Thomas J. Story
Grinding meat at home is not only easier than most people think, it also makes the moistest and most flavorful burgers. And, given the periodic safety concerns about commercially ground meat, home-ground is the way to go if you like your burgers cooked rare or medium.
Manual meat grinders (about $30) are available at kitchen-supply stores, and grinder attachments (about $50) for standing mixers work very well.
- For four 6-ounce burgers, buy 1 1/2 pounds of fat-edged chuck roast or sirloin and keep a thin layer of fat on the meat.
- For added safety, bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the roast for 30 to 60 seconds. Remove meat and rinse with cold water.
- Cut the meat into 1-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss meat pieces with 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Chill the grinder for 30 minutes before starting (a cold grinder is more efficient).
- Set up grinder according to manufacturer’s instructions, using the coarse plate or setting. Feed meat into funnel and grind, stopping to clear the grinder if necessary. Put ground meat through grinder once more and proceed with your recipe.
- When shaping the patty, make the edges slightly higher than the centers; they’ll even out when cooked.