Grind Your Own, Or Not
If you'll humor me, I've got two more burger-related items for all my Meatheads out there today, and then I'll give the beef stuff a rest.
The first is a set of photos from Joshua "Meatwave" Bousel that shows that it really isn't that difficult to grind your own before grilling your own. Those are Bousel's pix above; click on them to view the rest of the series.
But for those of you, who, like me, are sometimes a bit lazy, there's another good burger how-to in the Washington Post today. It's similar to the one in the New York Times, but its writer, Tony Rosenfeld, co-owner of small Boston-based burger chain B.Good, gives us all permission to use pre-ground meat. And I dig that he's down with chuck and not sirloin:
Because grilling burgers is so simple, the small steps make the difference. Start with the meat. Grinding beef at home (see TIP at lower right) can ensure good quality, and it's not difficult if you use a food processor, but chances are you'll want meat that's already ground. In that case, go to a reputable source where the beef is ground daily; avoid prepackaged, preformed patties that offer uncertain flavor and texture.
Ground beef usually comes from one of three cuts: chuck, round or sirloin. Chuck is my favorite; it's a little fattier than the others, but that translates into great flavor. Ground beef from the round or sirloin tends to be leaner, a good thing if you're counting calories but a bad thing if you want the juiciest, most dynamic burger possible. My favorite is 85 percent lean ground chuck.
Rosenfeld also advises using a kitchen scale to mete out the meat (so all the burgers are consistent), gives some good tips on grill temps (a more gentle flame beats a roaring blaze), and provides a recipe for homemade buns that I'm copying down to try at home.
Oh, I lied. Three more items for you today, but this one's an oldie but goodie. Been there, seen that? Don't click play. If you haven't viewed it yet, our video of a trip to the butcher to get fresh-ground meat is worth three minutes of your time.