Ground beef is the most popular choice of meat when it comes to making an amazing burger. But head to your local grocery store and the options can get confusing quickly. What percentage of fat should you choose? What about other types of meat? Should you mix any together? Here is what you need to know about choosing the best meat for your burger and getting it ready for the grill.
What Percentage of Fat is Best for a Burger?
The ideal burger is going to be flavorful, juicy, and still able to hold together well enough that it won’t turn into a pile of mush as soon as you pick it up. The best way to control your burger’s texture is to regulate the amount of fat contained in the meat. This might sound complex, but it’s easier than you might think.
You should aim for a burger that has about 15 to 20 percent fat. This ratio is enough fat to give you delicious flavor from the meat, but your burger won’t become too dry when you grill it.
If you’re aiming for this perfect ratio with a single cut of meat, this means that some cuts won’t be suitable. For example, it’s tempting to use the best cut for your burgers, like beef sirloin. But that meat will be too lean, and your burgers will end up being dry. The same idea applies to a fatty meat like ribeye. The flavor will be delicious, but the additional fat content will lead the burger to either fall apart while you’re cooking or eating it.
The great news is that you can achieve that ideal 15 to 20 percent ratio by pairing leaner cuts of beef with fattier ones to get the texture and flavor you want.
Choosing the Best Meat for Your Burger
When it comes to creating a delicious burger, Ground Round is one of the best options. This is because it has the ideal fat content percentage of 15 to 20 percent. This perfect ratio of fat to lean meat means that your burger is going to have that perfect beefy taste, but it won’t fall to pieces the moment you bite into it. If you use other lean cuts, you may wish to add more fat to the mix to achieve the ideal 80/20 ratio.
Some of the best beef cuts for burgers include:
- Ground Round — As stated above, this cut does well on its own as a reliable option for creating delicious burgers. Round meat can be from top round or bottom round.
- Brisket — Brisket has incredibly high fat content and great beef flavor. It’s a good cut to mix with leaner meats to elevate the fat content.
- Boneless short rib — This one has excellent fat content and flavor.
- Tri-tip and sirloin — These have excellent flavor but are lean, so you’ll want to mix in a cut with some higher fat content.
Remember, you can combine any meat you want to get the perfect flavor and fat content. It doesn’t have to be all beef, either. Many people like to include ground pork, which has a high fat content. Ground chicken or turkey are other options with lower fat content.
Much of this comes down to your preferences. Part of the fun is in experimenting with different cuts to get the one that suits your tastes perfectly.
Preparing Your Burger Patty for Grilling
Usually, you’ll want a coarse grind for your meat when making burgers. This is what most grocery stores sell. You can also ask your butcher to customize your order.
When you shape your burger patties, this is also the time to include any additional ingredients, such as garlic, salt and pepper, various herbs, and chopped onions. While it’s sometimes tempting to load your meat with different flavors and seasonings, this isn’t necessary. In fact, too many extras can cause your burger to fall apart while cooking. When you use the right combination of meat, your burger is going to be delicious.
Get the Best Cuts of Meat at Nick’s of Calvert
Now that you know how to choose the best meat for your burger, it’s time to go shopping. Nick’s of Calvert is your hometown grocery store offering the highest-quality products at the best prices. For over half a century, Nick’s has offered its community an alternative to large chain stores.
Our full-service meat counter is the centerpiece of our store. We provide the freshest meats for your next grilling meal. And, if you need help selecting the right cut or accompanying products, we’d be happy to help. Visit us or contact us today.