The Butcher Trick For Juicier Burger Patties Every Time

If your burgers are coming off the grill as dry as the Sahara, we've got a butcher trick that will guarantee juicier patties that are succulent, tender, and packed with flavor. Simply ask your grocery store butcher to put your beef chuck through the grinder on a medium-coarse to coarse setting while you wait, instead of grabbing a pre-made package of ground beef.

Supermarket ground beef is commonly pushed through a fine grinder plate, which results in a tighter mince. While finely ground beef is perfect for densely–textured recipes, like meatloaf, it isn't ideal for burgers because it results in a patty that's heavy and solid rather than light and juicy. Coarsely ground beef, specifically ground chuck, is better for burgers because it has a chunkier, meatier texture with the perfect fat-to-meat ratio. Choosing a cut from the display that has an abundance of rich, fatty marbling is the way to go. The fat is where the flavor lies, which is why it's essential that your burger patties aren't made with beef that's particularly lean. A good rule of thumb is to remember that the best lean-to-fat ratio for ground beef burgers is 80/20. A coarser grind will allow the fat to meld evenly with the meat, resulting in a burger that's juicy across the board. If you're lucky, your butcher might even grind up some tastier scraps with added fat to mix into your patty blend.

Flavorful fat allows the natural taste of the beef to shine

As the fat melts on the grill, it will keep the interior of your burgers juicy and moist. This is vital when your burger blend is an unadulterated mix of beef and salt; the flavor elicited from the fat in the meat will be your star player, allowing the natural taste of the beef to come to the fore. Using the freshest cut also means that your burgers will have a longer shelf life. Unlike pre-ground beef or ready-made patties that are prepped in advance and chilled in the display, your beef will be ground to your specification without extra add-ins or seasonings.

If your butcher is unable to grind the chuck on the spot, you can always purchase a cut of fresh beef and prep it at home using your own grinder or processor. The benefit? You'll be able to grind the exact amount of meat your recipe requires and experiment with the fat content to produce balanced burgers with a rich texture and succulent interior. Alternatively, if there's no way around it, select a package of pre-ground beef that has a bright color that's evenly flecked with fat and preferably prepared that same day. To make several burgers at speed roll your ground meat in plastic wrap and slice it into identically-sized discs.