Tag Archives: ground beef percentage

The Search For The Perfect Burger

Grass fed beef burger with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and onions. Served with homemade french fries.

One of my favorite foods is the burger! If done right, it’s the perfect meal for your palate.  There is nothing like tender, juicy meat surrounded by the add-ons placed between the perfect bun.  I am always in search for the perfect burger.  The sad part is that I am disappointed more often than satisfied. The best burger I ever had was years ago at a restaurant in Providence RI in the Brown University area.  I can’t remember the name but I do remember the burger.  It was so juicy, that it got all over my new tie and white shirt.  I didn’t care because it was so awesome! I wish I could remember the name of the place.

There are several reasons why many restaurants don’t get it right.  Most of the time it starts with the beef.  To make a juicy burger  you need to start with a higher fat percentage.  It pisses me off when a store only sells 85% lean or higher.  Some stores will sell 80% but most don’t sell  70 or 75% which is better for a juicy burger.  Sometimes at home I will re-grind the burger  meat with other cuts to bump up the fat percentage. I know high fat burgers are bad for you, but you don’t eat a burger for health!

The other issue with ground beef is the handling of the  meat.  Don’t mess with it too much.  The more you handle, mix, pat, and touch the  meat, the tougher, less juicy it will be.  I never mix other ingredients into the ground meat.  If you want to do that, than make a  meatloaf.  Just quickly make your burger  paddy and stop.  Sprinkle with salt &  pepper or other seasons on the outside of the burger before cooking.

If you want other flavors, surround the  burger with them. For those who want to make a stuffed burger like a “Juicy Lucy”, the same applies.  Make two burgers, place the stuffed ingredients on top of one and top with the other burger. Again, less handling is best!

After you get the juicy burger perfected then you can dress them up with “other stuff”. This is where your food creativity comes in.  I believe you can add almost any combination of stuff to make it special.  Caramelized  onions, bacon, and mushrooms always work. But don’t stifle your creative food  side. Try adding really unique ingredients to the sandwich. The key is to bump  up the flavors that pair well with the meat.