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D.I.Y. Burger Attempt 1

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Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:17 pm
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

I was given a KA stand mixer as well as the grinder attachment back in July and I've been talking about making my own ground beef ever since. The reply that Griffin made to the Home Ground Hamburger thread, where he linked to a post on the best combination of meats for making your own ground beef, got me of the dime. The "winning" combination iin the article Griffin linked to was oxtail, sirloin and short ribs. Now where it is Labor Day today none of the butcher shops were open, which meant oxtail was certainly out of the question. I went with the combination that was said to be next best: beef brisket, sirloin & short ribs. This is could get at my local yuppie market. I'll let the pictures take over from here and discuss the results at the end.


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The three meats were short ribs (top left), sirloin strips (bottom left), & beef brisket(right). Two of the three meats were already cut in strips, which is what I needed and so there wasn’t much additional prep required.


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I weighed out the amount of meat I was going to grind up, I was going to grind up 2 pounds of meat. The ratio I was going to use was 10 oz. short ribs, 10 oz. sirloin & 12 oz. brisket.


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The pieces are all in strips and are off to the freezer for 30 minutes.


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The grinding attachment is installed on the mixer and the strips of meat are back out of the freezer.


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This is the end of the first of the two grinds I was going to do.


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For the second grind I got “clever” and used the smaller grinding disk which proved to be a mistake. The fat got hung up trying to pass through the smaller opening and clogged. All was well after I switched back to the grinding disk with the larger openings.


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My wife wasn’t feeling well and decided she would have her burgers later so I tossed on two 1/3 pound burgers for me. The Egg was set for direct grilling with the cast iron grate in place and was at 600 degrees.


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The burgers have just been flipped after 5 minutes, which was intended to give me medium. I forgot the fact that grinding my own beef allows me to go lower. Next time I will do 4:30 per side which should give me medium rare.


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I put cheese on the burgers at the 4 minute mark and pulled them at 5 minutes. I gave the buns a quick toast while the burgers rested.


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The burgers are resting and the buns have just come off the grill. Time to eat.


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I kept things simple. One burger would get Dijon mustard and the other some SBR Hickory & Brown Sugar BBQ sauce.


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The burgers were medium and had good texture. They were still somewhat moist on the inside and had a crispy outer crust. Frankly the taste left a little to be desired. The 73/27 burgers I’ve been getting at the supermarket have a “more beefy” flavor than these burgers did.


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I liked the version of these burgers with the SBR BBQ Sauce better than the ones with the mustard-a surprise to a mustard based life form like myself.


All in all this was a good learning experience.
-Using the grinding attachment was quick and easy.
-Freezing the meat for 30 minutes helps it grind better.
-I should only use the coarse grinding attachment for ground beef. The fine attachement clogs with the fat.
-I need to remember I don’t have to grill burgers to medium when using my own ground beef.
-The burgers had a good texture that was easy to form into patties and pleasant to eat.

In the not so good department:
-There is no way I can see of determining the fat content ahead of time. The meat I bought today seemed to have lots of fat, but the resulting burgers did not shrink as much or have the flavor of the 73/27 burgers I’ve been buying at the supermarket.
-I need to try some other blends, perhaps find oxtail as suggested in the link Griffin found.

I learned a lot today and though it wasn’t a failure, it wasn’t a total success either. Bottom Line: it was fun and that is what hobbies are all about-learning & having fun.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
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BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:59 pm
jstewart well done
well done

Posts: 949
Location: Simi Valley, CA
jfm0830 wrote:

I learned a lot today and though it wasn’t a failure, it wasn’t a total success either. Bottom Line: it was fun and that is what hobbies are all about-learning & having fun.

Jim


Jim,

Those burgers do look good, thanks for sharing. By the way, "having fun" is what it is all about!
Jimmy
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CG Super Pro w/SFB
Weber One Touch Silver

Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:58 am
ScreamingChicken BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 7517
Location: Stoughton, WI
jfm0830 wrote:
-There is no way I can see of determining the fat content ahead of time.
If you completely trimmed the meat you could weigh it and the fat separately, and then plug the numbers into your TI-35. :wink: That would at least give you a rough estimate, which would probably be pretty accurate if the meat's not heavily marbled.

I don't know if I could make my own ground beef. I'd be too tempted to cook it in its unground state!

Brad

Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:07 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

Bummer that they didn't come out perfect, but that's what this fun hobby is all about, the journey to perfection. Looks like you learned you some stuff,so it wasn't a complete failure. Think its about time for me grind another batch of burgers.

Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:20 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thanks guys for looking and posting.

Griffin:
I don't look at it as a failure at all. I had fun, I learned a thing or two and I fully intend to press on. The burgers were good, they just weren't as good as the ones I could buy at the supermarket. Who knows what would've happened if they turned out better than the supermarket version the first time out? I might've stopped hunting around to find the perfect combination of meats. This way I'm going to continue on until I find something I really, really like. It also caused me to "dust off" the box with all the accessories for my new KA stand mixer. I've been saying I want to try these out for a long time. Now that I've tried the meatgrinder, I'm going to try the juicer next and make some fresh lemonade.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
Image
BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:45 pm
Dyal_SC well done
well done

Posts: 3712
Location: Lexington, SC
Nicely done, Jimbo! :D
Large BGE
CG Duo with SFB

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Post Tue Sep 04, 2012 8:09 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3045
Location: Atlanta-GA
Great combo of cuts!
I’d eat brisket burger any day :)
Great looking and sounding burgers; It looks like a successful experiment from this angle :wink:
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Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:29 am
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
To my eye, the meat looks high quality, well ground, great texture, and wonderful, Jim! Some day I'd like to try mixing a tritip and chuck. :D
Got beer???

Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:14 am
jfm0830 well done
well done

Posts: 2638
Location: Northeastern MA

Thank you to the additional commenters.

beercuer:
Tri-tip and chuck, you may just have to winner there. That may be the next thing that I try. The texture of my burgers was actually very similar to that of ground tri-tip.

In a way I think the issue with these burgers wasn't necessarily the cuts, but the fat content. Once again I'll mention that they didn't shrink up like the 73/27 ground beef I've been buying at the supermarket. That grind blows away the 85/15 ground beef from the same market. When I bought it, the meat didn't seem to be lacking in fat. But evidently it wasn't close to 27 percent fat. I plan to do a little research and see if there's a way to introduce more fat into the mixture. Boy this seems so decadent and unhealthy...mmmm.

Jim
2 Large BGEs
Kenmore Elite 6 Burner Gas Grill
Image
BBQ Site: http://grillinsmokin.net

Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:12 am
beercuer User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 2287
Location: Southern Californy
Jim, my butcher mixes in extra fat for free for me. Perhaps your butcher would do the same for you, even though you grind your own now. :D
Got beer???

Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:12 am
Griffin well done
well done

Posts: 3312
Location: Dallas, Texas

beercuer wrote:
To my eye, the meat looks high quality, well ground, great texture, and wonderful, Jim! Some day I'd like to try mixing a tritip and chuck. :D


I thought the reason that people can't get tri-tip east of Cali is that all the butchers grind it up for hamburger.....I could be wrong.

Post Wed Sep 05, 2012 10:53 pm
smokin'gal well done
well done

Posts: 1541
Location: Seattle, WA
Great post Jim. Tri tip and chuck sounds like a good next thing to try.

Post Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:25 pm
CharredGriller User avatar
BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5877
Location: Central Alberta, Canada
Griffin wrote:
beercuer wrote:
To my eye, the meat looks high quality, well ground, great texture, and wonderful, Jim! Some day I'd like to try mixing a tritip and chuck. :D


I thought the reason that people can't get tri-tip east of Cali is that all the butchers grind it up for hamburger.....I could be wrong.


Really funny you mention that, Griffin. I once again found a local butcher (in a Safeway of all places!) who knew something about tri-tip, and he sold me a whole one. He also said that a lot of butchers just use tri-tip for hamburger too.

Tri-tip and chuck sounds good. Tri-tip and chuck-eye sounds (and tastes) a bit better. But you have to find a butcher who hasn't saved the chuck-eye for his own grill.

Hint: a lot of stores call it a cross-rib steak. I've no idea why they also call it a "marinating" steak, as it's excellent grilled.
Unlike propane, you'll never wake up scorched and naked in another county because you mishandled a bag of briquettes.

Post Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:57 pm
harry_canyon well done
well done

Posts: 612
Location: Hayward, CA
CanadaBBQGuy wrote:
Griffin wrote:
beercuer wrote:
To my eye, the meat looks high quality, well ground, great texture, and wonderful, Jim! Some day I'd like to try mixing a tritip and chuck. :D


I thought the reason that people can't get tri-tip east of Cali is that all the butchers grind it up for hamburger.....I could be wrong.


Really funny you mention that, Griffin. I once again found a local butcher (in a Safeway of all places!) who knew something about tri-tip, and he sold me a whole one. He also said that a lot of butchers just use tri-tip for hamburger too.

Tri-tip and chuck sounds good. Tri-tip and chuck-eye sounds (and tastes) a bit better. But you have to find a butcher who hasn't saved the chuck-eye for his own grill.

Hint: a lot of stores call it a cross-rib steak. I've no idea why they also call it a "marinating" steak, as it's excellent grilled.
I believe it was popularized in Santa Maria, Ca., where IIRC marinating it is standard. I like just using a generous sprinkle of Montreal Steak Seasoning (homemade of course :)) for tri-tip.

Take care,

Derek
Always keep an open mind. But not so open that your brain falls out.


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