I got Pete a meat grinder attachment for our stand mixer for Christmas. Ever since, he’s been using it to grind his own meat blends for things like meatballs. This time of year, he uses it to grind meat for burgers. Really, everyone should know how to grind your own burger meat.
Grinding your own hamburgers is pretty simple.
Simple, but so worth it.
We, obviously, use our meat grinder for this, but if you don’t have a meat grinder, there are alternatives.
There are three main ways to grind your own hamburgers: with a stand mixer meat grinder attachment, with a food processor, or with a hand grinder.
How To Grind Your Own Burger Meat
The best part about grinding your own burgers is that you can choose the ingredients that go into your burgers.
Personally, we think the best meat to grind for burgers is chuck pot roast. Chuck pot roast has a good fat content, plus it’s affordable. Sirloin is a great cut of meat too, but it’s pricey — especially when you’re grinding it up.
Since, when you grind your own hamburgers,you control the ingredients, you can limit the amount of salt you add or exclude it completely. You are skipping any additives, and you know you’re not adding chemicals to act as preservatives.
Grinding your own hamburger meat with a stand mixer meat grinder attachment
The easiest way to grind your own burger meat is with a meat grinder attachment for a stand mixer. The stand mixer does the majority of the work, and the meat comes out evenly. Plus, you can do all the meat at once instead of in batches.
And honestly, since it’s so easy this way, grinding your own burgers won’t feel like a hassle, so you’ll actually do it often.
– Before you attach the meat grinder to the stand mixer, make sure that it’s free of any dust or dirt.
– Choose a grinding plate an affix it to attachment (more on that below).
– Cut the meat into 1-inch chunks, small enough to fit down the “chute” portion of the meat grinder. Put the chunks in a bowl with anything else you want to add to your burgers (bacon, garlic, herbs, etc .).
– Start to put the meat mixture down the chute. Use the plastic meat pusher (yes, that’s the official name) to help the meat down the chute.
– Collect the ground meat in the glass or stainless steel bowl that came with the stand mixer
– When you’re done, remove the grinding plate and soak the grinder attachment in hot or boiling water to kill any potential bacteria. Then, wash with dish soap and hot water or put it in the dishwasher (if your attachment is dishwasher safe).
Choosing a grinding plate for a meat grinder attachment
There are multiple grinding plates that can be used with your meat grinder attachment. Choosing the right one will depend on what you are grinding.
– Fine or Medium Grinding Plate: Use this soft foods, like cooked meat or bread for bread crumbs, or for hard cheese.
– Coarse Grinding Plate: Use this for hard foods, like to grind meat for sausage.
– Kidney Grinding Plate: This is the one that’s technically for hamburger meat. (Although we actually prefer the coarse grinding plate.)
Grinding your own hamburger meat with a food processor
The food processor is not as easy at the meat grinder attachment method, if you’re making a bunch of burgers. But it’s good for small batches.
– Make sure your food processor and blade are free from any dust or dirt.
– Cut the meat into chunks and partially freeze the chunks. Pull out just enough meat to cover the blades of the food processor. Add anything you want to add (garlic, herbs, etc.) at this point.
– Grind the meat until it is coarse. You’re going to have to keep an eye on it the first couple times so you don’t make them too mushy.
– Pour the ground meat into a bowl, then set it aside.
– Take more meat from the freezer and repeat the steps above until you have ground all the meat.
– When you’re done, soak the food processor in hot or boiling water to kill any potential bacteria. If your food processor is dishwasher safe, wash it in the dishwasher. If not, use dish soap and hot water to clean it.
Grinding your own hamburger meat with a hand grinder
A hand grinder (also known as a manual meat grinder) is the most amount of effort because it’s a manual grinder. So you can definitely skip your arm workout when you do this method. It will count.
– Wash your hand grinder if it has any dust or dirt on it.
– Cut your meat into 1-inch chunks and partially freeze them. Pull out a portion of the meat. Add anything you want to add (garlic, herbs, etc.) at this point.
– Use the hand grinder to grind it. Set it aside.
– Pull out another portion of meat from the freezer, grind it, and continue this process until you have ground all the meat.
– Clean the hand grinder with soap and hot water or boiling water to kill any potential bacteria.
Tips For Using Your Home Ground Burger Meat
– When you’re ready to use your home ground burger meat, you can form it into patties using your hands, but we prefer a burger press. It makes the burgers a uniform shape and size. What’s great about that is they will all cook evenly on the grill.
– Be sure to press a dimple into the burger. When burgers cook, the proteins contract. The patties get smaller, but then need somewhere to “push” out. So, if you have an indentation, the burger will push out that dimple. If not, the middle will puff up and you won’t get a flat burger. That’s fine, it doesn’t affect the taste, but it is a little bit of a pain when you want to lay flat toppings — like tomato slices and onions — on your burger.
– If you’re not using the burgers right away, store them on a tray in the fridge, covered, until you’re ready for them. Burgers cook better and stay juicier if you cook them cold rather than at room temperature. We often grill frozen burgers, rather than fresh ones, and they’re great that way.
– If you want to freeze these, wrap them individually in foil before putting them in a freezer safe bag.
Do you grind your own burger meat? Leave your tips in the comments.