TikTok has brought us some great hacks including how to keep avocados fresh and a new way to get to the bottom of an almost-empty peanut butter jar. But when people on social media saw a video of TikTok user Emily Harper rinsing cooked ground beef in order to make it healthier they were deeply confused and even offended by this "kitchen tip."
"Let me show you what I learned in Nutrition a couple years ago," Emily Harper, who goes by the handle @eemilydharperr, captioned the video. It begins with Harper putting a bag of ground beef in a hot pan and then chopping up the beef with a spatula, moving it around the pan until it begins to cook.
"All this grease is disgusting," Harper wrote, showing the grease pooling in the pan as the beef browns.
"So get rid of it!"
At this point in the video, the beef is poured into a colander and rinsed under the tap as if it were some leafy romaine. When the ground beef is good and rinsed of all grease, fat and flavor, it's promptly returned it to the pan.
"Look at the difference!"
Even though Harper has since turned off the comments on TikTok, that didn't stop some viewers from posting their very strong opinions about the questionable method on Twitter.
"i know i didn’t just see someone rinsing off cooked ground beef on my timeline," commented one person.
"That video of someone rinsing their ground beef is going to ruin my week," tweeted another person.
Other perplexed home chefs took to TikTok to duet with Emily Harper, providing their own take on the rinsing technique.
"Stop ruining meat," TikToker @mrnigelng captioned his duet along with a crying face emoji.
"Don't use colander!" he yells. "You're killing the sink and you killed the meat," he cries as grease goes down the drain.
"Keep a little bit of that grease in there, don't drain it all or it's going to be dry!" shouted @simplyfoodbyty
That commenter wasn't far off the mark, according to Kristin Koskinen, RDN, who told TODAY Food that when you rinse ground beef you're actually losing many important nutrients.
"Rinsing ground beef isn’t a new idea, it’s been around for generations as a weight loss hack," said Koskinen. "Generally speaking, it’s not a trend I recommend following. It will get rid of extra fat which will decrease the amount of calories per serving, but with it may go important nutrients."
Koskinen said that if you're buying high quality meat, like grass-fed beef, you're actually rinsing away omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K2 with the fat.
"Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and have anti-inflammatory benefits," she said. "Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in heart-health and keeping your bones strong."
Koskinen said that rather than rinse your meat, you should consider buying a good-quality hamburger and savoring moderate amounts.
"For most people, a 3 ounce serving is a good starting place, which is about the size of your palm. Bigger people need bigger portions, so don’t worry of your portion size is different from your friends’ or family members.’"
"It’s true that when you ditch the liquid that oozes out of cooked meat that you’re reducing the amount of fat and calories, but you can also do so by buying a leaner grade of meat or by buying ground poultry," Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com, author of "Read It Before You Eat It - Taking You from Label to Table", told TODAY. "If you’re going to rinse anything — rinse the liquid off of a can of beans — you can ditch up to 40% of the sodium that way."