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Oct 14, 2010 12:19 AM

Best beef cuts (and ratios) for grind your own hamburgers

I have the kitchen aid meat grinder attachment (that I STILL have not yet used) and have read different recs for the meat.

One is chuck, sirloin and brisket and another is chuck, sirloin and boneless beef ribs. I read that brisket is more of a liver flavor and I really don't like that so am leaning toward not using brisket.

What's your favorite combo?

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  1. Here's a link to a recent longish thread, with lots of ideas and opinions:

    1. We started grinding our own meat for burgers a while back, and honestly, I don't think I'd ever go back. :)

      One of our favorite combinations is lean beef (like sirloin or even round) and pork shoulder, in a about a 1:1 ratio - the fatty pork kind of balances the lean beef so we end up with a nice, tender burger. My husband does most of the grinding, and he likes to season the meat first, mix it together and let it sit for a couple of hours before grinding.

      1. This one depends, if money is no object and about 10-15% fat is desired then 30% ribeye,30% chuck and 40% sirloin works. If you want it leaner increase sirloin and reduce chuck without sacrificing flavor. If quality and value is desired and you believe fat is flavor, then 40% chuck, 30% short rib and 30% brisket gives a 20-25% fat content with ALOT of flavor. I come from 4 generations of butchers and have never heard of brisket tasting like liver and 5 million Texans can't be wrong, those good ol' boys love brisket. Lastly and most importantly, a Kitchen Aid grinder is meant to make a pound or two of sausage, if you grind anymore than that, the grinder is WAY TOO SLOW, you will heat your meat with fraction and this can put you in the danger zone too long. You can freeze the grinder parts and partial freeze the meat but don't try to make too much. Your best bet is to find a local butcher, other than a mega mart, and have him or her custom grind. They will more likely have better flavored Dry Aged beef and a pie or cake goes along way to build a relationship. Good Luck...JJ

        4 Replies
        1. re: Chef Jimmy J

          I've had hangar steak that tasted sort of like liver, but not brisket. We have baked brisket all the time and if it tasted like liver, my husband wouldn't touch it.

          1. re: coll

            I've never had liver taste from brisket, either, bleah.

          2. re: Chef Jimmy J

            I recently baught a grinder (because of the pink slime in ground beef i've been hearing about) and had a few questions:
            which grinder do i grind on first? do i then grind on a different level?
            also how do i measure the fat content? brisket has quite a large layer of fat on the top, do I just leave it?
            as for cooking skills, i like mines well done but hubby likes it rare. i dont have a grill so what would be the best way to cook them?

            1. re: Chef Jimmy J

              also, lets say i slightly freeze the meat, grind it, can I freeze again for later use?


              Grinding Your Own Meat

              Pretty simple really, cut all the meat into small cubes not bigger than 1"(25mm) and if you are adding extra fat cut the fat into much smaller cubes, maybe 1/4 the size of the meat. This allows you to distribute the lesser volume of fat more evenly. The same principle applies if you add a second meat type, like bacon, which is less in volume than your primary meat.

              Spread the meat cubes in a single layer on your work surface and then distribute the fat (or second meat type) evenly over the meat. Spice the layer of meat, turn it over (spatula/egg lifter works well) and spice the other side as well.

              If you intend binding the mixture for patties with a little fresh bread crumbs soaked in some cool stock and a bit of egg now is the time to distribute this evenly over the meat.

              Mix everything through lightly with your hands and put the mixture into the freezer until it is very cold (just before it starts to freeze). A very cold mixture makes grinding meat a walk in the park and delivers excellent results. Although I don't go to such extremes I know of people who also put the grinder parts into the freezer prior to grinding meat and they claim great results.

              Choose the plate size according to the quality and tenderness of the meat. With tender meat a coarse cut is preferred. Tough meat would warrant a medium cut and very sinewy meat would require a fine cut.

              Follow the manufactures instructions to grind the meat. The threaded retaining ring on the front of the grinder needs to be pretty tight to force the cutting plate to seat tightly up against the knife otherwise you wont have much success with grinding meat. Use a pushing stick and never your fingers to force the meat cubes into the grinder and down onto the worm.

              Stoppages are usually caused by sinews getting wrapped around the knife. This is generally due to a loose retaining ring, a blunt or dull knife, or the meat not being cold enough. Always unplug an electric grinder from the wall socket before attempting to clear a stoppage.

              After Grinding: If you are new to this or if you are trying out a new recipe the next step after grinding is to put the ground meat into the refrigerator.

              Don't clean up quite yet.

              Take a small sample of ground meat and make a miniature patty. A heaped teaspoon is enough. Fry it in a pan and taste the texture and spicing. Here's how to correct some common errors.

              Too Tough - If the ground meat is a bit tough you will want to put it through the grinder a second time. If it is very tough or sinewy do this using a plate with smaller holes.

              Not Enough Spice - If it is only a bit of spice that is needed spread the ground meat out in a thin layer on the work surface and sprinkle the extra spice evenly over it. Mix through gently with your hands.

              Too Much Spice - If the ground meat is too spicy get some more fresh meat and grind it without adding any spice. Spread the over-spiced meat out in a thin layer and distribute the unspiced meat evenly over it. Mix through gently with your hands.

              Refrigerate the ground meat until you are ready to mold the patties.

              Cleaning the Grinder: No tricks here. It's just important after grinding meat to completely strip the grinder and wash it and all the parts meticulously. A bottle brush works well with small grinders. After rinsing and drying I make a habit of spraying the cutting plate and knife lightly with cooking spray to prevent them from rusting. Assemble the grinder to keep all the parts safely together and cover with a cloth to keep dust out.

              Grinding meat is an extremely rewarding experience and once you start you probably will not restrict yourself to only making great tasting burgers. Ground meat dishes will also take on a whole new meaning and then of course there is that whole new world of making your own sausage that lies ahead!

              1. I've tried brisket mixed with short rib, chuck and sirloin, and so far, for taste and texture despite being lean, ground grass fed flank steak has the best taste and texture of all we've tried so far.