich" or "meaty" in flavor, but to each their own.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
do you think boiling vs browning would result in a
significantly lower fat hamburger?
No I would not think so. Not significantly at least.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Sounds like everything would taste like cheap Salisbury's steak after that.
That reminds me...I need to throw my hungry man dinner in the microwave.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:39 AM   #10
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I would have to go with the way the restaurant

lady does it. I watched a show on TV where they made a vegetable beef soup with ground beef and they boiled it briefly and drained it also. It seemed so strange that I had to try it. I almost couldn't believe it when I tried the soup. It had the beefiest flavor. Something I was never able to achieve when I browned the ground beef. It seems contrary to what should happen but I would trust the lady and give it a try.
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:40 AM   #11
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for Some dishes, I simmer mine in beer (you could use water though) along with the onions and herbs & Spices and allow to cool, the fat solidifies at the top and is easily removed, However...
it`s then all reduced, to leave the minced beef with All its flavors intact.
nothing but the fat is removed from it that way ;)

perhaps that`s what she meant?
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Old 06-17-2008, 11:59 AM   #12
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Boiling meat is the only way it can be done when "canning" because you cannot use oil. It is fine for any casserole recipe that calls for ground meat.

You can also brown your meat in oil as usual and then "rinse" it to remove all the grease and oil.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:01 PM   #13
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I don't think it's a good idea to remove ALL the fat. There are fat-soluble flavor compounds and vitamins that would be lost.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillingFool View Post
Ah ha! Learned something new!

But... if the meat is being incorporated into something like spaghetti sauce, would it matter? The sauce is the main flavor carrier, right?

Back to the restaurant.... this lady made the best lasagna and spaghetti I have ever had in a restaurant, so the boiling didn't seem to negatively affect the dishes' flavors...


Why add meat to a sauce if not for the flavor? Just for the protein? For tasteless, fat free protein, use tofu.

What you don't know is how much better the lasagna and spaghetti would taste if the hamburg had been browned instead of boiled.
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Old 06-17-2008, 12:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I don't think it's a good idea to remove ALL the fat. There are fat-soluble flavor compounds and vitamins that would be lost.
I agree, that`s why I use something Alcohol based, Problem solved
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:59 PM   #16
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My understanding was that boiling removed the fat and it was replaced by the spices in the water and this added flavor to the beef. I have never tried it, so I can't attest thru personal experience how it turns out, but I know several of the Czech restaurants in the area use this method and it turns out flavorful. I think also one of the burrito places I go to does it this way for their steak and tongue and beef burritos. I do know it turns out a juicy tasty burrito without being very greasy, but I wonder if there is more to it than just what I see at the end?

YT, I have heard of cooking things in alcohol before, but how does that work in what you are saying? I thought the alcohol just replaced the fat in the meat and also added the flavor of the alcohol, is there more to it than that? IE I boil brats in beer and onion before grilling them.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #17
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I agree, that`s why I use something Alcohol based, Problem solved
In that case, using beer as you mentioned above, you lose the water-soluble vitamins.
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Old 06-17-2008, 08:52 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
My understanding was that boiling removed the fat and it was replaced by the spices in the water and this added flavor to the beef. I have never tried it, so I can't attest thru personal experience how it turns out, but I know several of the Czech restaurants in the area use this method and it turns out flavorful. I think also one of the burrito places I go to does it this way for their steak and tongue and beef burritos. I do know it turns out a juicy tasty burrito without being very greasy, but I wonder if there is more to it than just what I see at the end?
I see the point, but beef flavor and spice flavor are not the same. For me, they complement each other. Also, as someone said earlier, you wouldn't get the Maillard reaction flavor that comes from browning the meat. I guess I would have to try it and see.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:00 PM   #19
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I see the point, but beef flavor and spice flavor are not the same. For me, they complement each other. Also, as someone said earlier, you wouldn't get the Maillard reaction flavor that comes from browning the meat. I guess I would have to try it and see.
I agree, but what if they were boiling it first then browning it? I keep coming back to ground beef in my mind, IE the differences between 70% lean and 85% lean. It would seem boiling it would have the effect of reducing say 70% lean to 85% lean or something like that, but with flavor infused. I don't know, just musing out loud.

I think, like you, I am just gonna have to give it a try and see, maybe on some ground beef and just write it off as an experiment just in case it doesn't work out, LOL.
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Old 06-17-2008, 09:18 PM   #20
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I agree, but what if they were boiling it first then browning it? I keep coming back to ground beef in my mind, IE the differences between 70% lean and 85% lean. It would seem boiling it would have the effect of reducing say 70% lean to 85% lean or something like that, but with flavor infused. I don't know, just musing out loud.

I think, like you, I am just gonna have to give it a try and see, maybe on some ground beef and just write it off as an experiment just in case it doesn't work out, LOL.
Well, to brown it you would need to add some fat - would you like to brown your boiled beef in olive oil? I dunno, seems like a lot of trouble for not a lot of benefit.

Tell you what - you try it and let us know what you think
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