Grind-Your-Own Ultimate Beef Burger Blend

August 27, 2019 Updated: August 27, 2019

Why This Recipe Works: This deluxe, home-ground blend is a perfect combination of intense flavor and rich, tender texture that will instantly elevate your burger into the big leagues. For this particular burger, we’re willing to buy and grind several cuts of meat to create the ultimate blend. Skirt steak is a must for its deep, earthy flavor; boneless short ribs offer tender texture; and sirloin steak tips provide the bold beef flavor that we love in a burger. If you can’t find skirt steak, you can substitute flank steak, though the flavor will be slightly milder. When trimming the meat, remove any pieces of fat thicker than 1/8 inch along with any silverskin. After trimming, you should have about 1¾ pounds of meat. To double this recipe, spread beef over two baking sheets in step 1 and pulse in food processor in eight batches. 

Serves 4

  • 1 pound skirt steak, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces boneless beef short ribs, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sirloin steak tips, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, if using skillet
  • 1 (13 by 9-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan, if using charcoal grill
  • 4 slices cheese (4 ounces) (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted if desired

For the burger blend: Arrange beef in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and freeze until very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, 35 to 45 minutes.

Working in four batches, pulse beef in food processor until finely ground into 1/16-inch pieces, about 20 pulses, stopping to redistribute meat as needed; return to sheet. Spread ground beef over sheet, discarding any long strands of gristle and large chunks of fat, and gently toss with fork to combine.

To Shape Patties

Divide beef mixture into four lightly packed balls, then gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patties. Using your fingertips, press center of each patty down until about 1/2 inch thick, creating slight divot. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. (Patties can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours or frozen for up to 2 weeks. To freeze, stack patties, separated by parchment paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in zipper-lock freezer bag.)

To Cook Burgers

For a skillet: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Season patties with salt and pepper. (If patties were previously frozen, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes before seasoning and increase baking time to 6 to 12 minutes.) Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Using spatula, transfer patties to skillet, divot side up; cook until well browned on first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Gently flip patties and cook until well browned on second side, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer patties to rimmed baking sheet, divot side down, top with cheese, if using, and bake until burgers register 120 to 125 degrees (for medium- rare) or 130 to 135 degrees (for medium), 3 to 8 minutes. Transfer burgers to platter; let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

For a charcoal grill: Freeze patties for 30 minutes. (If patties were previously frozen, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.) Using skewer, poke 12 holes in bottom of disposable pan. Open bottom vent completely and place prepared pan in center of grill. Light large chimney starter two-thirds filled with charcoal briquettes (4 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour into pan. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes. Clean and oil cooking grate. Season patties with salt and pepper. Using spatula, place patties on grill, divot side up, directly over coals. Cook until well browned on first side and meat easily releases from grill, 4 to 7 minutes. Gently flip patties, top with cheese, if using, and cook until well browned on second side and meat registers 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare) or 130 to 135 degrees (for medium), 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer burgers to platter; let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

For a gas grill: Freeze patties for 30 minutes. (If patties were previously frozen, thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.) Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high. Clean and oil cooking grate. Season patties with salt and pepper. Using spatula, place patties on grill, divot side up; cook, covered, until well browned on first side and meat easily releases from grill, 4 to 7 minutes. Gently flip patties, top with cheese, if using, and cook until well browned on second side and meat registers 120 to 125 degrees (for medium- rare) or 130 to 135 degrees (for medium), 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer burgers to platter; let rest for 5 minutes. Serve.

Reprinted with permission from “The Ultimate Burger: Plus DIY Condiments, Sides, and Boozy Milkshakes” by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen.

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