Gallery: The Burger Lab: A 60-Day Dry-Aged Home-Ground Prime Rib Burger (That You Will Probably Never Make At Home)

  • Smokin'

    burger patty cooking on pan

    A smoking hot cast iron skillet is the best way to put a good crust on a fat burger like this.

    Dry Age Trim

    aged prime rib roasts

    The trim from several aged prime rib roasts went into making these burgers. The trim ranged form between 21 to 61 days. I froze it all in cryovacked bags as I collected it, then thawed it out in the fridge over the course of two days when I was ready to grind.

    Ready to Grind

    trimmed beef

    The beef, trimmed, chunked, and ready to grind. Notice that fat? That's where most of the dry aged flavor comes in.

    Grind Cold

    meat grinder

    When grinding meat, it's essential that everything is kept ice cold to prevent smearing of the fat. Accidentally product-placing Saffron Road's frozen meals is not essential (stay tuned for a full review of those down the line!).

    Start Grinding

    grinding beef

    If everything is chilled, the meat should grind very nicely, coming out in distinct strands like this, rather than solid mush, which can happen if sinew or smeared fat clogs up the blades. I grind at medium speed.

    Finish Grinding

    paper towel on meat grinder

    To get the last bits of meat out, press a piece of paper towel down into the feed tube. It'll push out the meat without getting ground itself.

    Spread It

    ground meet on baking sheet

    Spread the meat across a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. The goal here is to keep it as loose as possible.

    Form the Patties

    forming burger patties

    Gently gather the patties into piles and shape them into rounds about four inches wide and an inch thick.

    Press Together

    forming burger patties

    Press the meat into cohesive patties, pressing just until they hold together on their own, allowing them to stay as loose as possible without actually falling apart.


    seasoning burger patty

    Season the patties well on both sides with salt and pepper.

    Get 'er Ripping

    heating cast iron skillet on stovetop

    Heat up a touch of oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until it starts smoking.

    Add the Patty(ies)

    cooking burger patty on cast iron skillet

    Add the patty to the skillet. It'll start smoking like crazy.

    Flip and Keep Cooking

    burger patty cooking on cast iron skillet

    You can flip your burger as many times as you want, or just flip it once if you're that kind of person. Either way, the goal is to develop a deep, crisp crust.


    basting burger on cast iron skillet

    Once a good amount of fat has rendered, you can start basting the burger with a spoon, which will help it crisp better and cook faster from both sides.


    checking burger patty with meat thermometer

    Take the temperature. For a nice medium rare, I go for around 115 to 120°F (a little lower than for a steak, as the air spaces in a burger allow it to carry over a little more than a steak does).

    Rest it

    cooked burger patty

    Hamburgers need to rest too! Set is aside while you get the bun ready.

    Top it

    burger patty with American cheese

    Place a slice of cheese on top to get it started melting.


    cooking onions in cast iron skillet

    I like to use the rendered beef fat to quick-fry some onions. We're not really caramelizing here so much as softening and lightly charring.


    browned onions

    See how nice and brown/frizzled they get?


    potato rolls hamburger buns

    Martin's potato rolls are my bun of choice for pretty much any burger, though with a hearty burger like this, you could go for something a little more substantial. Martin's sweet, buttery flavor brings out the best in your beef.

    Spread It

    Thousand Island spread on burger buns

    I spread some Thousand Island-style spread on the top and bottom of the toasted bun.

    Flash the Beef

    cheeseburger under broiler

    Flash the burger under the broiler just to melt the cheese.



    Now THAT'S a burger.