This feature is sponsored by KitchenAid, who is letting us play every day in the TasteSpotting kitchen with a stand mixer and a full suite of stand mixer attachments.
I’m going to confess to something that just might get me into trouble. Ready?
I don’t bake. (Oh boy, did I just blog that out loud?)
No, I don’t bake, so when I asked for a KitchenAid® stand mixer for my birthday five years ago, the response was a look of unspoken surprise.
What? Why? What on earth would I do with a stand mixer?! I don’t bake. At least, not enough to legitimately require a stand mixer!
I still got the mixer anyway.
For the past five years, the mixer has been sitting gorgeously on my kitchen counter. Every once in a while, I snap on the flat beater attachment and throw together a batch of cookies or whip cream to top fresh berries with the whisk, but these instances were few and far between.
I never really used my mixer to its fullest potential. For baking.
Oooh, but then.
But then I was introduced to the entire family of KitchenAid® stand mixer attachments.
As much as the food grinder could make me my own butcher, I still had to visit my actual butcher for help with grinding my own beef, since all I ever did before was walk up to the butcher’s counter, say “ground beef for burgers,” and a perfectly white paper-wrapped package of gorgeous ground beef would appear magically in my hands.
Five years later, the Food Grinder attached to my Pretty-in-Pink power mixer has turned me from (non-)baker to butcher.
The butcher gave me his opinion on what cut of beef would be best for burgers. He walked me through everything from your basic chuck to the decadence of dry-aged ribeye steak. In the end, I went with the shortrib, something I had never heard of being used. (Saveur happens to have a basic guide to beef for burgers: A Guide to Hamburger Meat)
I picked up a few tips about grinding meat from the butcher and while researching on the web:
- Fat Content: Whatever the cut of beef, make sure it has a decent percentage of fat – 20% fat seems to be the optimal amount.
- Grind Cold: Make sure the beef is very, very cold before grinding it. Soft, warm meat won’t grind as will in the grinder.
- Make Extra: If you’re going to go to the trouble of grinding your own meat, you may as well do more than you need and freeze the rest.
- Use Lids to Shape Patties: Alice of Savory Sweet Life saves money on yet another UG (useless gadget), a hamburger press, and uses the lids of jars to make uniform shape/size patties!
If you have any other brilliant hints, tips, and tricks for ground beef, please share in the comments!
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburgers
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Ingredients:
For the Burger:
2 pounds ground beef – we used shortribs, making sure we got the fattiest section we could find
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-10 strips thick-cut bacon, cooked until desired crispness and cut into 4-5″ lengths
Cheddar cheese slices
2 fresh tomatoes
8 Iceberg lettuce leaves
sliced red onions
your preferred condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, etc)
soft burgers buns
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Directions:
Place beef in freezer for about 30 minutes. Cut very cold (but nowhere near frozen) beef into 1″ cubes.
Attach food grinder to KitchenAid® stand mixer with the coarse grind plate. Place a large bowl under the grinder attachment. Turn the mixer to speed 2, then slowly feed beef one-by-one into the food grinder. Use the accompanying tool to push meat down into the feed tube. Continue until you have ground all the beef.
Divide the beef into 4 equal amounts, then gently shape into patties about ¾” thick. Place patties on a plate or stack with sheet of parchment in between, and chill in refrigerator for about an hour.
Prepare grill. Just before cooking, season all sides of each burger with salt and pepper. Cook burgers on grill until desired temperature, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove cooked burgers to plate and allow to cool and rest for about 5 minutes.
Place 4-5 pieces of bacon on bottom bun. Place cooked burger on bacon. Top burger with cheese and additional toppings.
Things We Used to Make Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburgers:
- KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer Food Grinder Attachment