How to Choose and Grind the Best Meat for Burgers

Burgers rank top among snacks and tie many cookouts together. The good thing with a burger is that you can let your culinary creativity come to play. You can add several condiments to the patty or have other recipes like eggs and veggies.

A look at this snack, you realize the patty is hugely responsible for its taste. As such, when making a burger, you have to pick the finest meat for the patty.

Selecting the right meat can be challenging, especially if you are new to making burgers. For your benefit, we will guide you on how to pick the meat and prepare this type of sandwich.

Which is the Right Type of Meat for Your Burger?

Which-is-the-Right-Type-of-Meat-for-Your-Burger
Photo credit: nospoonnecessary 

A crucial area to look at when getting patty meat is the meat to fat ratio. Preferably, the meat should have 20-25% fat. However, it depends on several factors like the desired doneness.

For instance, if you want the patties cooked rare to medium, they should have low fat. A 15-20% fat content will work for this doneness level.

Meat with a 30-40% fat content is ideal for medium to well doneness. So, which is the best cut for patties? Considering you will to grind it, go for steaks as you won’t have a hard time dealing with bones.

Chuck steak is the number one option for patties due to its excellent meat to fat ratio. It has an impressive marbling for a hearty burger bite. Moreover, you can use it in meat blends for a diverse smack.

If you want a touch of beefiness to your sandwich, go for brisket. It is has a high-fat content, ideal for well-done meat. The round cut is cheap and lean, perfect for when you are preparing many burgers.

Another lean cut is sirloin, which you can blend with fatty cuts. It goes well with various spices and condiments, which produce an amazing flavor.

If you are the adventurous type, you can go for tougher cuts like skirt and hanger steak. As you get the meat, ascertain that it is fresh. You can perform the freshness test by looking at its color, feeling its texture and smell.

Is it Better to Use Freshly Ground Meat?

As a culinary enthusiast, you know that fresh meat always rules. It is safe to use and has a great relish. You can feel the potency of used spices after they blend with the melting fat.

To satisfy your curious palate, you can try out aged or smoked meat. While they are not freshly ground, they have a unique savor. Some spices become more pronounced when aged on meat. Be careful when handling aged or smoked meat to prevent health complications.

Follow high standards of hygiene in its preparation. You can also precook it before putting it on your buns.

The Importance of Fat Percentage for Burger Beef

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Previously, we mentioned that your burger meat should have some fat content. Is fat that important to beef? Yes, fat is very crucial to the patty when cooking and for the taste. It prevents the meat from burning and helps bring out the desired smack.

It forms a buffer for spices, and basting liquid, which are responsible for a diverse relish. Despite fat’s essence, it should not be too much as the outcome may not be desirable. It may prevent the patty from getting correctly cooked to the needed doneness.

Some food pundits complain that excess fat dilutes the taste of meat. There is also the health concern of consuming too much fat.

It calls for the keenness of fat percentage, mostly when handling beef. A 20% fat composition is okay and can work with various doneness levels. The thing to keep in mind is if rare, have less fat. Otherwise, if you want the meat well done, have more fat to prevent it from drying out.

If you have lean meat, you can add some fat when grinding it, for juicy burgers.

How to Grind Meat by Yourself

A significant part of making burger meat is grinding it. Grinding meat allows you to form cakes or patties for the buns. The easiest way of processing food in this way is by use of a grinder. When using this appliance, start by dicing up the beef. Optionally, you can refrigerate it for some minutes, for easy chopping.

Related: The Best Meat Grinders Buying Guide

Five to ten more minutes of refrigeration makes the meat ready for the grinder. Also, ensure the grinder is cold. Cool temperatures prevent the meat pieces from gumming, which can lead to the formation of lumps.

Feed the meat to the grinder and turn the crank or turn on the motors. Collect the ground beef in a bowl.

A food processor is another appliance you can use to mince meat. Similar to using a grinder, dice the beef then refrigerate for around 15-minutes. Put the dice in small quantities in the food processor and run it on the pulse setting. Take pauses when mincing the meat to prevent heat buildup, which can cause the meat to stick.

Without any of the two appliances, a cleaver comes in handy. Have the steak freeze for up to 20-minutes and place it on a chopping board. Use the cleaver to mince the meat slab to the preferred consistency.

To prevent the meat from sticking on the chopping board, you can dust it with flour or starch.

You can also check our selection for the finest manual meat grinders in 2021

What is the Perfect Meat to Grind for Hamburgers?

The term perfect is relative in the kitchen due to varying preferences. The ideal meat should have a good muscle to fat proportion. Marbling tender meat, like chuck steak, has an excellent flesh-to-fat balance.

However, if you want lean meat, sirloin is a great pick. If you want a diverse flavor, you can blend different meat cuts.

Make Burger Meat Patties Step by Step

After grinding the steak, you have one more step before hitting the grill. Here, you let your creativity come to play as per your taste bud’s curiosity. Can I marinate patty meat? Yes, you can marinate the patty meat before going to the cooker.

It is advisable to marinate the meat before grinding. If you put ground meat in marinade it may disintegrate. Forming patties can be hard in this state. Another way to go is by spraying marinade on already made patties, then refrigerate.

Let us look at the process of making burger meat patties after mincing.

With the meat in a bowl, add your choice of condiments and spices. The additives can be chilies, pepper, onions, garlic, ginger, and maybe a teaspoon of vinegar. Do not forget to add salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients, like making dough until each is evenly spread. You may add some starch to the mixture to help it stick together.

Grab a handful of the dough-like mixture and make a thin cake out of it. Press it between your palms to form a wide cylindrical shape. Place the cake on a tray and repeat the process for the rest of the mixture.

After clearing up the meat dough from your dish, you refrigerate the made patties. You can cover them in food film to preserve their shape and prevent freezer burn.

If you want to grill them immediately, skip this stage. Instead, let them rest for around ten minutes before introducing them to the grill.

You can add egg to the patty mixture for adherence. If you want a veggie twist to the patty, you can add mashed potatoes. You have to pound the potatoes in a separate bowl before adding the mash to the meat dough.

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Photo credit: thecookierookie

Seasoning Burger Meat

To savor your burger, you can fix an extra step before grilling, seasoning the meat. Seasoning the patties supplements its condiments and spices. You can get a ready-made seasoning or make it in the kitchen.

For homemade seasoning, have salt, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, and pepper. Mix all these ingredients, if possible, using a pestle and motor to get a fine powder. Sprinkle this powder on the fresh patties.

Salt may dry out the patties. It means you have to season them for 5-minutes before putting them on the grill.

Where to Find Quality Ground Beef

If you promptly need ground beef, you can purchase them from recommended stores. If looking for fresh meat for juicy burgers, look no further than The Snake River Farms American wagyu. Wagyu beef has an impressive fat level, evident from its fine marbling, suitable for grilling. It is 100% American Wagyu beef, with no additives.

It comes in a 1-Lb bag, enough for a small afternoon cookout.

If you want burgers with an out-of-the-normal smack, go for dry-aged ground beef. Porter Road dry-aged ground beef is a nice option. It is 100% natural, free of hormones and antibiotics. You will love this ground meat’s balanced meat to fat proportion.

This 1.04-Lb package will make excellent burgers, having a weak funky taste, ideal for chasing with beers or soda.

Final Word

A burger is a versatile meal that you can have any time of the day. The patty is a crucial component of this sandwich, which complements the bun’s flavor. When making burgers at home, you can buy ground meat or make it from scratch.

Preparing ground meat is a fulfilling task that you can handle in minutes. This piece guides on how to ready burger meat, starting from its purchase. Take fresh meat with no bones. Sirloin, chuck steak, skirt steak, and even short ribs are some cuts to go for. You may mix the meats, especially when compensating for a low-fat content in lean types. Seasoning the ground steak before cooking assures you of a savory snack.

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