A delicious, juicy, tender hamburger can be yours, if you choose the right ground beef. The amount of fat directly contributes to the juiciness of the burger, so the leaner the beef, the drier the burger. Some markets state the cut of beef used for grinding while other indicate the percentage of fat in the grind. Some markets do both. Here are the three grinds that most shops carry:
Ground sirloin has only 7 percent fat which makes it the leanest ground beef, but it can make a dense burger if overcooked. To combat dryness add 2 tablespoons of a wet condiment like teriyaki sauce, pesto, Dijon mustard, ketchup or mayonnaise for every pound of ground sirloin.
Ground round is a great choice for hamburgers because it has 15 percent fat.
Ground chuck is the ground beef of choice for many burger lovers. It has a relatively high fat content at 20 percent fat which makes a very juicy and very rich burger.
Ground Turkey or Ground Chicken
There are some people who prefer ground turkey or chicken for their burgers. Both must be cooked through so care must be taken to prevent dryness. Make sure to incorporate moisture by adding one of the ingredients suggested for ground sirloin. Also mix in 2 tablespoons of dried bread crumbs. As the meat heats and the fat melts the bread crumbs absorb and retain the fat that would otherwise drip out of the patty.
Hamburgers shrink during cooking and a perfectly shaped raw patty can end up looking like a hockey puck. To avoid this, shape about 5 ounces of ground meat into a 4 inch round. Then make an indentation about 2 inches wide and 1 inch thick in the top. As the meat cooks the indentation will equalize the shrinkage.
No Don’t Do It!
Never Ever press on a hamburger to speed its cooking. You’ll squeeze out the precious fat and juices that make the burger taste so good. Yes, we’ve all done it…just resist that innate urge to do it again!