Become a Better Cook: How to Make This Summer's Best Burger

Photo by: Chris Hall
THE MEAT: 3 Reasons Why You Should Grind Your Own-
Grinding beef has been used as a tenderizing technique for tough cuts of meat for hundreds of years. Ground meat is essentially ... more 
Photo by: Chris Hall
THE MEAT: 3 Reasons Why You Should Grind Your Own-
Grinding beef has been used as a tenderizing technique for tough cuts of meat for hundreds of years. Ground meat is essentially "pre-chewed" by a machine so that when you bite into it, half the work of breaking down the muscle fibers has already been done and it feels tender in your mouth. Here's why you should grind your own instead of buying ground beef:

1.) It's Safer. Pre-ground beef is convenient, but it comes with some baggage. It has the potential to carry pathogens--more so than steak, which has been handled less and processed less. Ground beef that hasn't been properly handled or has been ground using a less-than-pristinely-clean meat grinder can make you sick if it's not cooked all the way through. The bugs that can make you ill (E. Coli, mostly) are killed off between 150 degrees F and 160 degrees F. That means pre-ground meat should be cooked to those temperatures (well done). This is far past the point of deliciousness, which is between 120 degrees F for rare to 140 degrees F for medium. less 
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Tue, Nov 8, 2011 7:25 PM EST
Last time we covered the basics of modern fire cooking (a.k.a.: grilling). Since it's still grilling season, let's focus on one of everyone's favorite all-American summer treats: THE HAMBURGER!

In this post, we'll sort through the options in the meat case and give you the techniques you need to make the best burger you and your barbecue buddies have ever had.

Click here to learn how to grind meat, and here for a great homemade burger recipe.



Ian Knauer honed his cooking chops in the test kitchens of
Gourmet magazine for over eight years. When not in the kitchen, he's hunting, tending his beehives, or foraging for dinner wherever it can be found. Follow him on Twitter @iknauer. Photograph by Romulo Yanes.





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