There is no question about it that grinding your burger meat at home makes far superior burgers than even the pre ground meat or pre-formed patties you may already buy from your favorite butcher.
You can really make the burger taste like you want it to taste like. The freedom to grind the cuts of meat to make your burger really sing is something that more people should be doing. The Kitchen Aid attachment makes this even easier.
What I like about Grinding my own meat:
- You can control the cut of beef in your burger
- You can control the amount of fat in your grind (nobody like 93% lean beef, get over it, it's a burger, it's not supposed to be healthy)
- You can control the size of your grind (some places grid way too small)
- If you want, you can season your beef before your grind
- You can control your destiny
I've learned a lot about burgers over my years, none more important than my time under Tony Maws of Craigie on Main and Kirkland Tap and Trotter. Voted multiple times as the Best Burger in Boston and covering the front page of Bon Appetit once, Tony knows a thing or two about burgers and really instilled in me how important grinding your own meat is.
Back at the Baking Steel Test Kitchen, we set out to make the best burger a Home Cook can make. Our choice for combination of beef cuts are Chuck, Short Rib and Brisket. Now you may be thinking "those are really tough cuts of meat and take hours to cook to become tender" and yes, you are slightly correct but we are morphing these cuts into something better. Grinding the meat, breaks down the structure a bit, pushing all of those muscles and fats through a small die breaks down a bit.
To make things easy, we did an even 1/3 split on the cuts of beef. We diced them up into about 1" cubes and put them in the freezer where our grinding attachments are already situated. One of the big things to properly grind any types of meat is making sure all the components and products themselves are thoroughly chilled. The grinder heats up so much with the force it needs that you don't want the meat heating up and smearing on you (so it doesn't look like that pink stuff McDonalds puts in their "burgers").
Back to grinding. We remove the pieces from the freezer, assemble and start to grind. You want the speed on about 6 out of 10. Slowly add your meat and fat into the grinder and watch before your eyes, your future dinner. Once finished, patty up your burgers for whatever your application is, 2 oz. for smash burgers, 7 oz for dinner burgers, or crumbled up for cheeseburger pizza! Needless to say, if you want the best of something, you usually have to do it yourself. Nothing different when it comes to burgers. While there are some fantastic burgers out there, there's nothing better than the one that you grind yourself, throw on your Baking Steel Griddle and smash in your face.