I have done a few burger recipes in the past and even a review of a frozen wagyu burgers. Now in the review I said I would recommend making your own burger from ground beef or grinding your own combo of brisket, sirloin and short rib. Well this week for the 4th of July and National Grilling month I was going to do burgers and decided to go with an all short rib burger. Now I am lucky enough that my wife had given me a meat grinder that hooks into her KitchenAid stand mixer.
If you don’t have a meat grinder of any sort you could always ask your butcher to grind it for you. As I seem to always say in any post about meat it pays to make friends with your butcher, I don’t only mean a specialty butcher shop I also mean the people who work in the meat dept at your favorite grocery store. I don’t mean that you must have your butcher over for dinner, but you want to develop rapport with them. Ask them for their opinions and listen to their recommendations. Eventually they may recognize you and recall the cuts of meat that you like.
If you are going to grind the meat yourself there are a few key tips you should follow. Cut your meat up into 1 inch cubes. Chill the cubes in the freezer for about 30 minutes. I slow like to chill the cutting blade and plate along with the meat. Also you want to chill the meat after it is ground. I like to fill a large bowl with ice and rest a smaller bowl in the ice and grind the meat into the smaller.
After the meat is ground it’s time to get the grill going. If you are going with charcoal set up the grill for both direct and indirect cooking, for gas you want it at about 450 or so that you can hold your hand about an inch over the grill for only a second.
While the grill is heating up it is time to make the patties. One of the most important thing I hope to impart to you about making burgers is DO NOT overwork the beef. I know we have all seen burgers being made by rolling the meat into a ball and then patting it back and forth between the hands, but you know what that gives you? A tough tasteless burger. If I am doing burgers on a griddle or frying pan I prefer Smash Burgers, a thin burger that gets smashed on the griddle to create lots of nooks to get all caramelized. For the grill I like thicker meatier burgers. I use a large pastry cutter to form mine but you could also use the plastic lid off a mayonnaise jar. Whatever you are using line it with plastic wrap and fill your form with the meat. Gently press the meat into your form. It is important to keep the meat chilled up to this point to make forming the patties easier. Also do not salt you beef until the patty is formed or else the fat will start to break down and the patty will start to fall apart.
Now that the patties are formed it is time to season them. Liberally season both sides with salt and pepper. And out to the grill we go. Cook the burgers on one side for about 2 minutes, just long enough for grill marks to appear. Flip and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. If cooking over charcoal on the direct heat side move the burgers to the indirect heat side of the grill. For gas lower the heat to medium. Close the grill and cook for additional 3-4 minutes for medium burgers, about 2 minutes for medium rare and 5-6 minutes for well done. If adding cheese add a slice about 1 minute before the doneness you are going for.
I like to toast the burger buns on the grill as well. First butter the buns and season with salt and pepper.If toasting on the charcoal grill put the buns on the indirect side, if using a gas grill turn the burners off and just use the residual heat. Keep an eye on it though because it will quickly go from just melted butter to burnt toasted.
Plate up the burgers and top with whatever you like and serve with fries or onion rings. I like to top mine with onion rings.