The Reason You Should Never Drain Ground Beef In The Sink

If your recipe calls for ground beef that is browned and drained you might not think it's that big of a deal to just pour that little bit of fat down the kitchen sink, but the experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing say this would be a big mistake. This quick and convenient action could lead to a lot of problems (and money down the drain), as the grease will begin to solidify as it cools. Once this happens, the mass can trap other debris in your pipes, which can slow down and eventually clog the drain. Once completely blocked, per the New York City Environmental Protection Department, flooding and sewer backups are a real possibility.

If you've already poured some grease into the sink all is not lost, explains Mr. Rooter, depending on how bad your clog is. Try pouring a gallon of boiling water slowly down the drain, while running hot water from the faucet and pouring some dish soap down the drain. This method works as the hot water causes the grease to reliquify and the soap helps wash it fully down the drain. If this doesn't work, unfortunately it's likely time to call a plumber.

But if you can't pour that leftover grease from your ground beef down the drain, how are you supposed to get rid of it?

How to properly drain your ground beef

So what is the best way to drain the grease from your ground beef if putting it down the sink is not recommended? According to This Old House, you should first let the grease cool, then put it in a container before throwing it in the trash can. If hot grease is poured directly into your trash can, it will burn through your trash bag, leaving you with a huge mess. For a similar reason, you may want to use a container that seals tightly — such as a jar — so the grease doesn't leak out. Alternatively, the New York City Environmental Protection Department states that you can pour cooled grease into a plastic bag and freeze it before throwing it away.

It is also recommended that you wipe your pan out with a paper towel before washing it in the sink to remove any of the leftover grease, that way you're not unintentionally allowing it to begin to coat your pipes. Even a little bit of grease can build up over time, leading to a clog in your future.

Now that you know how to properly drain your ground beef, you can cook up dishes like stuffed pepper soup without worry.