Sometimes simple is best, and for quick weeknight burgers or a backyard barbecue for a crowd, store-bought ground beef is certainly convenient. But with so many options available in supermarkets, we knew we would need to find the right cut of beef with the ideal amount of fat to produce tender, juicy burgers.
Generically labeled “ground beef” can be a combination of different cuts with little beefy flavor that yields fatty, greasy, or mushy burgers. Hoping for better luck with singular cuts of meat, we tested ground sirloin, round, and chuck.
Ground sirloin left us with dry burgers and ground round was flavorless and gristly, but 85% lean ground chuck gave us burgers with rich flavor and a tender, moist texture.
Our first few batches of burgers puffed up like tennis balls, but we quickly figured out that slightly indenting, or dimpling, the center of each burger helped the burgers cook to a perfectly even thickness. You can serve these burgers simply with classic condiments, lettuce, and sliced ripe tomatoes.