“Making a juicy, flavorful hamburger starts with using the ideal beef-to-fat ratio. I recommend an 80/20 ratio—that’s 80% beef to 20% fat; just enough fat to make it juicy, remember that the leaner the beef, the less flavor and juice you will get to enjoy later“–Paul Ebeling
There are 2 Key things you need to know about burger blends: First, more expensive isn’t necessarily better. Wagyu, for example, is totally wasted in a burger. Secondly, there is no right way to do things because everyone has different preferences for fat ratio and flavor.
There are certain rules to follow to figure out how to create your preferred type of burger consistently and excellently every time. And, obviously, a huge part of the experience of a burger comes down to the type of meat, or meat blend, you use.
Fact, ditch the more expensive cuts altogether. And if you really want to do justice to that fine, fine wagyu, just cook it as a whole piece of meat. People have a misconception that the best steak money can buy automatically makes the best burgers too.
Fact, if you are grilling burgers outside, you want a higher fat ratio than if you were pan-frying.
If you are cooking outside use 80/20, or 70/30 because there’s going to be a lot more fat in it to keep it really juicy. And cooking on the open fire, you want more of the fat to help create that really beautiful crust.
Fact, if you are pan-frying your burger, go with 85/15 and work in more fat from there.
Fact, if you are grilling your burgers outside, go with chuck, it turns out to be the cheapest.
Give aged beef a try, but do not go for anything less than 21 days, which is less than the standard anyway: I would say, anything [aged] less than 21 days is not going to be very noticeable in a burger. Most places that are doing dry aged will probably do it from 30 to 35 days, and you can really taste a difference in ground meat at that point.
My recommendation: 100% dry-aged chuck with a 70/30 fat percentage, cooked medium rare.
The Big Q: Still overwhelmed?
The Big A: Just go to your butcher’s counter and ask for help.
Have a super holiday weekend, Keep the Faith!