When barbecue season comes knocking it is no surprise that you are suddenly craving a good burger. While you can opt to eat out, or buy pre-made patties, why not up your burger game by making your own?
You have two options when it comes to making your own burger patties. The most simple way involves heading to your local butcher and buying some high quality ground meat, or alternatively you can buy your cuts of choice and mince your own beef.
Grinding your own beef will allow for full control when it comes to balancing out your burger. You’ll know where your beef is coming from and you’ll be able to control the fat content and beef cuts used.
However, buying pre-ground meat from your local butcher will take the pressure off, and will leave your feed stress free.
Whether you’re choosing to grind your own or you go for pre-ground meat, the objectives remain the same when it comes to a good burger patty: you want superior texture, flavour and just the right amount of fat.
What to look for when choosing a cut of beef for your burgers
When choosing the cuts you must first decide how you will cook your burger. Do you like them rare, medium or well-done? Your answer will determine the amount of fat content you will need.
While some may be scared off by the word fat, you shouldn’t be. The fat content of a burger is an important player and will provide the moisture and flavour to the meat, which is especially important considering the high heat used when cooking burgers. The fat content will prevent your burger from drying out.
For a rare burger you need 10%-20% fat, for a medium cooked burger you look for 20%-30% fat and for a well-done burger you want a fat percentage closer to 40%. The rest of the patty can be made from lean cuts.
That being said, you’ll either want a cut that has a good combination of fat and lean such as chuck, or you can supplement leaner cuts such as sirloin or round with a cut that has a higher fat content such as navel, brisket or short ribs.
You can use a binding agent such as an egg, but it isn’t needed as long as you form your patties properly, and for texture you want to use a course mince to avoid a mush or paste-like consistency.
When forming your patties here are the top tips you need to know:
- You want to keep any extra ingredients mixed in with the meat to a minimum, otherwise you risk the patty falling apart. Aim to keep it simple with just the beef and some seasoning
- You are best to season just before you cook and make sure you mix the seasoning through the mince so it won’t just be on the exposed beef
- When shaping your patties be gentle, you don’t want to overwork the meat
- Put an indent into the middle of the burger before you cook to result in the final product being a flat patty, made exactly to sit in a bun.
When it comes to cooking your burger keep the flipping to a minimum and avoid the temptation to push down on the patty. While pushing the patty down may speed up the cooking time, it will push out all the precious juices that you want to keep.
Finally don’t forget about your toppings. While you can keep it simple and let your patty truly shine, why not beef up your burger by topping it with all your favourites.
Check out some of our favourite burger recipes here.