For Impossibly Rich Burgers, You Need More Than Just Beef

When you're envisioning ways to level up your at-home burger game in anticipation of grilling season, your first thought might be to incorporate an incredible sauce or enhance the burger with tasty toppings such as caramelized onions, grilled vegetables, cheese, and more. However, no amount of additions can elevate an underwhelming patty. For a truly outstanding burger, you need to start by ensuring the patty itself is as juicy and delectable as possible.

If you've only ever made burgers with ground beef, you need to step up your meat game and explore the other options out there. First of all, for your patty base, put aside the pre-ground beef and opt to grind your own instead. This simple swap opens up a much wider range of possibilities in terms of the cuts of beef you can use. You can even combine multiple cuts of beef to create your perfect blend.

Those seeking a rich, decadent burger patty will want to keep an eye out for cuts that have a higher fat percentage. Regular chuck, for example, typically has an 80/20 ratio of lean meat to fat, which produces a satisfying enough burger. For the ultimate indulgence, though, look for cuts that have a 70/30 ratio, such as beef brisket or beef rib. Incorporating some of these into your burger blend will take your patty to the next level before you even add anything else.

More tips for incredibly decadent burgers

If you're truly looking to get creative with your custom blend, you might even consider looking beyond the beef section of your butcher shop and seeking out other meats to mix in. While you may want your blend to be predominantly beef in order to give your burgers that signature beefy flavor, high-fat options like pork belly or pork ribs could also lend an added burst of richness. There are no hard and fast rules — get creative and try out a few different blends until you find the one that's perfectly tailored to your tastebuds.

Finally, if playing around with the cuts of meat you incorporate just isn't enough in your quest for the richest possible burger, take it one step further by adding butter. No, we're not just talking about slapping a slab of butter atop your burgers while they're grilling. Instead, incorporate chunks of cold butter into the mix while you're grinding everything together. This will ensure it's mixed in throughout the meat, delivering some serious richness and added flavor with every bite. In fact, in an exclusive interview with Mashed, Southern culinary queen Paula Deen herself gave her stamp of approval to this buttery burger hack.