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Hot take: Premium ground beef doesn't matter

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    Hot take: Premium ground beef doesn't matter

    So a few days ago I posted about some good meat I found at a local store. Among the items was some ground beef from Double R (the branch of SRF that does choice stuff vs wagyu and prime) which was advertised as having some wagyu in the blend and some CAB Prime. Both were 80/20.

    I tried some of the wagyu blend from Double R (Percentage of wagyu in the blend not specified) last week and just polished off the CAB Prime burger for lunch and...

    Neither blew me away. The CAB *might* be a bit richer than the regular supermarket stuff I buy (Painted Hills) but that could be normal variation or a psychological thing. The Double R was perfectly good too, but didn't stand out as significantly better.

    Now, the CAB was $4.99/lb so it's cheap enough that I could use it regularly. The Double R was $7.99 which isn't terrible but given that there's not a huge difference, eh.

    Still the most distinctive burger meat I've had was from a local farm that raises all their meat truly free range and sells it at a 70/30 blend. Its stunningly good and I'd buy it all of the time aside from this... It's $18/lb.

    All of that leads me to this:

    Assuming a decent selection of meat, CAB, Prime etc doesnt matter. Fat content makes the difference.
    Last edited by rickgregory; March 9, 2021, 06:35 PM.

    #2
    I've always been of a similar mindset- I buy 80/20 or 75/25 supermarket ground beef and call it good. I worry more about good buns (and make sure theyr'e toasted), and other good toppings than expensive ground beef.

    Comment


    • Dewesq55
      Dewesq55 commented
      Editing a comment
      I totally love the 80/20 from my local supermarket. I'm also a fan of toasted buns, particularly Martin's Potato buns. Barbara, inexplicably, doesn't like her buns toasted (Hey! Watch it!) 😁

    #3
    Agreed. Fat ratio is more important to the buzzwords to me. Since it’s all getting ground up and fat ratio potentially adjusted so intramuscular fat is about moot at that point, but maybe I’m just an uncivilized caveman.

    Comment


    • FireMan
      FireMan commented
      Editing a comment
      Intramuscular fat is moot? Who woulda thunk!

    #4
    I'm the same way. The difference between good and great ground beef just isn't significant enough to make me want to drop a lot of money on the expensive stuff.

    Comment


      #5
      I agree. One of our local grocery stores has a 73/27 mix that makes great burgers. It also teaches you how to manage grease fires in your grill.

      Comment


      • FireMan
        FireMan commented
        Editing a comment
        A 73/27 mix. Heh, wonder who figgered that calculation out.

      • Bkhuna
        Bkhuna commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm more pronte 74.6/25.4 myself.

      #6
      Well, my 66.7/33.3 venison/beef, the beef was 75/25 came out pretty good if I must say so. All calculations were approximate cuz I did by eyeballin the mix.

      Comment


      • Steve R.
        Steve R. commented
        Editing a comment
        With those eyeballs, I'm sure it was within .1% accuracy.

      • Polarbear777
        Polarbear777 commented
        Editing a comment
        Gotta use the most accurate measuring device ever. Your eye.

      #7
      I bought some SRF Wagyu and Porter Road ground around 8-10 months ago when choice 80/20 hit like $7/lb at the local market. I’ve tried it in meatloaf and burgers. I didn’t feel it was anything special, so just been using it like any other ground. Used the last package of Porter Road tonight for tacos. Maybe it’s a tad more tender, but that’s really hard to say with any certainty. I won’t be going out of my way to buy any more.

      Comment


        #8
        Even ignoring the price, I’d rather have regular old 80/20 ground chuck than ground wagyu. Any benefit to wagyu is lost by grinding and the meat is softer/mushier.

        Comment


          #9
          If I'm making burgers I'll typically purchase a chuck roast and grind it myself.

          Comment


          • TripleB
            TripleB commented
            Editing a comment
            That’s the ticket. I buy choice chuck on sale, cut it into 1 or 1.5 lb sizes, freeze it and then grind it for burgers when needed.

          • Bkhuna
            Bkhuna commented
            Editing a comment
            Sometimes I'll throw in a bit of other cuts like short rib but you just can't beat ground chuck.

          #10
          I'm looking to get a grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aide, curious to see how grinding my own changes things.

          Comment


            #11
            I thought about grinding my own but I don't think I'd see a difference that would be consistently noticeable if I went for 80/20. Obviously you can tune the fat content to your liking, but I seriously doubt that simply grinding a chuck roast that would give you 80/20 would be consistently different than supermarket 80/20.

            This becomes even more the case when you add lots of other flavors. I did these burgers very simply - mayo, dijon, slice of red onion. But if I added cheese, bacon, chipotle in the mayo? That is going to swamp the subtle differences between meats.

            And around here choice chuck seems to go for about $6-8/lb so at that rate I can simply buy the CAB Prime at $5.

            Comment


            • Andrrr
              Andrrr commented
              Editing a comment
              I don’t know about Costco’s near you but mine always has full prime briskets for $3.49/lb. I haven’t checked on the choice but if you’re willing to trim and grind that’s about as good a deal as I’ve found.

            • TripleB
              TripleB commented
              Editing a comment
              I grind my own because of the recall on ground beef that I’ve seen so often, not because of any taste difference I can see from grinding your own. No idea how often these markets are cleaning their grinders.

            • JCBBQ
              JCBBQ commented
              Editing a comment
              I totally disagree. Grinding my own meat for burgers has made a huge difference. Texture and flavor. Also, I use Picanha and probably go 70/30 😉.

            #12
            Wagyu is a higher percentage than normal of fat, mixed in/marbled with the lean.

            grinding for burgers and sausage the tenderness is achieved by grinding and the ratio is determined by the mix, so sausage and burgers are the old wagyu.

            Id like to see someone tell the difference at the same grind size and fat ratio.

            Comment


              #13
              I've tried expensive wagyu ground beef and found it to be mushy and kind of gross.

              Comment


                #14
                Just a question, but does a really tender piece of meat really work well for something u grind? Seems counter productive to me. Just cause something cost more does it make it better? IDK?

                Comment


                  #15
                  To be clear, the Double R was only partly wagyu. I imagine it was used to add fat to lean choice cuts.

                  Comment

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