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Cooking Tips

The Key to a Juicier, Richer Burger? Just Add Butter.

  It delivers flavor and richness galore.
By Published May 10, 2022

If you’re after an ultimate burger experience–the kind that stops you in your tracks to appreciate the juiciness, beefiness, and all-around goodness–grinding your own meat is a must-do. But for the most succulent results, we recommend taking things a step further by including some butter in the grind. It’s a trick we use in our Juicy Pub-Style Burgers and our Tender Juicy Grilled Burgers. The butter doesn’t add buttery flavor, per se, rather, the milk fat lends remarkable beefy depth and richness to the patties. 

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How to Grind Meat for Burgers

In the test kitchen, we've found it easy to grind meat ourselves with a food processor. The method we've developed (no matter the cut) calls for trimming gristle and excess fat from the meat, cutting the meat into ½-inch pieces, freezing it for about 30 minutes to firm it up so that the blades cut it cleanly instead of smashing and smearing it (which leads to pasty, dense results), and finally processing it in small batches to ensure an even, precise grind.

The Key to Adding Butter to Homeground Burgers

It’s important to grind cold butter into the meat. Like adding cold butter to pastry dough, the solid fat creates tiny particles of richness strewn throughout the grind.  To accomplish this, we freeze small pieces of butter along with the meat prior to grinding.  

How to Add Butter to Homeground Burgers

1. Place beef chunks and ¼ inch cubes butter on large plate in single layer. Freeze until meat is very firm and starting to harden around edges but still pliable, about 35 minutes.

2. Working in small batches, pulse portions of meat and butter into finely ground into pieces size of rice grains (about 1⁄32 inch), 15 to 20 pulses, stopping and redistributing meat around bowl as necessary to ensure beef is evenly ground.

3. Transfer meat to baking sheet.  Spread mixture over sheet and inspect carefully, discarding any long strands of gristle or large chunks of hard meat, fat, or butter.

4. Season meat with salt and pepper and toss with fork to combine. Divide meat into balls and shape into patties.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.