Finding the best ground beef for burgers isn’t as simple as it may seem.
After all, when crafting the perfect burger, having the right beef is a game-changer.
If your beef isn’t up to par, your whole hamburger will suffer. It doesn’t matter what seasonings and toppings you add.
If the meat isn’t top quality, the burger won’t be, either.
Finding the best ground beef for burgers can make all the difference. Not just in taste and texture but in appearance and overall satisfaction, too.
This article will help you learn all the best beefy qualities. #nohockeypuckburgershere
Types of Ground Beef
Picking the best burger meat isn’t as simple as choosing between beef and everything else.
Even if you stick to only ground beef, there are still choices.
There are several types of ground beef, differentiated by their fat content. Most brands display it using percentages.
For example, an 80/20 pack of ground beef has 80% lean meat to 20% fat. You’ll also find 85/15 packs, 90/10 packs, and more.
For a package to be labeled as “hamburger” meat, it must contain 30% fat or less. Meat with 20% fat is leanground beef. Packs with 15% and 10% fat are extra-lean.
Finding the correct lean-to-fat ratio is the first step in selecting the best ground beef.
The Best Ground Beef for Burgers
Often, we look for ways to cut back on the fat in our recipes. However, you want a high-fat percentage for burgers.
The fat in the burgers is where all the juiciness and flavor come from.
The best ground beef for burgers has an 80/20, 85/25, or 70/30 lean-to-fat ratio. (An 80/20 percentage is ideal.)
Lean and extra-lean ground beef will produce dry, flat burgers.
Beef with a higher fat percentage is plumper, juicier, and more flavorful. Ground chuck has the optimal lean/fat ratio.
If you can find freshly ground chuck, that’s even better. And grass-fed ground chuck takes it up another notch.
But your burgers should be pretty tasty if you have a high-fat percentage.
Ground chuck is a staple of most meat departments. So, you can often find good hamburger meat whenever you need it.
If they don’t have what you need, don’t settle for a lower-fat ground beef option. Buy a couple of different varieties and mix them instead.
For example, pick up a pack of ground-round (typically 85/15). Just be sure to grab some ground pork to mix with it. This will up the fat content.
You can use the same trick if the store only has ground chicken or turkey. Purchase these options, then buy some ground pork to mix with them.
Tips for Buying and Storing Ground Beef
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing and storing ground beef:
- Always check the expiry dates on the packages. Don’t buy a pack with a nearby date unless you plan to cook it quickly. Use it within 1-2 days.
- Check the color of the meat. Raw hamburger meat should be fresh and pinkish-red. If it looks dull, gray, or spotted, avoid it.
- Look for grass-fed or organic meat if it’s in your budget. Organic or grass-fed beef is free of harmful chemicals and should taste great.
- Avoid packages with lots of liquid. A little juice is fine, but it shouldn’t be excessive.
- Store the beef in the fridge if you plan to cook it within 48 hours. Never store raw beef at room temperature.
- Freeze the meat if you don’t intend to cook it within 48 hours. Freezing ground beef will extend its life to up to 4 months.
Ground Beef Cooking Tips
Following these tips will ensure a delicious burger. Every time.
- When cooking ground beef, take care not to cross-contaminate your other ingredients. (The same as you would when cooking any meat.)
- Remember to wash your hands after handling the meat. And don’t use soiled utensils in other food.
- Also, avoid over-mixing your patties. Mixing them too much will make the cooked burgers too dense. Make them plump, as well.
- Remember, you’ll cook your burgers medium-well to well done. If the patties are too thin or dense, they’ll be dry and flat when cooked.
- Lock in moisture by cooking them over medium (not high) heat.
Enjoy your delicious, moist burgers!
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