Have you always wanted to create the juiciest, tastiest burger, but can never get your meat to just the right texture? Your choice in ground beef may be the culprit. While you don’t necessarily have to go overboard and purchase Wagyu beef or the most expensive, marbled meat on the market, selection does matter. The manager’s special of ground beef that’s been sitting in the meat section all week just won’t cut it.
As Taste of Home points out, where you decide to purchase your beef is important. Grocery store beef certainly has its time and place, especially when you account for affordability. However, it’s likely that it won’t yield the best tasting burger out there. You should seriously consider visiting a high end store like Whole Foods, a local butcher, or a meat market instead. The price might be a little to a lot higher, but it’s worth it for a once-in-a-lifetime, home-cooked burger. According to Skips Meat Market, butcher meat is generally fresher and higher quality. You get to watch the butcher cut and package the meat right in front of you, and bonus, you’re supporting a local business.
You should select ground beef based on fat percentage and grind level
The Spruce Eats notes that the best burger comes down to the fat percentage and the grind level. Fat is important in a burger, because it gives the beef its moisture and flavor. Most cooks agree that the optimal ground beef for a burger has a fat content between 15 and 20%. However, you may consider a 30% fat content if you plan to cook the meat to medium-well, per Taste of Home. If you’re making well-done burgers, you may even need a 60/40 blend, which will prevent the meat from drying out after a long cooking time.
In addition, a coarse grind works best for burgers, according to The Spruce Eats. A coarse grind is a setting on the grinder that allows the meat to be loosely ground instead of finely ground. This process allows for more aeration, which gives the meat a softer, more enticing texture. Want a pro tip? Don’t do much forming and mashing of the patty, as this can ruin the aeration in the meat and make for a tough burger.
If you’re wondering which cut of red meat works best for burgers, Spoon University recommends ground chuck. Ground chuck comes from the front shoulder of the cow and contains about 15 to 20% fat. In fact, taste testers for Cook’s Country ranked ground chuck as the best meat for burgers over ground sirloin, ground round, and ground beef.
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