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How to Grind Your Own Burgers

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Fresh Ground Burger

 

 

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In the past few years my family has gotten into grinding our own meat.  It all started with making chicken sausage for our Pizza Pasta using my Grandma’s old hand-crank meat grinder.  When that ran out of steam we upgraded to a Kitchen Aid attachment for our stand-up mixer and about that time we realized that grinding steaks is a simple process that produces restaurant-quality {or even better} hamburgers at home.  You don’t need to season the ground beef much, if at all, because the flavor of the meat itself is great.  And the burger is so tender it will melt in your mouth.

Apart from the incredible tenderness and superior flavor of freshly-ground beef, there are some health benefits, too.  When you purchase ground beef there’s a good chance it’s been ground in a meat-processing plant before being shipped to supermarkets around the country.  You don’t know anything about the quality or cut of meat.  More importantly, with so much meat going through the massive grinders at the factories and even at the supermarkets there is no way of knowing how long the meat has been in the grinder before being pushed through or how long since the grinder was cleaned.  Furthermore, when meat is ground there is more surface area that is exposed so the longer it sits before being used, the higher the risk of contamination.  These factors are what increase the risk of E-coli and other food-borne illnesses in ground beef.  This risk is greatly reduced when you grind your own meat because you see the steak(s) that will be ground, you know that the grinder is clean and you will most likely use the ground beef immediately.  With the reduced risk of E-coli you can cook your hamburgers more like you cook your steak.  Not having to overcook your burgers makes them extra tender and juicy.

As for the cut of meat to grind, you can grind any steak that you would like.  Sirloins, chuck and brisket are commonly used.  Some say that chuck makes the best burgers because it has the perfect ratio of fat to meat.  Most connoisseurs and restaurants have a bias for a certain steak or blend of steaks.  My family once ground some steaks separately to have a side-by-side burger sampling and I have to say that I couldn’t really tell a difference between the cuts of meat.  But I can definitely tell a difference between a freshly-ground burger and one that is made with pre-ground meat.

You don’t have to buy expensive cuts of meat to make great burgers.  We have made burgers with some of the cheapest and leanest cuts of steak with delicious results.  For the occasions when we’re in the mood for a “real” hamburger, not chicken or turkey, we will now always grind our own beef.

If you don’t have a meat grinder or simply don’t want to mess with the process, most butchers will gladly grind the steaks for you.

*{Grinding your own steaks is also great for taco meat, pasta sauces and any other ground beef dish.}

How to Grind Your Own Burgers
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Recipe type: Main Course
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Making restaurant-quality {or better} hamburgers at home is easy. Simply grind your own meat for the best tender and juicy burgers that you've ever had.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound steak (chuck, sirloin or another cut of your choice)
  • Salt
Burger Fixings
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Avocado slices
  • Bacon
  • Cheese slices
  • Pickles, etc.
Instructions
Grinding the Beef
  1. Chill your grinder for thirty minutes prior to grinding the steak(s).*
  2. Assemble the grinder using the largest blade setting.
  3. Cut the steak(s) into strips or cubes.
  4. Using a fork, add the meat, one strip at a time, to the grinder.
  5. If you are using the Kitchen Aid attachment, use the meat presser to press the meat down through the grinder.
  6. Have a large plate or bowl ready to collect the ground beef.
  7. Once all of the steaks are ground, grind the beef a second time.*
  8. *Many sources recommend these two steps but my family has had success skipping both of them.
Making the Burgers
  1. Lightly season the beef with salt or the seasonings of your choice.
  2. Gently form the ground beef into four patties.
  3. Grill the patties on the BBQ or on the stovetop for 5-10 minutes on each side or until they are cooked how you like them.
  4. Add a slice of cheese to the burgers for the last few minutes of cook time so that the cheese melts.
  5. Wrap the buns in foil and place them in the oven at 350 degrees or on the BBQ for 5-10 minutes to allow them to steam and get soft.
  6. Assemble the burgers.

 

Fresh Ground Burger

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