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30% “eye ball” skills

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    30% “eye ball” skills

    Made some steakhouse burgers last night. Went to the local grocery store and they had two chuck steaks in the showcase. I grabbed the one with the most marbling and came home to grind and cook it using the reverse sear method. They ended up dry and honestly disappointing for the effort put into it. Below is a picture of the chuck steak before I did the grinding. What do you guys think, is it 30% fat? The large band in the middle was too hard to be fat but everything else grinder well.

    feel free to post pictures of what you consider 20-30% fat!
    Attached Files

    Won't speculate zackly what percent, but bettin my bottom, hard-earned dollar, that made a fer a great grind!!!


      No, not even close, if you ask me. Especially if you took that big band out, which I think is a good idea. That band may have had some fat, but it also had loads of connective tissue, which can end up stringy and tough.

      But, I would have guessed by eyeballing that you needed to add some fat - and judging by your assessment that your burgers were dry, that seems to be the case.


        Using my "calibrated eyeball" I'd say you likely ended up somewhere between 5-10% after trimming the unwanted fat. Some have a knack for spatial guessing, some don't, but no need to worry where you fall on that. While it's an extra step it might help you eliminate disappointment. I'd suggest you separate the lean from the fat (obviously not the small marbling) and weigh each to "teach" your eye what the comparison is actually versus your guessing. In time you should gain a better perspective on your guesstimating skills.


        • FireMan
          FireMan commented
          Editing a comment
          Yup, my left eye ball & yer right, I figgered 10% at best.

        I’d guess you were under 10%. Think about what a package of 80/20 ground beef looks like, and how noticeable the fat is.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Sid P; September 19, 2021, 06:42 AM. Reason: I added a pic for reference.


          I find it much easier to eyeball after it is ground as you can then compare it with what store-bought ground beef looks like. I keep some bags of fat in my freezer so that I can grind some if need be.


            Mo fat, mo fat, mo fat was definetly needed. Looked like good cut s of meat, just not fer burgers.


              When my doctor “eyeballs” me he says I’m at least 30% fat.

              Oh wait. We’re talking about burgers??


                That darn photo thing is happening again appears, disappears. Panhead John , can you fix this bug?


                  Are you all inserting the pics or just attaching them?

                  On topic - you really want the fat marbing running throughout the meat, not in big bands.

                  Not like this:
                  Click image for larger version

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                  More like this:

                  Click image for larger version

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                    I'll separate the fat and lean meat then either arrange it in a line for easy visualization or weight it.


                      My initial reaction was “that’s really lean chuck”. Ask the butcher for some suet to add when grinding.


                      • Murdy
                        Murdy commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Or steak trim

                      I trim out the fat and the lean. Weigh them separately. If it is highly marbled I'll add 5% to the fat weight. Then I use brisket trim to get to my 75/25.



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