How to expertly cook steak burgers?
What are steak burgers?
Steak burgers are seen as the upgraded version of the humble beef burger. As such, many people believe that an expertly cooked steak burger is only accessible by going to a high-end burger restaurant. This isn’t the case, as nowadays there are many ways to cook a great steak burger from the comfort of your own home.
In this blog, we’ll talk about why steak burgers are a cut above traditional beef burgers, how best to cook them, and where they can be sourced.
Rather than a steak sandwiched between two burger buns, steak burgers feature burger patties made from ground steak. Typically, steak burgers will be made from chuck as it contains a favourable fat ratio. They can, however, be made using other cuts like sirloin, ribeye or fillet mignon. Otherwise, they’re served like any other burger.
Many people think steak burgers are reserved for fancy restaurants and that at home, burgers must be made using ground beef. Wrong! Steak burgers are easily accessible through wholesalers and butchers. If you don’t have a meat grinder at home don’t worry. Most local butchers will be able to grind your steak burgers if you ask. Equally, online butchers like The Village Butcher will have a range of steak burgers ready to order.
Why choose steak burgers
What is the difference between steak burgers and regular hamburgers? Quite a lot actually. As a result, there are a few reasons why you might want to consider steak burgers for your next BBQ.
Firstly, supermarket ground beef usually combines meat from multiple cows. This can increase the risk of contamination and muddle the flavour. What’s more, even the best quality ground beef can contain cuts from . On the other hand, steak burgers contain selected cuts of meat, usually from one or two animals. Making a steak burger also allows for customisation. When making your own ground beef you aren’t locked into just using one cut. Feel free to play around and see what you like best. Lastly and arguably most importantly, steak burgers usually contain higher fat content, leading to juicier meat and deeper flavour.
Steak burger cooking methods
Steak burgers tend to be closer to 100% meat than ground beef burgers. As a result, they’re usually firmer and more prone to overcooking and falling apart. Be careful not to shape the patties too aggressively though. This can risk the burgers becoming tough after cooking. When forming, we recommend each patty be around 6 ounces (170 grams) but you can’t go wrong with evenly dividing the meat. Each patty should be roughly one inch thick and extend just over the edge of your bun prior to cooking. If in doubt, hold your chosen buns over the patty to check for size.
Top tip: make a shallow indent in the middle of the burger patty when forming. This helps keep steak burgers flat during the cooking process.
The first thing to do when cooking any burger is to make sure you’re working with a hot surface. This is vital to ensure the formation of a crust to seal in all the meat juices and prevent sticking. Following any of these cooking methods is sure to yield fantastic results.
Pan frying – Lightly oil the burger patty and place it into a hot pan. For medium rare cook for around 5 minutes each side and for well done, around 8 minutes a side. Pan frying creates browning quickly, while leaving the inside of the meat tender and juicy. Resist the urge to press or flatten the patty when it’s cooking. This can force juices out of the meat and make it less tasty.
When cooking on a solid surface, another option is to use the smash technique. To make a smash burger, don’t mould the meat into a patty. Instead place the ball of meat into a hot pan and press down with a greased spatula. Spread the meat out and flip after 2/3 minutes. This method takes the caramelisation of the burger to a whole new level. You won’t need as much meat per patty with this method. As a result, the cooked burger patty will be much thinner than normal, so be prepared to double stack.
Charcoal Grill – Ensure all surfaces are clean and greased before applying the meat. This classic BBQ cooking method infuses meat with a smoky flavour. Cook for 3 minutes a side, covering in between, for medium rare. Then 3 and a ½ to 4 minutes a side for medium, and 4 and a ½ minutes a side for well done. You can use a thermometer to check doneness. Around 130°F is rare, between 140-145°F is medium, and between 155-160°F is well done. Allow some time for resting.
Oven – When the unpredictable English weather prevents use of the BBQ or grill, oven cooking is a perfectly viable alternative. Place lightly oiled patties on a rimmed baking sheet and into an oven preheated to 400°F for 10 minutes. Then place cheese on top and broil until melted.
Looking for a steak burger recipe? Simply substitute them into our chilli jam burger cooking method.
Which steak is best for making burgers?
It’s sort of a trick question. Any steak burger that’s cooked well will come out great, however, the type of steak used will impact the burger. This could mean different cooking approaches are better suited to different steak burgers. Certain cuts might simply appeal more to your tastes.
- Brisket – robust and bold.
- Sirloin – lean and flavourful.
- Ribeye – slightly fattier than sirloin for bigger flavour.
- Chuck – good fat content and all-rounder for burgers.
How to serve a steak burger
Burgers don’t need to be complicated. In fact, simple is best for steak burgers as it allows the meat to take centre stage. We suggest a toasted bun, lettuce, tomato, cheese and a sauce. With the last two, there’s options to make the burger your own. After all, a home ground steak burger is more deserving of a topping like Swiss cheese rather than the classic American. If you really love mushrooms, they can be a great addition sauteed.
Steak burger side suggestions:
- French fries
- Onion rings
- Sweet potato fries
Steak burgers from online butchers
The Village Butchers is a family run business committed to delivering the highest quality meats nationwide. Our steak burgers are made from premium chuck steak and beef brisket. Not to mention our wonderfully salty beef & bacon burgers. Both of which are perfect for eating in the garden on a summer evening.