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Jun 9, 2012 07:13 AM

Hamburgers not "beefy" enough

Since I've become acquainted with my Kitchen Aid meat grinder, I've been grinding the meat for my burgers. I've followed Bobby Flay's advice, 2/3 chuck, 1/3 sirloin, don't overhandle and s&p on the outside. What I haven't done is cook them in a cast iron pan. My husband insists on grilling.

I've found that although they are fresh and tender (to the point of almost falling apart), I'm not getting a good beefy, meaty taste from them.

Any thoughts on why not? Should I increase the amount of sirloin? Dry age the meat in the fridge for a day or so before grinding? Add a dash of worchestershire? Tie my husband to the deck chair and break out the cast iron?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.


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  1. I would try to find some nice grass fed beef. If that is what you are already using all I can suggest is to try a different cut to grind. Maybe some flank steak.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kengk

      Second the grass-fed suggestion. Of course people eat it for lots of different reasons but one of my favorites is the intense 'beefiness' that is brings to dishes. Have your husband grill some grass-fed beef outside and if that doesn't work, insist on the cast iron pan! Good luck and please report back!

      1. re: kengk

        I'll third this. I don't even eat beef and rarely prepare and cook it. But I recently made a batch of burgers with grass-fed beef and fed them to family. They talked about them for days.

        1. Before you reinvent the wheel, try cooking one on the grill and another on your cast iron skillet and do a taste test. As wyogal mentioned, be sure to salt the burgers before they hit the grill/skillet and allow them to sit for about fifteen minutes before you put them on the heat.
          If I were wanting to dry age the meat I'd do it after grinding rather than before

          "Add a dash of worchestershire? " Might add worchestershire flavor but not "beefy" flavor.

          3 Replies
          1. re: todao

            Mixing in some flank or flap steak would also increase the intensity of the beef. Being your grinding your own, cooking med to med rare will also increase the flavor (vs) well done. Little salt, pepper & garlic powder also give it that steak flavor.

            I would never dry age ground hamburger in the same manner a whole primal cut is aged. I don't know what dry aging for a day or two would do other than dry out the ground. I would skip the aging and add the more flavorful cuts and maybe a little more fat.

            1. re: todao

              "If I were wanting to dry age the meat I'd do it after grinding rather than before"

              That really sounds unsafe and Im pretty sure you'd get someone very sick.

              1. re: twyst

                Yeah, I had to re-read that one several times myself.

            2. I use pure, carefully selected chuck. You might try adding an Oxtail or two to your grind....

              Have Fun & Enjoy!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Uncle Bob

                i was thinking oxtail or some shortrib meat.

                don't skimp on the salt.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  I second the idea of adding boneless short rib to the mix.

                  Stay away from meat that has been enhanced with various liquids. If you want more beefiness then try to get grass fed, but be very careful not to overcook grass fed beef.

              2. In addition to changing the mix of your ground meat as suggested above, you could try to work in stuff with more umami to make the beef taste beefier. Ground porcini mushrooms, dash of worcestershire, or even a dash of (gasp!) MSG.

                1 Reply
                1. re: twyst

                  I'll second the MSG, and venture a suggestion that will be even more reprehensible to some - a sprinkling of dry onion soup mix mixed into the meat. Either adds salt. I do not use additional salt on a burger, but I DO make them in cast iron. I prefer the overall sear to the incomplete searing of a grill (and am not a huge fan of smoke).