How Much is Inside a Homemade Quarter Pounder?
What is the weight of a quarter pound beef patty, after cooking?
By Rob Cockerham |
After finding out that a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds lost 35% of its weight during cooking, I had to find out if that was a typical change, or if McDonalds was using super-fatty mystery meat in their burgers.
The highest marked fat content I found for ground beef was this 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef.
In the market, this package of hamburger meat cost $4.11, making each 4 ounce burger worth 82¢ (price before cooking).
I had a theory that the 20% fat would melt away during cooking, leaving 80% of the weight behind.
I split the meat into four ounce balls and shaped them into burgers.
It was during this shaping process that I came to understand what a huge amount of moisture was in the beef. They were wet!
Of course. It isn't just fat leaving the burgers, it is water... a lot of water.
I cooked them in a hot pan, turning them occasionally.
I heated them up until the internal temperature reached 160°F. At the end, the pan was greased with a layer of melted fat, but it wasn't more than a tablespoonful. Most of the weight had escaped as steam, floating into the air. The burgers were cooked. I pulled them out an checked them one at a time on the scale.
All of the burgers had started at 4 ounces, and sure enough, they were each 2.6 ounces when I was finished.
McDonalds isn't using inferior beef, and they aren't using superior beef either. Their quarter pounder cooked down to the exact same weight.