Hudson Valley Burgers 2011: How to Make the Perfect Burger, According to Joshua Applestone of Fleischer’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, Kingston, NY
We asked Joshua Applestone of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston for tips on how to cook the perfect burger
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Our Daily Grind
Ground beef, ground meat, hamburger, or as my grandmother used to call it, chop meat, is all one and the same. Grind, as we call it, is a standard 80/20 mix at the shop — that’s an 80 percent meat to 20 percent fat ratio.
Most supermarket grind is far leaner than ours and often labeled with names rather than percentages: ground chuck, ground sirloin, and ground round. Although any cut of beef may be used for grind, the percentages are really what is being implied by these names: chuck is usually the standard 80/20 balance, while sirloin is a bit leaner, and round usually weighs in at 90 percent lean.
By law, the most fat that ground beef can contain if you buy it in a supermarket is 30 percent, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create some brisket-short-rib grind at home that might top the scale at 40 percent fat. Fat is flavor and truly decadent burgers are made with a fatty grind. We personally prefer a 70/30 grind. But remember, the fattier the hamburger is, the harder it is to prevent flare-ups on your grill.