Steakburger Vs. Hamburger: What's The Biggest Difference?

Burgers are a canvas for innovation, and almost anyone who owns a spatula customizes them with different toppings and cradles them with a variety of vessels, from a brioche bun to a leaf of lettuce

When you decide you're going to make burgers, chances are ground beef is on your grocery list. Then, once you get to the store, you're faced with a number of options, ranging from different beef-to-fat ratios to organic and grass-fed offerings. Regardless of the label, ground beef is generally a blend made up of different parts of the cow, typically leftover trimmings from a variety of cuts. According to Epicurious, it's common for pre-packaged ground beef sold at supermarkets to be a blend of entirely different cows. As Epicurious notes, this raises the risk of contamination and food-borne illnesses. That's why they recommend buying ground beef from a butcher, where the beef comes from one or maybe two cows, versus the hundreds that could make up your supermarket selection.

If you're looking to switch things up and avoid ground beef entirely, steakburgers can be another delicious option. But what is a steakburger, and why is it any different from the ground beef you get at the store?

Take control of the composition

According to Steak University, Steak 'n Shake claims to be the first restaurant to feature a steakburger, something they began offering customers in the 1930s. A steakburger is not a cooked steak served between slices of bread; rather, it's a burger patty made from an individual cut of steak — like a filet mignon, ribeye, or sirloin. This is why steakburgers are a mainstay at steakhouses across the country, and carry a heftier price tag than a typical burger.

But you don't have to go to a steakhouse to have a steakburger. It's easy to make one at home. The biggest difference between a hamburger and a steakburger is also perhaps the steakburger's greatest advantage: It gives the chef the ability to customize the burger's meat composition. If you like short ribs, you can grind boneless short ribs to make your patties (or have your butcher do it if you don't have a meat grinder attachment at home). If you feel that chuck and filet mignon are the best cuts of beef and you wonder what they would taste like together, you can grind up both, blend the two, form them into patties, grill them up, and see what happens!