Help me make hamburger

diinohioMarch 23, 2012

I have a KA with a grinding attachment, and I want to make my own hamburger. I have about 7 1/2 lbs. of chuck roasts.

I know the meat should be cold or partially frozen, and cut into small strips. Anyone have any other tips or advice?


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Can't give you advice from experience, only things people have said and what I've read.

Keeping the meat cold is pretty important. My cousin used to refrigerate the meat grinder before using it for larger amounts. And he'd have a chilled bowl and get it in the refrigerator quickly unless you're using it right away. For cleaning he'd run some bread through the grinder to get more of the meat fragments out. Then he'd use the bread for meatballs or meatloaf if that's what he was making.

It's pretty basic. Give it a try. Sanitize the grinder when you're done. Enjoy your freshly ground burger.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 11:52PM
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Used my attachment for the first time about a month ago. It was much easier than I thought. I did chill the meat, almost still in the slightly frozen state. However, did find that when you first start, some "meat juices" will sort of spray out, I just put the bowl I was grinding into, a bit higher. Had to set on top of another container to lift it up. Have only ground meat once so don't know if that is normal or not. After grinding a bit, the "spray" stopped. Just to let you be prepared in case this happens to you.
I used the ground meat for a meatloaf and a couple of burgers. Will never buy pre-ground meat again.
Clean up was much easier than I imagined too.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:47AM
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Di, below is a link for an Alton Brown show where he uses a KA grinder to grind meat. It might be helpful for you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alton Brown Grinds Meat

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Cut the meat into chunks and freeze it until it's just starting to get crunchy. We lay it on cookie sheets and it only takes about 1/2 hour. The grinder goes in the freezer, too. Everything needs to be super cold, so the meat cuts cleanly. Clean the grinder by running a few ice cubes through it. Keeps it cold and a little moisture is good.

You might consider adding some pork jowl to your beef. We use about 10-15%. It's a very soft fat with wonderful flavor and keeps the burgers juicy. When we saute some for taco filling, there is NO fat in the pan. As a matter of fact, at times we have to add a little olive oil. So don't be afraid to add some fat. With no fat added, ground meat can be very dry and crumbly, so the burgers don't hold together well. I do not like the taste of hard beef fat, so we use pork jowl.

We made about 90 lbs. of ground meat this fall. Our mix was about 70% venison, 10% pork butt, 10% jowl and the rest a beef roast we found super cheap. Best burgers and meatloaf we've ever had.

Since we have so much in the freezer, I haven't looked at ground meat in the store lately, but I noticed in the paper yesterday that ground Angus beef was $4.99/lb. on sale. Yikes!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 8:13AM
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I've had a hand-cranked meat grinder that you fasten to your table for quite some time, but never have used it. Well, with all the reports about pink slime in ground beef, I'm going to start making my own. Even my favorite grocery, Kroger, admitted to using pink slime as a filler, even though it wasn't listed on the packaging, and said they would stop, but how do I know? Anyway, I really appreciate the tips on here to make grinding your own beef easier.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I had planned to get a roast and grind my own ground beef, but at $16 for one roast, I just couldn't do it. So I got the HUGE chicken breasts that were on sale. One piece will do me for two meals.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 11:19PM
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Thanks for the help. I made the burger yesterday, it was easy to do. I froze the beef strips and put the grinder in the freezer too. I did elevate the bowl as Murphy suggested, but it wasn't necessary as there wasn't any spray from the meat juices, the meat was pretty well frozen though so that may have helped. And I agree, I will probably never buy ground meat again!

Malna, I didn't add any extra fat as I didn't have any. One roast seemed to have enough fat, but I can see that the other batches are very lean, they'll be fine for tacos and chili, but for burgers I'd have to add more fat. I'll experiment with the proportions.

bcskye go for it, that's what pushed me towards making my own. I like the fact that I chose what to put in the grinder. I removed any silver skin and obvious gristle and what I didn't catch got caught in the cutter blade not in the meat.

teresa, I paid 2.99 a lb. for chuck roasts on sale. Kroger often has their roasts BOGO.

Oh, one thing I did (as suggested in the KA manual) was to grind the meat twice "for better mix and more tender results". Does anyone else do this?

I think I may try making some breakfast sausage soon.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:13AM
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We also have switched to grinding our own meats, a couple years ago. We much prefer the texture & love knowing what we're eating. Grinding chicken & turkey is just as easy. I've would never eat either of those commercially ground so they are new to our diet. We made chicken/apple sausage a couple months ago. Delicious!

We don't have a meat grinder so we use our KA 13-cup FP. Works great.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:24AM
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Di, try Alton Brown's recipe for breakfast sausage as a jumping off point. It's good and you can add more spice or sage to suit your taste. You can use fatty bacon if you can't find fat back. I make patties and freeze them before cooking. They thaw easily in a warm skillet before cooking.

2 pounds pork butt (2 1/2 pounds with bone), diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound fat back, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Special equipment: meat grinder

Combine diced pork with all other ingredients and chill for 1 hour. Using the fine blade of a grinder, grind the pork. Form into 1-inch rounds. Refrigerate and use within 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. For immediate use, saute patties over medium-low heat in a non-stick pan. Saute until brown and cooked through, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:47AM
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bcskye beat me to it, I was going to say that first you needed to go to Kroger and get some pink slime. (grin)

I also grind my own pork and make breakfast sausage, italian sausage, etc. It's easy. I also grind beef and venison if I run out of the ground stuff that I get when I have beef processed. Since Carl retired I have a small Mennonite place do my beef processing, they do a good job and I guarantee they don't have the equipment to process any pink slime. They also let me into the working portion of the facility so I could see it was spotless, in spite of my "surprise" visit. It's run by a father, 2 sons and a daughter and I'm not concerned about what's in my ground meat.

Although I don't use much ground meat, the girls do, and when they run out, they raid my freezer. Yeah, go figure. So, if I need a quick batch of ground meat, I put it in the food processor. For some reason I find that I eat less and less ground meat, I was never wild about the texture and now less so. That's one reason I do it in the food processor, it's more minced than ground, if that makes sense.

I always have to add fat to my ground meat if I'm going to use it for burgers, it's just so lean that it sticks to the pan. I like butter best for flavor, but use olive oil because it's healthier.

anyway, the only tips? The meat works better partially frozen, which has already been mentioned. Don't add too much fat, because you can always add fat after the meat is ground, but you can't take it back out. It's not much trouble, you know what's in there and you have more control over the texture, all good things.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 10:26AM
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