This post is sponsored by my friends at the New York Beef Council, but the thoughts and opinions expressed here are all my own – just as always. Thanks for supporting the brands and businesses that support me.
Are you ready to upgrade your burger game? Grinding your meat is a great way to take your burgers and other dishes from average to extraordinary. When you grind the meat yourself, you can completely control the texture of the meat and what goes into your burgers. Turing your burger dinner into a steakhouse quality meal.
I used to think grinding burgers at home was complicated or a lot of work, but I recently spent an evening learning all about grinding beef with the New York Beef Council, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Grinding meat at home is easy and fun! Not only that, if you have recently begun buying your beef in bulk, direct from a farmer, by the side, or even a whole cow, knowing how to grind meat is a great way to make the most of your purchase.
Today, I am excited to share everything I recently learned about grinding beef. I have an incredible recipe for an All-American Beef Burger Blend that will impress your family and friends and give you all the tips you need to start grinding burgers.
Why You Would Want To Grind Your Own Burger
You might wonder why anyone would want to grind their burger. It is readily available in the grocery store and is a cost-effective protein to build a nutritious meal. But if you want to upgrade your burger game, grinding your own meat is a sure-fire way to take your burgers to the next level.
At the beef grinding event, Chef Patrick Rae from Finger Lakes Community College told us that most restaurants use a proprietary blend of different cuts to create their signature burgers. In fact, Gordon Ramsey’s signature burger is a custom blend of 3 cuts of meat. Why do chefs create signature beef blends for their burgers? Because they know that The flavor profiles of beef vary greatly from cut to cut.
When grinding meat at home, you can buy the right cuts for the best flavor and fat content. Once you start to grind your own meat at home and create your own beef blends, you have total control over the cuts of meat that goes into the grinder – you can pick the freshest meat possible; if you buy from a local farmer, you know where the beef is coming from, you can select cuts for flavor, and you can be assured that your ground is fresh, plus you can decide on the perfect lean to fat ratio.
What are the Benefits of Grinding Your Beef Blends?
Additionally to what I mentioned above, grinding your own burger puts you in the driver’s seat. You are in total control. You can get creative and add seasonings and spices to the meat mixture before the second grind for even more flavor or complement your recipe.
Grinding meat can help channel your inner chef and open up a world of cooking possibilities. You can create blends of meat like my burger blend below by combining different meat cuts and mixing them for an out-of-this-world burger that will blow your family and friends away.
Grinding your own meats can also be a step towards self-sufficient living. It’s an easy project that doesn’t require any professional butchering skills. Serving a juicy, tasty burger that you created from a few steaks can be an incredibly satisfying experience.
How to Choose the Best Meat Cuts for a Thick and Juicy Burger?
Ready to start grinding your own beef? It’s easy, I promise!
But first, I have to mention the fat content in a burger! I don’t know about you, but I have been so used to trimming fat off my meat that grinding burger came with a little bit of a shock. Trust me, though. You will want to resist the urge to cut off all the fat from your meat before grinding it! A lot of the flavor and juiciness of your burger depends on the fat content of your meat mixture.
Keeping the fat ratio in mind is essential when creating your own burger blend at home. Juicy, flavorful burgers will have an 80% / 20% fat ratio. So, your mixture should be 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This ratio is perfect if you like to cook your burger medium-rare to medium. 80% / 20% will give you a juicy and delicious burger without leaving a greasy coating in your mouth.
Selecting the best cuts of beef to grind for burgers can be overwhelming because there are just so many great cuts available. While you can grind up a single cut of beef such as chuck and have a delicious burger, a combination of three cuts, such as short rib, sirloin, and chuck, creates a flavorful grind with the optimal fat ratio to lean for a gourmet-style burger.
You might assume that fancy, higher-end cuts like porterhouse and Ribeye make the ultimate gourmet burger blend. But this couldn’t be further from the truth and is one of the things I love about grinding my burger blend! I can create a gourmet restaurant-style burger from high-quality budget-friendly cuts.
My favorite Burger Blend Cuts
- Chuck Roast/Steak– Known for its rich beefy flavor, chuck comes from the shoulder area and is well-marbled throughout the entire cut. It is a budget-friendly cut of beef that is perfect for burgers.
- Top Sirloin– One of my favorite cuts of meat, sirloin is leaner than chuck but has a nice beefy flavor. This cut comes from the top part of the cow’s rear end and tends to be much more tender than chuck.
- Short Rib– With heavy marbling, and a rich beefy flavor, adding short rib to your burger blend will produce an incredibly moist burger without being greasy. You will need to cut the meat off the bones before grinding it carefully, but it is worth the effort!
How to Grind The Best Burger at Home?
Freshly ground beef offers a superior texture with a more fresh beef flavor. Don’t have a grinder yet? There are many different types of grinders on the market, and they all have their pros and cons. STX Turboforce 3000 Heavy Duty 5-In-1 is a great beginner model with enough power to grind all boneless beef cuts.
Aside from the cuts of beef and the grinder you choose, the most important tips I can offer you for success are to keep everything COLD, grind your beef twice, and don’t over-handle your freshly ground beef.
Home Meat Grinding Tips
- Before you begin, make sure all your meat grinder attachments are cold. The grinder attachment pieces (shaft, tube, plate, die, and screw) should be extremely COLD. It would be best to place all these parts in the freezer at LEAST 1 hour before you plan grinding meat.
- Make sure your meat is cold. After you cut the meat into 1″ cubes, spread them in a single layer evenly on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer until the meat starts to get firm but not frozen, about 20-30 minutes.
- Use a cold bowl to catch the ground beef. I place the bowl to catch the ground meat as it falls from the grinder in the freezer before I begin, chilling it also.
- You will want to work quickly to prevent anything from warming up too much. If you get interrupted or your meat or grinder becomes too warm, place the meat and grinder parts back into the freezer for 10-15 minutes. When it has chilled, proceed to grind the meat again.
- Run the meat through the grinder twice. Running the pre-cut steak cubes through the meat grinder twice with a coarser plate and then the finer plate will give your burger blend the perfect texture.
- Shape burger patties gently, and avoiding over-handling a burger press is very helpful!
- Keep your burger patties cold until you are ready to cook them.
Tips for Handling Raw Ground Beef
Keep ground beef cold in the refrigerator until ready for cooking to discourage bacteria from growing. Freshly-ground beef will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days. You can also freeze burgers for up to three months, be sure to wrap tightly with a layer or two of plastic wrap and foil.
Shaping the Burger Patties
If you want to make a fantastic restaurant-quality burger at home, nailing the patty-making process is the secret. My family was so impressed with the patties I made with a burger press that I wondered why I had never tried using a burger press before!
Using a burger press will create uniform and impressive burgers that cook better. The burger press helps you shape the burger patties without running the risk of overhandling the meat. Remember how hard we worked to keep everything cold while grinding the meat? Even the slight heat from your hands while shaping your patties begins to melt beef’s natural fat, which will change the texture and how the burger will cook.
Use a burger press slightly larger than your bun to make perfectly even and uniform patties. Line the press with wax paper or plastic wrap to make it easier to remove the patty after shaping. I used a kitchen scale and weighed out 4 ounces for each burger directly into the burger press, but you could eyeball the amount of meat that looked right for you. Press the top of the burger press firmly into the meat mixture well, and voila, you have perfect burger patties!
You’ll want to refrigerate patties for at least 1 hour before frying or grilling for best cooking results.
- 1½ pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces and chilled
- ½ pound beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch pieces and chilled
- 6 ounces boneless beef short ribs, cut off the bone and into 1-inch pieces and chilled
- Prepare the Grinder Attachments and Bowls- Place feed shaft, blade, and 1/4-inch die of meat grinder in freezer until well-chilled. Meanwhile, place meat chunks on rimmed baking sheet, leaving space between each piece and place in freezer for 10 minutes until meat is firm, but not frozen.
- Prepare the Meat- Line a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper for easy clean up.
Cut the steaks: Cut the steaks into roughly 1 ½’’ cubes. Spread the cubes of beef in an evenly distributed, single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Place the tray of beef in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Assemble Grinder: Follow the instructions that came with your grinder and assemble the grinder attachements and fit the grinder with the course texture plate, with larger holes.
- Grind steak cubes: Grind meat by running it once through the grinder, make sure you have a chilled bowl placed underneath to catch your ground beef.
- Second Grind: Switch to the finer ¼’’ plate and run the meat again through grinder again.
- Chill ground beef before using: Cover the bowl of ground beef and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to chill or store it until you are ready to use.
- Form beef into patties Use a burger press slightly larger than your bun to make perfectly even and uniform patties. Line the press with wax paper or plastic wrap to make it easier to remove the patty after shaping. Use a kitchen scale to weigh out 4 ounces for each burger. Place burger in the well of the patty maker, tress the top of the burger press firmly into the meat mixture well. Season patty generously with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- To cook, place burgers directly over hot coals, cover with vents open, and cook, turning occasionally, until well charred and center of burgers register 160°F on an instant read thermometer, about 5 minutes. Place cheese on top of burgers and continue to cook until cheese is melted and burgers, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer burgers to a large plate and serve. .
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- STX Turboforce 3000 Heavy Duty 5-In-1 Powerful Size #12 Electric Meat Grinder • Sausage Stuffer (3 Sizes) • Kubbe Maker • Burger/Slider Maker • 2 Meat Claw Holders • 3 S/S Blades • 4 Grinding Plates
- Weston Hamburger, Crabcake and Sausage Press, Makes 4 1/2" in Diameter, 1/4lb to 3/4lb, Patty Ejector
- Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 395Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 175mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 54g
Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
I hope I have encouraged you to try grinding beef at home! I’ve been digging through my freezer, figuring out what I can grind next! What are your favorite beef meat grinder recipes if you are a seasoned pro with the grinding machine?
Thanks to my friends at the New York Beef Council for providing this fantastic opportunity!