Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Which Kind of Ground Beef is a better value?

Have you ever wondered if the higher fat ground beef is really cheaper? I mean, it cost so much less per pound but after you have browned it there seems to be so much grease and so little meat left. Could it be that all that savings is being thrown away as grease?

Well I have, so I decided to find out...and I made it a science experiment for the kids (with help, of course). We followed the scientific method, wrote down our data and observations, and are now sharing our results and conclusions with you.

This experiment is assuming that we care ONLY about the price. I am assuming we don't care about the fat content or possible health affects of eating higher fat meat.

We measured out exactly 1 pound 0 ounces of each kind of ground beef. We had 7%, 10%, 15%, 20%, and 27%. I didn't notice at the store, but the 10% was ground sirloin instead of ground beef. With each one, we browned it. Once it was completely cooked, I strained it pressing the meat against the strainer until it was as thoroughly strained as I could get it. Then we weighed the beef again to see how much we had left. Here's what we found:

7% yielded 10.75oz
10% yielded 11.875oz
15% yielded 9.75oz
20% yielded 10.5oz
27% yielded 9.375oz

I was surprised at how close they all were.

This is how much raw ground beef you would have to buy if you wanted a pound of cooked meat.
7% -1.49 lbs
10% - 1.35 lbs
15% - 1.64 lbs
20% - 1.52 lbs
27% - 1.69 lbs

To find out which package of meat gives you the better value, multiple the corresponding number above by the price per pound for each package you are comparing. Buy the package that gives you the lowest answer.

In our experiment, which compared full retail price at our local Safeway, the 27% fat was the best value by far.

This was our adjusted costs:
7% was $7.43 for one pound of cooked meat.
10% was $6.72 for one pound of cooked meat
15% was $6.55 for one pound of cooked meat
20% was $5.32 for one pound of cooked meat
27% was $4.27 for one pound of cooked meat

I tell you, this problem has bugged me off and on for years. Now I know.

Do you think I'm a total geek now? LOL

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Mama Lavender said...

That is so cool! I've wondered about this so many times as well. Thanks for sharing your results!!!

Luke said...

That's the best kind of geekyness. Love it!

That's also a great example of homeschooling: Practical application of life lessons.


2TooManyHats said...

Wow, cool experiment. And now you have several pounds of ground beef in the freezer for later.

2TooManyHats said...

I think I fixed the problem of e-mailing back from my comments. Would you give it a try?

Mommy to One said...

Great experiment!! And really, if you are draining the grease and rinsing the meat in hot water, what are you losing health-wise? Thanks for the info!

Appliejuice said...

Wow that was interesting. I don't think I had ever thought of that before. LOL That was a fun experiment. :)