Home Ground Burger Ideas

I’m leaning toward a mixture of boneless short ribs and maybe sirloin or chuck. What are your favorite mixtures and methods? What do you put on it and serve on the side?

We have the Kitchen Aid grinder…

by grinding it yourself, you’re way ahead of the game. grind it twice (meaning, grind it and then put the grind back through the grinder). grind when the meat is very cold and don’t over-handle it. keep it very loose and airy. no fillers like eggs or bread crumbs.

imo, the blend is less important than the overall quality of the beef and the fat ratio – should be 30% fat.

I think brisket (whole packer-cut) makes the best burgers. I’m with ybarselah in aiming for 30% fat but I prefer a single pass through the KA meat grinder with the small holes. It is important to make sure the beef is completely chilled before grinding and that the plastic ring that holds the cutter/disk in place is as tight as possible to avoid smearing the fat.

Speaking of short ribs, the best burger I’ve made lately is Hubert Keller’s “Surprise Burger”, which is stuffed with shredded, braised short-rib meat. The patties in this photo are topped with another layer of ground beef before grilling:

With Gruyere cheese on a grilled ciabatta bun which is then moistened with some of the short-rib braising liquid.


Bill, you are ‘The Man’.

I grind boneless short-rib and add fat to make it about 75-25 or 70-30. I cut into 1" square chunks approximately and then grind away. I freeze the meat briefly (15 minutes on a sheet pan) when it is cubed and I nearly completely freeze the fat. I also freeze the grinder before starting. I end up with a very soft crumble that I gently form into patties and cook somewhere between rare and medium-rare in a cast iron skillet.

BTW – I never understood what grinding a second time would do. Seems like I would end up with mush.

The best I’ve ever made was a 50-50 mixture of bison and dry-aged strip (with a little extra pork fat when needed).


We’ve had good results with a combination of chuck and sirloin. I also chill the meat to firm it up (is “par freeze” an actual term?), and I agree that freezing the grinder components helps as well.

Two passes on the smaller grind does indeed create a weird kind of mousse-like consistency, but a double pass on the larger holes doesn’t create mush, just breaks down the larger chunks a bit. I like the result, which is still light and tender, but which lends itself to the formation of reasonably consistent patties, including slider-size.

An amazing burger I had at a restaurant (Water Marc in Laguna) was stuffed with Duck Confit. To die for.

An equally amazing burger I made at home, was my Chicken Fried Steak burger. Easy to do. Take your patty, and douse in a beaten egg mixture (with salt and pepper), douse in flour (also season that) and pan fry. You get the crispiness on the outside, but the burger remains extremely juicy.

I’ll add to Steve’s comments-- he usually handles the grinding, and I usually handle the patty formation. Just one comment re: the meat itself: when we’ve had good results with sirloin, it’s because we’ve added fat that we reserved from other cuts. Regardless of whether we use chuck or a chuck/sirloin mix, the meat is always in the 20-25% fat range.

I use no fillers (eggs, breadcrumbs, yada yada) and NO pressing. I generously season the meat with kosher salt, add a little freshly ground pepper, and then toss very gently with my fingers. I form the patties (again, very gently) so that the meat is still lacy, and not compressed. Then I stud them with tiny bits of very cold butter. This sounds more gluttonous than it is-- it probably works out to a fraction of a teaspoon of butter per burger, but it adds tremendous flavor and succulence.

TK’s new book
Ad Hoc has the mix as:

1.5 lbs sirloin
12 oz brisket
12 oz chuck
pre-seasoned with S&P
1" chunks Par-frozen and
added fat to 30%

first grinding with the KA large die (into a bowl set in ice bath)
second grinding with the KA smaller die (into a bowl set in ice bath)

Planning on doing this tonight

Thanks, Mike.

Lots of good advice in 23 hours! Can’t wait to start experimenting. I did search the 'net a bit and saw an interesting site where someone seasoned before mixing, before cooking and maybe after cooking the burgers.

Butter is always a good idea!

Duck confit? How wonderfully decadent.

My favorite burger here in Portland is at Cafe Castagna, and it’s so incredibly unctuous that I’ve wondered if they sneak in a little duck fat. Report back with your experiments, Nancy. Have fun!

Since it’s officially Summer, I thought I would resurrect this thread!

My kids have been begging for burgers this week, so I’m grinding a mix of boneless short ribs and some flap meat from Costco. I usually grind sirloin with the short ribs, but I saw this on my last trip and thought it might be a good way to keep sirloin in the mix and help increase the fat content a bit.

I have followed Keller’s directions (in Mel’s post above) for the grinding process on my last several attempts, and the texture turns out great.

Oddly enough, I just got back from Costco in search of critter to grind up for burgers tonight. I am going with equal parts of boneless short ribs and tri-tip that is insanely marbled. I’ll be giving it the once over on the KA using large holes and then rotate over to the small hole die for the finished product.

Be sure to do a 48-hour, 135F sous vide. For additional instructions, just check with Bacteria Boy.

I’ve had success doing a groud top sirloin (lean, good beefy flavor) mixed with italian sausage (fatty, good flavor). Probably in the 60/40 to 70/30 range, steak to sausage.

Best to give it a “sneezer” just for a tad bit of insurance.

I only do this on my chicken burgers…always cooked medium rare!

Google the blue label burger.

Blend is
6 ounces beef sirloin, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
5 ounces beef brisket, trimmed of gristle, and cut into 1-inch cubes
12 ounces oxtail, fat and meat carefully removed from bone and trimmed of silverskin, bones discarded or reserved for another use (about 5 ounces of combined meat and fat)

By far the best affordable blend I have tried.