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Old 01-26-2011, 04:37 AM   #1
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Question for Burger Experts...

I just picked up a cheap meat grinder ($30 Norpro from Amazon), to grind up my own meat.

I read that "beef chuck" is the recommended beef for burgers. However, when I went to the market to look for "beef chuck," I was confused with the varieties. They had "beef chuck shoulder," "beef chuck cross rib," "beef chuck top blade," etc etc.

Does it matter which one I get? Is there a certain variety of chuck, that is specifically recommended for homemade burgers?

Anyway, I ended up opting for "beef loin, top sirloin," because it was on sale for 3.29 per lb. It was cheaper than any of the chucks, and I also heard sirloin is considered higher quality, than chuck... which brings me to my next question...

What is the difference between "top sirloin" and "beef loin, top sirloin?" Or are they the same thing? I ask, because the "top sirloin" was 2.79 per lb, but they were selling them in massive bulk... like 6 lbs or so, per package. I tried looking for a smaller packaging, and I stumbled across "beef loin, top sirloin," but it costed a little more (3.29)... not sure if it's because it's better quality, or because I was buying less (1.5 lb).

My last question is, should I trim off the thick layers of fat on my "beef loin, top sirloin?" I'm not even sure if it's "fat" or something else, but I have two chunks of "beef loin, top sirloin" in the packaging, and each one has a 1/2" border (or layer) of fat on one side. Should I chop it off, before grinding it?

I understand that you're supposed to have some fat in the burger, but I'm not sure if that isolated layer of fat, qualifies... 'cause it's pretty thick and conspicuous... not sure how it'll blend with the rest of the ground meat.

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Old 01-26-2011, 07:29 AM   #2
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Quote:
Does it matter which one I get? Is there a certain variety of chuck, that is specifically recommended for homemade burgers?
Not really for the purpose of grinding.

Quote:
What is the difference between "top sirloin" and "beef loin, top sirloin?"
Part and parcel the same thing.

Quote:
My last question is, should I trim off the thick layers of fat on my "beef loin, top sirloin?"
Sirloin is generally leaner than chuck... So, Personally I would leave it on.
Grind the meat and fat....Gently mix by hand....Then grind again. HTH


Fun!
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:24 PM   #3
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Wow, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer all my questions!
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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I love my burgers medium rare please.
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Old 01-28-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush View Post
I just picked up a cheap meat grinder ($30 Norpro from Amazon), to grind up my own meat.

I read that "beef chuck" is the recommended beef for burgers. However, when I went to the market to look for "beef chuck," I was confused with the varieties. They had "beef chuck shoulder," "beef chuck cross rib," "beef chuck top blade," etc etc.

Does it matter which one I get? Is there a certain variety of chuck, that is specifically recommended for homemade burgers?

Anyway, I ended up opting for "beef loin, top sirloin," because it was on sale for 3.29 per lb. It was cheaper than any of the chucks, and I also heard sirloin is considered higher quality, than chuck... which brings me to my next question...

What is the difference between "top sirloin" and "beef loin, top sirloin?" Or are they the same thing? I ask, because the "top sirloin" was 2.79 per lb, but they were selling them in massive bulk... like 6 lbs or so, per package. I tried looking for a smaller packaging, and I stumbled across "beef loin, top sirloin," but it costed a little more (3.29)... not sure if it's because it's better quality, or because I was buying less (1.5 lb).

My last question is, should I trim off the thick layers of fat on my "beef loin, top sirloin?" I'm not even sure if it's "fat" or something else, but I have two chunks of "beef loin, top sirloin" in the packaging, and each one has a 1/2" border (or layer) of fat on one side. Should I chop it off, before grinding it?

I understand that you're supposed to have some fat in the burger, but I'm not sure if that isolated layer of fat, qualifies... 'cause it's pretty thick and conspicuous... not sure how it'll blend with the rest of the ground meat.
I got one of those and I had some problems because they don't give the best instructions. I had left out one piece when putting it together because it was not clear in the directions what that piece was used for. As a result I could have damaged the grinder and it was very hard to turn the crank. So, if you are having trouble cranking it, make sure you put it together properly.
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:19 PM   #6
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What makes chuck roast so good for burgers is that it is well-marbled with fat, which adds flavor. The chuck comes from the shoulder and neck of the beef. The neck portion is the most tender, but either is fine for grinding.

Ground sirloin has a good flavor, but you might want to wrap a piece of bacon around the patty to make it juicier. I like to fix these just as I would a steak. Sauteed onions and mushrooms are good with these chopped steaks.
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by mkaylady View Post
I got one of those and I had some problems because they don't give the best instructions. I had left out one piece when putting it together because it was not clear in the directions what that piece was used for. As a result I could have damaged the grinder and it was very hard to turn the crank. So, if you are having trouble cranking it, make sure you put it together properly.
Mine came fully assembled, for the most part. I think the only thing that needed to be affixed, was the crank. It also came with some extra accessories for different sized cuts, pasta, etc, but thankfully, they were self-explanatory for my model.

That said, I don't think the crank was that hard to turn for me, as much as holding the grinder down. I think it's fine if you're grinding meat, once in a while, but if you had to use this for your business, you'd get tendonitis, just trying to keep it flat.

I also have to agree, that the instructions were very vague. I have never used a grinder before, so I was hoping for some type of detailed instruction. I even looked up videos, because I realized this grinder was extremely popular and affordable. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any video tutorials.

It took me a few tries to figure it out. Now I just cut it into very narrow strips... about 1/2"...
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:17 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Constance View Post
What makes chuck roast so good for burgers is that it is well-marbled with fat, which adds flavor. The chuck comes from the shoulder and neck of the beef. The neck portion is the most tender, but either is fine for grinding.

Ground sirloin has a good flavor, but you might want to wrap a piece of bacon around the patty to make it juicier. I like to fix these just as I would a steak. Sauteed onions and mushrooms are good with these chopped steaks.
Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation, describing the differences.

Personally, I'm trying to cut down on the calories, so I don't mind lean beef like sirloin. Besides, the sirloin patties I cooked up recently with the grinder, were extremely juicy. I was afraid the buns were gonna become a sponge, from soaking all the juices.

I don't know why grinding up your own meat, makes that much of a difference, but I was pretty surprised. And the meat was so tender. It was almost falling apart, actually.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:53 AM   #9
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If you add more fat to the burger it won't fall apart. Sirloin has more flavor, imho, than chuck so I would say grind some top sirloin and then a boston butt, pork butt, for the fat. Just an idea.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rush

Mine came fully assembled, for the most part. I think the only thing that needed to be affixed, was the crank. It also came with some extra accessories for different sized cuts, pasta, etc, but thankfully, they were self-explanatory for my model.

That said, I don't think the crank was that hard to turn for me, as much as holding the grinder down. I think it's fine if you're grinding meat, once in a while, but if you had to use this for your business, you'd get tendonitis, just trying to keep it flat.

I also have to agree, that the instructions were very vague. I have never used a grinder before, so I was hoping for some type of detailed instruction. I even looked up videos, because I realized this grinder was extremely popular and affordable. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any video tutorials.

It took me a few tries to figure it out. Now I just cut it into very narrow strips... about 1/2"...
The grinder doesn't have a vise grip on the bottom to mount on a table? The hand crank ones I've seen all did. My mom always mounts hers on the pull out wooden cutting board. Works like a charm. I've wanted to start grinding my own hamburger for years, but always pictured a big electric meat grinder. Never even thought to just buy a hand crank one... ::wheels turning in skittle's head::
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