What exactly is a steak burger? It just might be the best burger you ever try—beefier, more flavorful, better! Here’s how to make the best steak burger there is.
Let me just say right off the bat—it’s hard to pin down exactly what constitutes a steak burger. Some will tell you it’s made from actual ground up steak, like a New York or rib eye. Some will tell you it’s simply made from the highest quality ground beef—sirloin. Some say it’s a white tablecloth steakhouse style of burger, while others say it’s a la a fast food chain. And some say it’s a huge patty while others say it’s one or more thin ones.
But here’s the thing that most everyone can agree on—a steak burger just tastes more, well, steak-y. It has better, more satisfying beef flavor, and that puts it heads above the rest.
Why a steak burger has better beef flavor
Your garden variety ground beef, no matter how lean or fatty it is, is just that—ground beef. It could be from any part of the animal, with varying degrees of flavor, juiciness, and overall quality. Even if it’s labeled ground chuck, ground round, or ground sirloin—meaning only those cuts can be in the grind—it’s not going to be the same quality as, say, a New York, rib eye, or tenderloin steak.
Now, I’m not going to tell you to grind up a New York steak. It might make the best burger possible—and some steak houses definitely make their burgers out of great cuts like that. But if I’m going to buy a New York steak, I’m going to eat it as a New York steak! (Can I get an amen?)
But what I do recommend is buying the highest quality ground beef you can, which is sirloin. It will have the most steak-y, beefy flavor.
I also recommend making it a relatively big patty—about 6 ounces—to further enhance the meatiness.
How to cook a steak burger
All that flavor, however, comes at a cost. Sirloin is beefier tasting because it’s leaner. Which means it’s less juicy and which means your steak burger can get dry.
So what do you do? Like a bison burger which is also lean, you cook it to only medium-rare (about 140°F).
Also like a bison burger, I like to use a little butter in the skillet. It adds to the steakhouse flavor (many brush their steaks with butter before serving) and helps create a crisp, brown crust on the patty.
And while you’re cooking, don’t press or flatten your burger with a spatula. That’s just forcing juices out—definitely not conducive to a juicy burger. (This goes for any burger by the way—steak burger, basic burger, turkey burger, you name it.)
To grind or not to grind?
A couple of other things will help achieve the best texture for your burger. One is to grind the meat yourself. So consider buying whole sirloin steaks and grinding them at home. You can even do it with a food processor if you don’t have a meat grinder.
Or shop at a butcher where they grind meat for you, resulting in freshly ground meat without the hassle of doing it yourself. That’s what I do. :)
Another thing that will result in better taste and texture is, when shaping your freshly ground meat, don’t pack the patties too tightly and don’t handle them any more than necessary. That’ll just result in tough burgers.
To sum it up, to make the best, beefiest-tasting steak burger you can, start with a flavorful cut of meat (sirloin is my choice), try to make sure it’s freshly ground, shape it gingerly, and cook it to medium-rare to keep it juicy.
I'm Christine Pittman, a cookbook author and busy mom of two. My recipes are made from scratch, they're quick, and they're fresh. I started this website over 10 years ago and I'm delighted that over a million people now come to visit every month to try my recipes. Thank you for visiting and for joining me on this delicious journey!Find out more about me here.
DO YOU NEED MORE TIME?
I’m with you! Time is something that too easily slips away. Listen to my podcast, Time Management Insider, to learn how to streamline your household tasks so that you have more time for the things you really want to do!