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Best beef cuts mix for grinding my own burger?

The thread on "Best beef cuts mix for grinding my own burger?" inspired me to get back to grinding my own hamburger. Well, that and the fact that I'm out and we're going to the store tomorrow...

I've read quite a few threads on hamburger here, with a few ideas on what cuts to combine. I've seen round, brisket sirloin and others. What is your favorite (beef only) cuts combo and ratio? I know some NY stakehouses guard their mix pretty well, but I'd like to hear what you like. I'm much more interested in the beef cuts rather than extras such as egg, celery, cayenne, etc.

Thanks.

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  1. Neck and tenderloin when I can get it.
    Otherwise 50/50 chuck and sirloin. Not too lean.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom

      Whatever cut is on sale, chuck or sirloin. I wait for it to go on sale and it's usually half the price of store ground meat

    2. Take an Angus boneless chuck roast, add a little suet. and grind. Period.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hank Hanover

        Agreed. I add some pork fat if it's too lean. I don't usually have leftover suet in the fridge, so please don't hate. Of course, if you like lean, use some or all sirloin or round. Less flavor, though. Short ribs or brisket would be great, if you can find them at a decent price (which seldom happens in my experience). Also tri-tip.

        1. re: Sirrith

          I also prefer trimmed chuck roast and short rib.

          1. re: Sirrith

            Ditto Sirrith. Flap meat and skirt steak are also nice, but a little more expensive.

          2. I generally use about 2-1 chuck to round. Cuts vary depending on what's on sale.

            FWIW - a picture of my meat grinder:

             
            2 Replies
              1. re: rjbh20

                'Universal' But a lot of those brands were either absorbed by Hobart or made by Hobart under other names for re-sellers.

                Restored by me.

            1. Equal parts sirloin, brisket and oxtail (trimmed).

              1. I use straight chuck roast. If there isn't enough fat (25-30%) I'll add a little beef tallow that I've trimmed from other cuts. I've heard of good mixes including brisket, shin, oxtail, sirloin, etc. but the plain chuck, seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a hot cast iron pan is so delicious and beefy I haven't bothered experimenting with adding different cuts. Also, considering that chuck is so inexpensive and some of the other recommended cuts are pricier, I'd rather save brisket and short ribs for braises, barbecue, Korean BBQ, etc.

                FWIW, The Food Lab column on Serious Eats did a great write-up of burger blends as well as burger technique. Sorry, don't have a link for you.

                1. Seriously, it's ground so whatever is cheapest.

                  Grinding tenderloin is just dumb.

                  1. At one famous Warrensburg NY smoke house I used to have a few freshly cut and TRIMMED delmonico steaks made. THEN I would order a few pounds of freshly ground chop meat..... They always used the trimmings with a mix of chuck....Yummie!

                    1. It's a matter of personal taste. Chuck is the gold standard for burgers. For your first attempt, try 100% chuck. It's pretty darn good, and you may decide that's all you need.

                      Frankly, I have experimented a lot and have a hard time convincing myself that a blend is noticeably better than 100% chuck. But by all means experiment for yourself by branching out from all chuck. Try 50% chuck and 50% sirloin or round. The addition of a leaner cut like sirloin or round helps to retain moisture. A good amount of fat makes a burger seem moist/juicy, but TOO much fat will result in a greasy mouthfeel and LESS juice. I once experimented by dropping a nice fatty ribeye steak into the grinder and making a burger from the results, and you know what?--it was fatty and not juicy. Nope--it's important to have at least some lean meat in your mix. This is probably why chuck seems to work so well on its own.

                      I've also tried 50% chuck, 25% sirloin, and 25% brisket. Brisket is another commonly mentioned cut to use as an adjunct to your base of chuck. If you really want to get creative, add a little short rib, as others have mentioned here. To my palate, the addition of short rib in amounts of about 25% didn't have a big flavor impact, and when I tried to increase the percentage of short rib, I felt it threw the texture off--too mushy. (Speaking of texture, you probably want to use the coarse disk on your grinder.)

                      Now, to get really crazy, you could try adding a little oxtail--arguably the most flavor-packed part of the beast. I haven't tried that, but I suspect it would give me the same disappointing results as short rib. If not disappointing, I would strike it off my list as just not being worth the effort. But you decide.

                      For me, either 100% chuck or a 50-50 chuck and sirloin provides the optimal balance between pleasing results and effort required.