Viral TikTok Shows Woman Rinsing Her Ground Beef—But Should You?

TikTok has helped us get through a rough 2020. The social media platform has taught us how to order the latest Starbucks drinks. Bill Nye posted a video in which he showed the effectiveness of wearing face masks to limit the spread of COVID-19. And of course, TikTok has brought us countless cooking hacks, like putting flour tortillas in a toaster and creating nacho tables.

But a recent cooking hack posted to TikTok has caused quite a stir on the Internet. The video from TikTok user Emily Harper was meant to demonstrate a tip for making ground beef healthier. After cooking the beef, Harper drained it and then rinsed it thoroughly in her kitchen sink.

“All this grease is disgusting,” she wrote on her video post. “So get rid of it.”

@eemilydharperrAnother kitchen tip for you 😊 ##ThinkingAbout ##HouseTour ##cooking ##fyp ##foryou ##viral ##kitchentip♬ Spongebob – Dante9k

That’s where she lost a lot of people.

In fact, the idea of rinsing ground beef produced such a frenzy of hostile reactions on TikTok that Harper had to turn off the comments on the post. She has also apparently received death threats from this video, which is a wildly inappropriate response to any kind of TikTok video, but it’s an especially absurd response to a video about cooking beef.

Harper later posted another video in which she displayed some good humor and silliness in response to all the rage that her ground beef hack seemed to ignite.

“People acting like they never pour grease down the drain in my last vid,” she posted. “Calm down, I rarely do it.”

Warning: This video contains profanity.

@eemilydharperrPeople acting like they never pour grease down the drain in my last vid. Calm down I rarely do it 😂 ##Fyp♬ busy doin hot girl ish – Chelsea

Joking (and outrage) aside, you really should not rinse ground beef after cooking it.

For one thing, fat can add flavor and moisture to ground beef. By washing away the fat from beef — not to mention rinsing off any seasonings you might have added while cooking it — there just isn’t much flavor left to enjoy. Plus, rinsing the meat can dry it out.

More importantly, plumbers advise against pouring grease down the drain. Hot grease is liquid, but once it cools and solidifies, it can form a nasty clog in your pipes, and it can even contribute to a bigger “fatberg” in your town’s sewer system.

If you want to drain the excess grease from your ground beef, you can blot it dry with paper towels or place the beef in a strainer and set it over a bowl or a can where the grease can collect.

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Then, allow the grease to harden, scrape it out and put it in a disposable container to place in the trash. That way, it won’t go down the drain and you’ll help keep everyone’s pipes running smoothly and safely.