Home Dinner Beef Best Ground Beef for Burgers (Tips & Tricks)

Best Ground Beef for Burgers (Tips & Tricks)

Choosing the best ground beef for burgers is crucial in crafting the perfect patty.

It doesn’t matter if you’re drawn to the smoky char of the grill or lean towards the convenience of cooking burgers in the oven.

If your beef isn’t up to par, your whole hamburger will suffer.

Best Ground Beef for Burgers (Tips & Tricks) featuring Freshly Grilled Ground Beef Patties with Lettuce on a Wooden Cutting Board

So, let’s dive into the art of selecting the right blend for juicy, flavorful burgers that will steal the show at any barbecue or family dinner.

From fat content to freshness, we’ll explore how to elevate your burger game to the next level.

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 lean ground 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

Two Ground Beef Patties with Herbs and Spices on a Parchment Paper

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. 

Mixing Meats 

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. 

Three Raw Ground Beef Patties on Parchment Paper on a Wooden Cutting Board

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. 
Beef Burger with Tomato Lettuce and Cheese on a Sesame Seed Bun with French Fries in the Background

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! 

Best Ground Beef for Burgers

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Insanely Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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