HELP!!! Hail Mary Pass on Hamburger Grinding Question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by pianov, May 29, 2016.

  1. I am going to grill hamburgers for my son for his birthday today (like in an hour). I am grinding my own beef (chuck roast) for the first time with a manual LEM grinder. The grinder came with two plates - one with 3/8" holes and the other with 3/16" holes. From what I read, a coarse grind with a 3/16" or 1/4" plate is recommended for hamburger.

    However, I did a first grind with the 3/8" hole plate and, darn, it sure looks good! Should l go with that or should I do a second grind with the 3/16" plate?

    Thanks so much for anyone able to answer quickly!  ;-)  [​IMG]


    Sweltering on Tampa Bay
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you like the look go with the courser grind. I prefer the texture of a course grind. Sometimes I'll mix a small percentage of the finer grind with the coarse grind.
  3. Thanks for the reply. I ended up grinding it again through the 3/16" plate. I might try the coarser grind next time - it really did look okay.

    I had one problem with my burgers - they fell apart. From what I read, it is recommended to handle them minimally - so I did - but they fell apart during cooking. What do I need to do to bind them together better?

  4. mbuxx

    mbuxx Fire Starter

    Did you try separating with paper and letting them get really cold in the fridge? Also did you use a burger mold or just hand press them?

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  5. I did neither. I presses them lightly/moderately into a plastic-wrap-lined plastic large jar lid (mold), lifted out, took out to grill.

    What does the paper and fridge do for them? What kind of paper?

    Thanks for the input.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From what I have read, and from personal experience....  burgers should be cooked on a griddle/flat top etc....   from watching great cooks make $25-$50 burgers, I tried using their technique.....   I had a "tube" of 80-20 chuck... refrigerated, cold....  leaving it in the tube, I sliced it into 1" thick patties...  about 3/4# each...   gently removed the plastic "tube" from the patties...  I had my griddle on the stove top with the gas burners on low/med-low so the griddle was about 225......   oiled the griddle with peanut oil...  I hate olive oil...   gently set them on the griddle and waited about 10 minutes....    gently turned then seasoned the cooked side with Montreal Steak seasoning....   covered the patties and griddle with a tent of foil and waited another 10 ish minutes...   turned off the heat and let them rest to coagulate the fats etc...  about 10 minutes....   they were the best burgers I have had....  the spaces between the grinds of meat were filled with juice...  the meat was and had not been compacted or fussed with in any way...  perfectly cooked and juicy were the results...  no fillers, no eggs....   just beef flavor...  

    It's practically impossible to cook a juicy burger on a wire rack over coals or heat of any kind as the juice / fat just drips and runs  out of it... 

    Anywho....  I did this once....  last week....  and it's going to be attempted again, soon...  

    My thoughts are to grind my own fresh chuck and add seasonings and spices to the meat BEFORE grinding...   gently pack the meat into patty shapes, maybe using some sort of ring sitting on waxed paper...  freeze if necessary on a sheet pan..... save for that special occasion....   like a midnight snack...   with griddled onions and griddled  asparagus...    maybe some shrooms...

    Well I'm hungry now.... I've got some home made turkey soup on the stove...
  7. mbuxx

    mbuxx Fire Starter

    What Dave says is ideal, it is best to cook fresh pressed burgers on a flat top.

    Alternatively if you use a higher fat content of beef, sitting them in the fridge lets the fat get nice and hard so they stick together really well. I personally don't like using eggs or bread crumbs for a filler/binder.

    You can use parchment/wax/butcher paper as well

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  8. mbuxx

    mbuxx Fire Starter

    Oh yeah, you can't flip too early on the grill either, that will be a quick killer ;).

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  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    What was your fat content? I grind all of our burger and for hamburgers I shoot for 80/20. I trim all the fat from the meat prior to grinding. Then grind the meat and fat seperately. Then I weight the meat and add back in the appropriate amount of fat.

    I really disagree with needing to use a flat top to get a great burger. Your fat content has to be right and you need to watch your cook time. An early flip will kill you.
  10. I have no idea what the fat content was. I just ground up a chuck roast - it had a good little bit of fat on it - but I didn't measure it like you do. I don't think I flipped them too early as they were pretty much done through when I flipped them. Not at all what I intended to do.   [​IMG]  
  11. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Cut the beef in 1-2" chunks. Grind the meat mixing fat and lean as you grind, adding some salt to the chunks helps with the bind later, lay it out on plastic in a 5" X whatever pile, roll tightly twisting the ends and rest overnight in the refer. The meat protein will bind together. Slice the log to desired thickness, remove plastic and cook...JJ
    Last edited: May 30, 2016

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