Dining

From the Ground Up

6 burger patties to cook this summer

A patty may just be a puck of ground beef, but it's also the building block of every great hamburger. You'll need a special kind of blend to do the job right: meat with a great beefy flavor that has enough fat to stay moist when it's blasted on the grill.

If you've got a reputable butcher in the neighborhood, you already know where to go for a blend. If you don't, these producers across the country will ship their blends vacuum-packed in coolers. 

Just remember the four S's: shape (about 6 to 8 ounces per patty), season (salt and pepper), sear (medium-high heat, leaving the center a little pink) and serve. 

DeBragga ($21.90 for 2lbs)
This ground beef comes from grass-fed cows in upstate New York. It has the pleasingly funky, almost sweet, miso-like presence that's usually found in pricier aged meats. 

Marin Sun Farms ($10 for 1lb)
Grass-fed meat tends to be very lean. This Californian producer enriches its meat with beef fat so it doesn't dry out on the grill. You'll notice the punch of flavor.

Heritage Foods USA ($49 for 3lbs)
A lot of patties compete for depth and funk, but this Belgian Blue beef raised in Manchester, Iowa, is juicy and tender with a clean, mildly beefy taste.

Pat LaFrieda ($60 for 3lbs)
This dry-aged meat blend definitely isn't cheap. But the short-rib, brisket and chuck mix elevated with dry-aged prime rib delivers a super fatty and deeply flavorful burger (best served rare!).

Arrowhead Beef ($16 for 2lbs)
The grass-fed beef from this Florida-based producer has a gentle flavor that lingers like a fine wine. We like it best as a thick patty with a hard sear.

La Cense ($20 for 2lbs)
Most members of the TT team prefer the smooth texture of a fine grind, but many loved this "steak burger," as it's called, a sirloin-flank-chuck blend with a lot of good texture. You know, like a steak. 

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