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Type of beef to grind for hamburgers

I am limited to the type of beef I can find but would like to grind my own hamburgers, so would appreciate some help on what to buy.

I can find miami ribs, rib steaks, brisket and what is called stew meat (no idea what it actually is, and there is no way to find out).

So, from that short list of options, any idea what would be best. I am happy to mix them if someone has a proportion that they think might work.

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  1. The nice thing about grinding your own meat is that you can do whatever you like. If you're willing to spend the money on ribs for grinding, all the power to you. I think most people will end up using chuck, which is cut from the shoulder, and can often times be referred to as stew meat, so my bet would be with that.
    Serious eats (http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...) did an article where they blended different cuts of meat to make the best burger, and while the options he presented are limited for Kosher reasons, I think the take home message is: mix and match different cuts of meats if you want to come up with the hamburger that works for you

    1. Many threads on this subject. I just picked up some boneless short rib meat (about $4.00 lb) and will be mixing it with strip loin scraps, strip loin fat & lean round that I got for next to nothing.

      As Koshergastronome said, many folks like straight chuck. The serious eats thread is also very good.

      One thing is for sure, once you get the fat / lean ratio right and then fine tune the cuts you will never go back to supermarket wonder what it really is dried out flavorless meat.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Tom34

        Hi Tom - you would be shocked at what boneless short rib meat costs from a kosher butcher; strip loin isn't available kosher in the US as far as I know. Note the original post's description of the limited cuts of kosher beef available to him/her.

        1. re: GilaB

          Sorry, very tired and missed the "kosher" part of the post for the 2nd time tonight.

      2. Based on your limited choices, I would use a mix of 75% stew meat (which id probably lean/tough chuck) and 25% brisket firflavorandnecessary fat. The stew meat alone will be too dry and lacking in flavor.

        1. Thanks for all the responses. I will try the chuck, brisket mix. Cost aside, would 100% short ribs be good or too fatty? We eat so little meat given the cost that the occasional splurge might be ok.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nuts4food

            If cost is not a factor, mix short rib meat and brisket meat and see how you like it. The best thing about grinding your own is you can fine tune the blend to your tastes. The main thing is you crossed the barrier and are wiling to grind your own.

          2. I remove all external tissue & mix chuck & brisket 50/50. sometimes ribeye. i think the main thing UNLESS your cooking the meat through is removing all external muscle so you can get a fatty & raw beef mix. & use high heat when you sear the outside.

            1. I also find it helpful to chill the meat, fat & metal grinder head for a 1/2 hr in the freezer before grinding.

              1. We use Boston steak for ground beef based on butcher`s recommendation. It is very good as a hamburger patty fried in some oil or butter. I did not like this cut on the barbeque, too dry, but fried with oil is excellent.

                8 Replies
                1. re: Ruthie789

                  Ruthie, I know you are in Montreal, whatt cut i your butcher calling 'Boston' steak? That is not a name commonly used in the USA.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    I think it from a center cut of sirloin. See links below:
                    http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main...
                    http://beststeakinchicago.wordpress.c...

                    1. re: Ruthie789

                      not available as kosher in the US.

                      1. re: bagelman01

                        Would there be a specific reason why a cut would not be done this way? Also I did not realize I was on the Kosher board, I should not have suggested frying beef with butter.

                        1. re: Ruthie789

                          The hindquarters of animals are not fit for kosher consumption due to a 'vein' that runs through them There is a very laborious method by which this can be removed and the meat made kosher. In the Western Hemisphere where beef was plentiful and inexpensive the rabbis long ago decided not to permit this processand the hindquarters of animals that are slaughtered by the kosher metod are sold off to non-kosher processors.
                          In poor communities in the eastern hemisphere where there was little beef and it was very expensive (plus the Jewish and non-Jewish communities had little interaction) skilled butchers removed this 'vein' under rabbinical supervision and hindquarter cuts were available as kosher. In the early days of the State of Israel, meat was in short supply and the rabbis permitted this process and it continues on a limited basis to this day. There are very few practioners of this skill.
                          So theoretically it is possible to buy kosher loin beef in Israel, but it is not generally available in the USA and Canada.

                          1. re: bagelman01

                            That is very interesting and very technical. Thank you. Many cuts are no longer available, butchering is a very technical skill and today we see commercial cuts in our markets.

                            1. re: Ruthie789

                              see this thread in general topic

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803116

                              1. re: bagelman01

                                I have been buying my ground beef from the butcher and ask them to grind on site. I also have a French (France) butcher who I go to for very special ocassions, In Canada a meat packer and distribution center had a majour malfunction so I tend to stay with a butcher for my meat now.