This article will go into depth step-by-step on how you can grind any meat that you want for use as burger meat. There are some important things that you need to briefly know to make your life better when you do this, so let’s cover those things first.
First off, you are going to need a good meat grinder, especially if you plan on grinding a lot of meat on a regular basis. A good meat grinder will reduce the physical labor, it won’t clog as easily when grinding the meat, they are faster and more efficient, and they usually come with additional perks that make meat grinding a breeze.
It should always be kept clean, and cleaned after usage, especially since you are going to be dealing with raw meat. Always remember to keep your raw meat separate from your other foods when you are working with it. Other foods should not touch the used unsanitary surfaces that raw meats are prepared on. There is a food guide on properly preparing meat if you need to know more on this subject.
Other equipment needed for grinding meat into burgers:
- A tray, container, or bowl to catch the grinded meat from the meat grinder.
- A trimming knife.
- This is for trimming any unwanted pieces off of any meat that is being prepared for the meat grinder.
- A butcher knife.
- This is to cut up hunks of meat into smaller pieces, so that they can fit into the meat grinder and be grinded for burgers.
- A cutting board with a cutting board mat.
- Cutting the meat on a cutting board will keep other surfaces from getting ruined from the knives. Even if you don’t think that what ever you are cutting on won’t get any marks on them, you will be surprised to find out that most surfaces will get a lot of cut marks overtime if you cut on them without a cutting board (including metals like stainless steel).
- Getting a cutting board that has deep grooves in it will keep the juices from the sliced meat from leaking all over the surface beyond the cutting board. They are better suited for the messy job of slicing the meat.
- The cutting board mat is needed to place under the cutting board, to keep the cutting board stable while you cut on it. Without support, a cutting board will slide while attempting to cut on it.
- Cut resistant mesh gloves.
- The knives used for cutting meat are extremely sharp. Even if they aren’t (which they should always be), the force of cutting the meat can cause you to easily cut your hands in the process. Wear cut resistant gloves to keep this from happening. Remember, the knives used are intended to cut easily through thick meat. Don’t let it be your hands. Get and wear some cut resistant gloves.
You will also need a place where you can buy the chuck for the type of meat that you are trying to make into ground meat. Almost any type of meat can be used and grinded into ground meat for burgers, but chuck is the most commonly used. Another important thing to consider is that the ground meat will work best if it has a 80/20 ratio of meat to fat. This is another reason why chuck is used over a sirloin, because the chuck has more fat.
Pork is good for burgers, and can be substituted in the place of beef, as long as the same ratio rules are followed for the meat to fat ratio.
The best meats for using for burgers is the chuck, the rib, and the sirloin. The sirloin has the most meaty flavor, the chuck has less flavor but has the most fats, and the ribs contain a lot of flavor too for a juicy burger. The juiciest burgers usually have chuck.
What some people do to get the 80/20 ratio of meat to fat for their grinded meat, is to cut both a sirloin and a chuck up of equal parts, and grind them both in the meat grinder.
Here are the ratios for meat for making certain types of burgers using specific meats:
- A regular burger can use only the chuck to make a good burger.
- A good burger can be made from only brisket.
- A steak with good marbling can be made into meat for a burger (wagyu meat for a burger for example).
- A pork and beef burger uses around 30% bacon as the fat added to the amount of sirloin to grind in the meat grinder.
- Meat with 60% chuck and 40% ribs can be used to make rib flavored burgers.
- For a more flavorful brisket burger, use 50% brisket, 30% sirloin, and 20% short ribs.
One meat that is advised against using for meat grinding for burgers is the filet mignon. It really isn’t a suitable cut for burgers.
It is ok to have a ratio of fat less than 20% for the overall meat of the burger, but try not to go lower than 15%. The best burgers do have around 20% overall fat though.
Preparing The Meat For The Meat Grinder
When working with meat, you will need to trim it first with a trimming knife with it came as one whole slab. Put on your cut resistant gloves and trim the pieces off of the meat that you don’t want, by always cutting in a direction that is away from your hand, and away from your body. We want to always use safety first over efficiency; so that we don’t end up contaminating the meat with our blood too, after cutting ourselves by using poor safety.
One of the main pieces that you want to cut off is going to be any silver skin. Depending on the type of meat, you may need to remove some fat too. Silver skin, along with certain fats from certain meats on the outer layer of the meat, can be really tough and very chewy, so we want to be sure to trim it off before it has a chance to go through the meat grinder and mix into the burger meat.
Cutting The Meat For The Meat Grinder
After all the trimming is done using the trimming knife, the next thing to do is cut the trimmed meat up into thinner sections using the butcher knife. The sections that are sliced need to be thin enough that they can fit into the meat grinder’s hole for grinding. When slicing the meat, slice off the sections from the meat by going across the shorter length side of the meat. In other words, cut off the sections by cutting perpendicular to the longer side of the meat.
After this is done, the meat sections can be cut further into smaller rectangles or cubes to make the meat more manageable, before it is sent through the meat grinder.
Grinding The Meat In The Meat Grinder To Make Burger Meat
Before the meat is sent through the meat grinder, it can be stored cold in the refrigerator for a short time to make it easier to grind. It will make the meat a little more stiff. However, if you are using a good meat grinder, it can be sent straight through the meat grinder to make the ground meat.
When sending the meat through the meat grinder, make sure to use the meat pusher if needed to send the meat through. Do not use your hands or any foreign tool, as they can ruin your meat grinder and compromise your safety.
When sending the meat through the meat grinder to make ground meat for burgers, sending the same meat through the grinder one more time or two more times, is usually what experts do when making their burger meat. This is especially helpful if you only have one funnel for your meat grinder that can only make large strings of grinded meat, because the holes are a little bigger in the funnel.
Fine grinded meat makes the best burgers, and this is what most people that grind their meat for burgers want. This is also what some of the most profitable burger restaurants (like McDonald’s for example) do for their burger meat. They make really finely grinded meat to make their burgers, by sending their meat through a fine funnel attachment on the meat grinder.