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Sep 11, 2006 07:09 PM

The best meat for burgers

I know this has been discussed before but I couldn't find anything recent...
Had dinner on Friday and since burgers were on the menu, I did some research beforehand on what would constitute the best burger meat. General concensus seemed to be freshly ground chuck. I went to a local butcher, he steered me toward a chuck shoulder, which he promptly ground for me.
I grilled it over a gas flame (sorry, charcoal purists, but I live in the city and propane's just easier), cooked abt 3 minutes on each side...the burger was good, very juicy, perfectly cooked, but NOT overly flavorful. So...what was missing? I'm wondering if perhaps I needed to mix it with a bit of sirloin? Would that have added a bit more flavor? Fat content seemed to be good, because, as I said, the burger was definitely juicy and certainly one of the better ones I've made...but still..I'm looking for just a little more flavor. I know if I cooked it over charcoal that might help a little...but does anyone else have any thoughts, or favorite meat mixes they uses when making burgers? TIA.

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  1. For a basic burger, fresh ground chuck or chuck shoulder is fine. Charcoal would certainly help, but not a deal breaker.
    I've noticed some flavor loss when the meat is firmly formed into a patty rather than losely formed.

    1. I actually put a little steak rub on mine - people are always asking how I make them. I prefer ground chuck/angus.

      1. I believe that Cooks Illustrated recently did something about this. I usually add a bit of steak sauce, minced onions, salt and pepper.

          1. re: Pei

            I just made buffalo burgers for the first time this weekend tailgating at a football game. I thought they came out excellent, but I had about 5 beers in me before I ate them. Will have to try them again when I'm sober.

            1. re: Infomaniac

              What should I say? A kindred spirit? I can relate? Best reply?

            2. re: Pei

              I absolutely LOVE buffalo burgers! I am hoping the prices will come down eventually as it is pretty costly for using frequently.

              I make burgers at home with lofat ground beef and ground turkey; I mince a pepper, onion and mushrooms and add to the meat along with seasoned bread crumbs, some milk and lots of other spices. They are always very flavorful. I will often sprinkle them with mesquite seasoning as they go on the grill.

            3. One of my brothers-in-law likes to mix in some beef short rib with his chuck for tasty bugers. He grinds his own and uses about 25% boneless beef short ribs (from Costco) and 75% Beef Chuck.