Best Burger Patties for Grilling
We have had several threads on the best hot dogs in GTA for home use, but this inevitably goes nowhere,as there is no consistent supply of good dogs here.
Hamburger patties for home grilling is quite another matter. There are good butchers grinding their own, or even your selection of beef. (I'd like to know the best of this group.)
There are apparently good frozen patties from PC, but my own experience is shrinkage, and too much commercial spicing, sometimes with hydrolysed soy or milk fillers.
Cumbrae's has fine patties just under $3, but bland to my taste.
Metro has just introduced patties from 100% prime rib. Very good, lots of fat content, but ultimately bland. They also have Certified Angus patties, slightly cheaper and less fatty, but still lacking a good beef flavour.
I have just received Perfect Steak patties, about $2.75 each. Haven't tried them yet. This an online source, shipped in dry ice from Waterloo.
Best beef taste by quite a margin was www.beefconnections.ca It comes frozen in 1 lb packages, about $2 each. Unfortunately the next delivery to GTA is in June, but I'll probably order a 25 lb box. These are the only burgers I have tasted with a really good beef flavour, much like a dry aged steak.
What else is out there for good patio grilling this summer?
1636 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA
481 Church St, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA
Cumbrae's Of Dundas
6 King St W, Dundas, ON L9H, CA
Summerhill Market does a number of varieties of patties, including lamb, chorizo, beef (seasoned or unseasoned), and the various poultries. Nicely seasoned and well sized, available fresh or frozen.
The best premade burger patties I've had were the "Kobe" beef burgers from Oliffe. I don't know whether these have survived two recent ownership changes, but they were great last summer.
PC has sold frozen prime rib burgers for several years. They are one of the most highly rated PC products (though only a handful of reviews, all were good). I didn't find them too exciting myself.
I'm more likely to use ground chuck where I have the option. When I can find medium Certified Angus at 50% off, I'll go with that. I intend to try grinding a mix of short rib and chuck at some point this summer.
Both PC and the NZ Lamb people sell frozen lamb burger patties that are decent, but they cant compare to plain ground lamb seasoned by me.
In extremis, for a fast, cheap meal, I keep some Licks frozen patties on hand. While these are inedible at Licks, they are much better cooked rare at home. It takes about 3 minutes over the infra red.
Lamb shoulder is best for grinding. But it's a lot tougher to find in Toronto. Even the frozen stuff from New Zealand, it's tough to locate piece of boneless shoulder. Don't get me wrong, I know where to get it, but it's usually not there when I need it.
Anyhow, seasonings that work best are a mix of middle eastern and indian. Coriander (the herb and the powder), fresh mind, cumin, turmeric, chili paste (harissa), etc.
But lamb with just salt and pepper makes a nice burger as well.
I'm not a fan of the frozen PC lamb burgers. They just look funny when you cut them open and there's a weird taste to them.
Oh, and the frozen ground lamb from NZ, it's too lean.
Have you tried the PC Angus pre-made patties? I've bought some of the steaks in the styrofoam packaging and they were good. I wonder if the pre-made patties are any good. Probably too lean.
Where do you get your short ribs? On occasion, at the Leslie Loblaws, I've picked up some nice ones, with good marbling. I haven't ground any, though. I have, however, bought the boneless blade steaks or blade roasts for grinding. The results have been good.
I've found a consistent problem with the PC burger patties. They have little slits punched all over them. These make it very difficult to get a burger seared outside and rare within. I haven't tried the Angus.
I don't have a go-to place for short ribs. I pick up a batch when they look nice and have the amount of marbling that I want. With short ribs, this can be anywhere. I tend to go for a thick flanken cut, finding that the Asian/Miami grilling ribs are too thin for long cooking but too chewy for quick grilling (though a Korean marinade does help with this). I've found good ones at Loblaws, T&T, Nortown, Galleria, and many other places.
I looked at frozen burgers at Loblaws today, but there was nothing compelling. There was no prime rib burger in the section, but there was ground sirloin. It was low fat, high protein, and with only one additive, skim milk, $11/kg.
Bison burger had a long list of additives and fillers, at $12/kg.
PC Angus had a few fillers as well, $11/kg.
So did Licks, so I passed on the packaged hype.
The regular PC juicy burger had no additives other than spices, and was the best choice (chuck from Grade A meat) at $6.61/kg.) of the lot.
Kirkland 100% sirloin will still be my goto frozen patty, at $9/kg.
I didn't leave Loblaws (Liverpool Road ) empty handed. They had a group of beef tongues at 50% off, so I snagged one at $11. There are still 7 or 8 there.
For frozen patties I liked the all beef burgers from the Butcher Shoppe. The Kirkland sirloin burgers would be a close second.
Fresh, I pick up the pre-formed patties from Costco. It's the same unit price as their packaged ground beef (not the tubes) and saves me the trouble of portioning out the patties. They might be a bit large for some (12 patties were around 2.7kg total weight) but I like 'em that way.
I had some excellent burgers, think they were sirloin, from Just an Olde Fashioned Butchery in Oakville. A very course grind, full of steak flavour. Delicious.