Ground Beef For Burgers

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Ground Beef For Burgers Do you love a great burger? Of course you do. It comes with the territory of being human. There is really nothing better than biting into your favorite burger, whether it be from McDonalds, Burger King or your favorite local hole-in-the-wall joint. 

Perfect Beef Burger

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 4 burgers

Ingredients

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1 1/2 pounds 80% lean ground beef chuck

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

8 thin slices cheddar cheese (optional)

4 soft sesame buns, split

Bibb lettuce and sliced tomato, for toppingAdd to Shopping List

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the ground beef evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Gently form the meat into 4 balls, then lightly press into 4-inch-wide, 1-inch-thick patties. Make a 2-inch-wide indentation in the center of each with your thumb to prevent the burgers from bulging when grilled.
  2. Preheat a grill to high. Season the patties with salt and pepper. Grill, undisturbed, until marked on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and grill until the other side is marked and the patties feel firm, 3 to 5 more minutes; if desired, top each burger with 2 slices cheese during the last 2 minutes of cooking and cover with a disposable aluminum pan to melt.
  3. Serve the patties on the buns; top with lettuce and tomato.

How To Make Ground Beef Patties For Burgers

In less than 5 minutes you can make ground beef patties for burgers. This recipe makes 4 half-pound patties. Finish your homemade hamburger patties on the grill, sous vide, or in a cast-iron skillet.

Let’s make the most juiciest burger recipe ever…

raw ground beef patties for burgers

Ingredients

You just need a few things to make ground beef patties for burgers.

Check out this easy recipe…

How To Make Ground Beef Patties For BurgersPlay Video

  • Delicious ground beef (try wagyu beef or 80 lean / 20 fat ground beef)
  • Seasonings. In this simple hamburger patty recipe, you’ll see salt and pepper. You could add a dash of garlic powder, too.

How to make burger patties from ground beef

Step 1. Add ground beef to a large bowl.

Break it up gently with hands or a spoon.

Add the salt and pepper to the ground beef. Mix seasonings with the ground beef gently until integrated.

Step 2. Separate the burger meat into four 8-ounce thick patties.

Form a ball, then flatten the burgers into disc shapes, a little bigger than the burger buns they’ll go on.

Push down the center of the burgers, if desired, to make a 2-3” indent.

Add an additional sprinkle of salt and pepper to the outside of the burgers, if desired.

Finish hamburger patties any way you’d like. I usually make a big batch at a time, and freeze some for making sous vide burgers later.

Meal prepping tip: it’s better to vacuum seal burgers from frozen. Learn more in this guide on how to vacuum seal meat.

Grilled homemade hamburger with cheese

For a classic burger, top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and your sauce of choice.

Gourmet topping ideas for burgers

  • A fancy cheese like gruyere, feta, or blue cheese crumbles
  • Sauteed onions and peppers
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Tzatziki sauce (like in this sous vide lamb burger recipe)
  • Red wine caramelized red onions
  • Make it a “farm burger” and top with sous vide pork or sous vide bacon
  • Sous vide onions
  • Sous vide bacon
  • Red cabbage and carrot slaw
sous vide burgers with beef patties made from scratch and The Home Chef's Sous Vide Cookbook
These are sous vide burgers cooked from fresh ground beef patties

There are so many ways to cooking beef burger recipes once your patties are formed. Grill, sous vide, air fry burgers, cook them low and slow in the slow cooker, or cook them in a cast iron skillet.

mini ground beef patties cooking in cast iron skillet
Tasty mini burgers from scratch from hub’s night to cook dinner

More easy ways to season ground beef patties

The basic salt and pepper tastes just great in these ground beef hamburger patties. But, if you’re a spice-aholic like me, here are more seasonings you can add:

  • A super light sprinkle of ultra-powerful ultra-powerful black garlic sea salt.
  • Texas-style bbq salt.
  • For campfire burger vibes: liquid smoke and hickory smoked black pepper.
  • For an enhanced flavor, add some worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.
  • Adding spice blend that’s on the spicy side? Add a little brown sugar to balance out the heat.
cooking ground beef sliders with cheese

If you really want a good burger with surprisingly juicy flavor, check out how to finish hamburgers with a mayo sear.

Homemade Burger FAQs

How do you make hamburger patties that don’t fall apart?

Using this hamburger patty recipe is a good start, because there aren’t a lot of ingredients. When you add in other ingredients, you’re adding in other variables to the burgers which can make burger meat fall apart. Also, using ground beef that is too lean (95% or above) doesn’t have enough fat content in it to stay together easily.

Do homemade burgers need eggs?

No, homemade burgers don’t need eggs to bind them. Other ground beef recipes like these low carb meatballs need eggs to help bind the ingredients because they have additional dry ingredients like bread crumbs and onions. Using this recipe to make beef burgers does not require any eggs. The few ingredients is why this is a very easy burger recipe.

How do you eat your burgers?

I will try them with almost any topping – except peanut butter. Well, maybe I’d try that but I’ve seen it out at some of the best Portland restaurants, but haven’t ordered it! My husband Patrick swears the best burger patty recipe is a toss up between plain ol’ BBQ sauce and fried onions, or something with fancy cheese – like blue cheese or gouda.

The Best Ground Beef Mix Ratio for Burgers

Not every blend will give you a great burger. An 80/20 mix is ideal, and here’s why.

Hamburger patty with arrows pointing to it.

One of my favorite summertime meals is a full-flavored, juicy hamburger hot off the grill. But before you press out those patties, know that a truly drool-worthy hamburger starts with choosing the best ground meat for the task.

Types of Ground Beef

There are two types of ground meat: meat labeled “hamburger” can have beef fat added to it; meat labeled “ground beef” cannot. Up to 30% fat is allowed for both hamburger and ground beef.

Ground beef is labeled by lean-to-fat ratio:

  • 80/20 = ground beef that contains 80% lean meat and 20% fat
  • 85/15 = ground beef that contains 85% lean meat and 15% fat
  • 90/10 = ground beef that contains 90% lean meat and 10% fat

Fat content of 25% to 30% is labeled regular while 80/20 is labeled lean ground beef. Packages of 85/15 and 90/10 are labeled extra lean.

Some ground beef packaging lists the cut that the meat is from – chuck, round, and sirloin are common. 80/20 is often ground chuck, 85/15 is often ground round, and 90/10 is usually ground sirloin. The USDA also allows ground beef to contain multiple cuts to get to the desired lean-to-fat ratio.

Unlike whole cuts of beef, the USDA doesn’t grade ground beef or hamburger, though it does need to meet all the federal and state guidelines to be sold in stores.

Hamburger with onion tomatoes and lettuce on a bun on a wooden plate

80/20 Ground Chuck Is Best for Burgers

The best ground beef to buy for burgers is 80/20 ground chuck – 80% lean meat and 20% fat. Ground chuck is ground from the shoulder and has that ideal lean-to-fat ratio of 80/20 (i.e. not too lean) for a super flavorful, juicy burger.

Ground round comes from the back of the cow, near the tail, upper leg, and rump. At 85/15 it’s considered an extra lean ground beef and isn’t quite as flavorful as chuck, but it’s a solid second choice for hamburgers.

Ground sirloin is cut from the back section of the cow. It’s labeled 90/10 and is a more expensive cut of beef than round or chuck. It has a full beefy flavor but is too lean to use for hamburgers – at least, if a juicy hamburger is your goal!

PRO TIP: Get the fat of chuck and the flavor of sirloin by mixing the two together for an 83/17 mix!

A bowl of ground beef to show what kind of ground beef to buy for burgers.

Grind Your Own Meat for Burgers!

Another alternative to pre-ground beef is buying your desired cut of beef (like chuck) and then having it ground by the meat department or grinding it yourself at home!

For grilled hamburgers, opt for coarser grind instead of finer ground beef so you get a lighter texture. No one loves a dense burger.

Tips for Handling Raw Ground Beef

To discourage bacteria from growing, be sure to keep ground beef cold in the refrigerator until ready for cooking. Freshly-ground beef will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Check the expiration date on pre-packaged ground beef before purchasing. A pink color is a good indicator of how fresh the beef is. If the outside of the beef is grey, pass on it. Ground beef can also be frozen for up to four months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

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