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Tips for Juicy Beef Patties For Hamburgers

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gracoman View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 March 2018 at 08:08
With spring and grilling season coming up, this is as good a time as any to mention that if you want to know what is in your beef patties for hamburgers, ou should grind your own meat at home.  In stores, anything goes.  This doesn't even go into proper sanitation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2018 at 09:48
Good tip, G-man.

I like using chuck for burgers. It seems to have the perfect ratio of fat to lean.

Do not, however, make the mistake of using a food processor as a grinder. Food processors emulsify the meat, rather than actually grinding it, which will be reflected in the texture, taste, and mouthfeel.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2018 at 14:11
Never used a food processor myself but I'd probably give it a go if I had to.  Maybe if you just used the pulse function and played with it?  Arrrrgh, I don't know what I'm talking about.

With the small amount of meat grinding I do, I just use my mixer's meat grinder attachment.  It does a pretty good job.  I probably wouldn't recommend that to anybody grinding more than a few pounds at a time or grinding several times per week but I suppose it would do okay until it didn't.  Inexpensive dedicated meat grinders would be a step up but they make an awful racket and have to be stored and cleaned. 

These days meat isn't even ground on site.  The "butcher" is some kid stocking the shelves.  Ground meat is delivered to grocery stores prepackaged from a processing and distribution warehouse that has schedules, quotas and profit margins to think of.  The heck with everything else.  "What's that yer throwin' in the hopper Monroe?"  "Dunno Oswaldo, its mostly meat ain"t it? Nobody's gonna know".

Contrary to popular lab grown meat mythology, the only reason lab grown meat, clean meat if you will, will be able to get away with selling this product (for now anyway) is because it's ground muscle with fat added.  Only the muscle fibers can be grown.  No fat, connective tissue, or bone.  But I digress.

I know folks who cook wagyu burgers but that seems like a waste to me.  Great burgers are more expensive burgers but let's try and keep this under control. 

A mixture of ground brisket point and chuck make great burgers.  I know a guy who's favorite burger is a mix of ground brisket, chuck, and oxtail.  It's a lot of effort to separate the meat from the bones in the oxtail but he does it.

Just about any burger can be improved with the addition of a little fish sauce.  You won't notice the fish sauce but the burgers will taste beefier.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 March 2018 at 18:53
I imagine the pulse function would work, somewhat. But I'd still be concerned about overdoing it while you tried for an even "grind." For small amounts of meat, like up to a pound or so, chopping it by hand with a sharp knife does a better job, IMO.

I dunno as there's any problem with those inexpensive grinders, G-man. I bought one in 1999 for just under a C-note, and it's still going strong. Used it just the other night, to grind some lamb. Not particularly noisy (although, truth to tell, it's gotten more so as the years pass0, and cleaning it is no different than other approaches.

I originally bought it because I had a lot of game to butcher---5 deer, a couple of wild boar, and some exotic sheep. Figured at that price, if I only got a season out of it, it was worthwhile. It's more than paid for itself.

I've only had experience with the one, though, and maybe it's an anomaly?

Wagyu burgers are more than just expensive; they're a cheffy affectation. Think about it. What makes wagyu special is the amount of marbling. Marbling, hell, it's about half fat. Maybe that's good in a steak. But in a burger? Let's see; you take a high-fat-content piece of meat, grind it, then sear out the fat. What kind of sense does that make?

I've tried the chuck/brisket mix, in the past. To me, the increased flavor profile isn't worth the added cost. Mileage may vary for others.

Mentally, I have a good vibe about the brisket/chuck/oxtail mix. Don't know as I'd want to spend that much time on it, though. Not for burgers.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2018 at 09:38
I imagine a dedicated grinder in 1999 for around $100 is a much better machine than the el cheapos available now.  I've seen them with everyday low low prices hovering around $50 and everyone seems to mention these machines work great.  Just noisy.  I've been tempted, more than once, to buy one of these. A quick look just now finds this model for $33.00.  It even has an on/off switch.  That's $22 less than I paid for my mostly plastic stand mixer grinder accessory. I could handle the noise more than the expense.

One day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 March 2018 at 14:07
Perhaps you're right, G-Man. But back in the day, 99 bucks was the low end. There weren't that many around, and after the one I bought they took a quantum leap in price.

Mine is a Tasin, if that means anything. Came with the power source, screw, cutter, three screens, and the device to make that special Japanese sausage called kubbe, which I've never used, as well as a tamper, hopper, and one sausage tube.

Only thing lacking, imo, is a 5/8" screen. I keep telling myself to buy one, except I expect the thing to quit every year. But, like the EverReady bunny, it just keeps going, and going.

About a year or so back I happened to notice that Bass Pro (and, now, presumably Cabellas) had what appeared to be the same unit, branded differently. Ironically, it was still tagged at $99.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2018 at 08:48
I've heard that a mix of chuck and sirloin is also a good combination, but have never tried it; that is to say, I've never consciously tried mixing them, but they may have been combined that way in burger that I've bought. I want to say it is a 50/50 mix, but it may have been a more elaborate ratio.

All of this talk has me wanting to bring the grill out, but with all of the fresh snow we've gotten, and temperatures in the teens, it just doesn't seem like a good time, quite yet. The cold doesn't bother me, but there are other related hassles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pitrow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2018 at 08:59
I read an article once where a guy tried several different formulations of beef cuts to make hamburgers, focusing on both taste and texture and what he came up with in the end was a mix of sirloin, brisket and oxtail. If I remember right it was about equal parts of each once the bones and gristle are removed. I have not tried it yet, as the cost would be too prohibitive right now, but I want to just to see how it stacks up to say, plain old ground chuck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 April 2018 at 12:59
I think that mix would produce a beefier flavor, Mike, primarily from the oxtails. They'd be required, anyway, to provide the fat missing from the sirloin.

I used to work a short-order grill where the owner insisted on straight sirloin, cuz he wanted a reputation for providing top cuts. Trouble is, he never had to work the flattop when there were a dozen burgers going at once. With sirloin, if you turn your back for a second, the burger is overcooked. Alas.

He would buy provisions by sight, rather than asking the supplier, and insisted that we use "white American cheese," cuz it was more flavorful. Yeah, it was. But that's because it was Provolone. But we never set his straight. Evil of us, I reckon.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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