How to Make Perfect 80/20 Ground Beef at Home

If you’re a burger lover, you know that the key to a juicy, flavorful burger is getting the meat blend just right. 80/20 ground beef has the ideal ratio of 80% lean meat to 20% fat, giving you the perfect balance of beefy flavor and moisture. But did you know you can easily make restaurant-quality 80/20 ground beef right in your own kitchen?

In this article, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make delicious 80/20 ground beef at home. You’ll learn:

  • What 80/20 ground beef is and why the ratio matters
  • How to choose the right cuts of beef
  • Tips for grinding meat safely
  • How to mix and season for maximum flavor
  • Best practices for cooking and storing

Follow these tips and you’ll be enjoying tender, homemade burgers and so much more. Let’s get started!

What is 80/20 Ground Beef and Why Does the Ratio Matter?

80/20 refers to the ratio of lean meat to fat in ground beef. 80/20 ground beef contains 80% lean beef and 20% fat, giving you the ideal blend for burgers and other dishes. This ratio provides enough fat to keep the meat moist and flavorful, while still holding its shape when cooked.

The 80/20 ratio hits the sweet spot between too lean and too fatty:

  • Leaner ratios like 90/10 can dry out, lacking enough fat for moisture and flavor

  • Fattier ratios like 70/30 can lead to greasy burgers that fall apart.

When making ground beef, fat percentage really matters. 80/20 gives you the perfect juicy, beefy burger every time.

Choosing the Right Cuts of Beef for 80/20 Ground Beef

To achieve that ideal 80/20 ratio when grinding your own beef, it’s important to select cuts with the right balance of meat and fat. Here are some of the best options:

  • Chuck roast – With its marbling, chuck roast is ideal for getting an 80/20 ratio. It has great beefy flavor as well.

  • Brisket trimmings – The fat trimmings from brisket pack plenty of moisture and flavor into the blend.

  • Short ribs – Short ribs have a good amount of fat while also providing rich taste.

  • Round – Round is very lean so blend with a fattier cut like chuck or brisket trimmings.

I recommend choosing chuck roast as your base and experimenting with smaller amounts of brisket or short rib if you want to tweak the ratio. Always read packaging labels and fat percentages when buying meat for grinding.

Grinding Your Own Beef: Tips and Techniques

With the right cuts selected, it’s time to start grinding. Here are some tips for safely and efficiently grinding your own beef at home:

  • Keep meat chilled – Grind partially frozen meat for the best texture. Or nestle grinding bowl in ice.

  • Use sharp knives/blades – Sharp tools make grinding easier. Cut meat into 1-2 inch cubes first.

  • Mix thoroughly – Mix well after grinding to evenly distribute fat and seasonings.

  • Grind in batches – For large amounts, grind in smaller batches to prevent overheating.

  • Clean thoroughly – Disassemble and wash grinder parts thoroughly after each use.

I recommend using a quality countertop meat grinder for easier grinding compared to a food processor. But either method works to achieve the perfect grind.

Mixing and Seasoning for Maximum Flavor

Now for the fun part – flavoring your custom ground beef! Here are some tips for mixing and seasoning:

  • Use coarse salt – The large grains enhance beefy flavor. 3/4 tsp per pound of meat.

  • Add fresh pepper – For extra flavor, use 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper per pound.

  • Consider other spices – Onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce add even more flavor.

  • Use your hands – Mix thoroughly with your hands until the texture is very smooth.

  • Divide into patties – Form into 6-8 oz patties slightly wider than buns.

By mixing in salt, pepper, and other spices, you can take your homemade ground beef to the next level of flavor.

Best Practices for Cooking and Storing

To safely enjoy your homemade 80/20 ground beef, follow these cooking and storage tips:

  • Cook to 160°F – Use a meat thermometer to ensure ground beef reaches a safe internal temperature.

  • Prevent cross-contamination – Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked meat.

  • Refrigerate promptly – Refrigerate ground beef within 2 hours of purchase or preparation.

  • Freeze for longer storage – For storage beyond 2 days, tightly wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

  • Thaw safely – Thaw frozen ground beef overnight in the fridge, never at room temperature.

  • Cook frozen patties – Burgers can cook directly from frozen, just increase cooking time.

Following proper food safety practices ensures you can enjoy your homemade 80/20 blend without worries.

Make Juicy, Flavorful Burgers and More

Now that you know how to make perfect 80/20 ground beef, you can take your burgers to the next level! Use your custom blend for topping backyard BBQ burgers, stuffing zesty tacos, piling on nachos, and more.

Frequency of entities:

  • 80/20 ground beef: 14
  • lean meat: 5
  • fat: 14
  • burgers: 7
  • chuck roast: 3
  • brisket: 2
  • short ribs: 2
  • round: 1
  • meat: 9
  • beef: 12
  • flavor/flavorful: 5
  • juicy: 4
  • moisture: 2
  • grinder: 3
  • food processor: 1
  • refrigerator: 1
  • freezer: 2
  • salt: 2
  • pepper: 2
  • Worcestershire sauce: 1
  • patties: 2
  • 160°F: 1
  • cross-contamination: 1
  • room temperature: 1
  • frozen: 1
  • BBQ burgers: 1
  • tacos: 1
  • nachos: 1

Secret to Saving Money On Ground Beef? Grind Your Own!

What is 80/20 ground beef?

On a label of 80/20 ground beef, you will often see the word chuck used. There are some differences between ground chuck and regular ground beef . Ground chuck comes from the shoulders and neck of the cow which are areas that naturally have a good amount of fat. Butchers do not have to do much to ground chuck to make it fit the 80/20 ratio.

Ground beef vs Ground round: Which is healthier?

Ground round is better than ground beef because of less fat content as compared to ground beef. It can be used in soups and hamburgers. Beef falls into red meats and is high in cholesterol and saturated fats which are unhealthy for heart and even for diabetic patients. Lean meats like chicken and fish which are used skinless in soups and curries are better option than red meats.

Is 80/20 ground beef a good ratio?

Ground beef comes in all percentages of beef to fat ratio. An 80/20 mix means there is 80% beef and 20% fat in one pound of meat. While a leaner ground beef ratio may be a bit healthier in other applications, if a juicy burger is really important to you, that 20% fat is necessary.

How do you make a good 80/20 meat mix?

However, you can achieve that 80/20 target ratio by blending different cuts of meat as well. You can take a fattier cut of meat, such as brisket trimmings, and mix it with a leaner cut, such as ground sirloin. In the proper blend, you can achieve a very flavorful 80/20 mix.

Leave a Comment