Now that we in New England are (hopefully) headed towards warmer weather, it's time to start thinking about that first outdoor barbecue. Friends and family gathered outside around a table waiting for the grill master to serve up a wondrous meal of roasted corn on the cob, marinated steak, grilled hotdogs, and—best of all—juicy burgers. In order to get the perfect burger, you have to find the best meat for burgers. If you don't begin with the best possible ingredients, your first burger of the season will taste less than amazing.

The Best Meat for Burgers

bun, beef, hamburger
Tara Botwinick

Most burger recipes simply call for ground beef, but anyone who's been to a grocery store knows that it's not that simple. There are several common types of meat that can be used, such as ground beef or ground round. In general, meat with a high fat content is the best meat for burgers since it leaves them nice and juicy (20-30% fat content is a good choice when you're grilling burgers). Too lean a cut can leave a burger dried out and tough.

To find the best meat for burgers, Cook's Country conducted a blind taste test between ground chuck, ground sirloin, ground round, and ground beef (all of which are variations of the ground beef you buy pre-packaged in the meat section of the grocery store). The tasters declared ground chuck to be the best meat for burgers, on the grounds that it's tender, rich in flavor, and moist.

#SpoonTip: Ground chuck is a cut of meat that comes from the front shoulder of the cow and normally has about 15-20% fat. This high fat content is ground chuck's secret to being so delicious. 

Recipes for the Perfect Burger

cheese, beef, bun, hamburger, cheddar, bacon, lettuce
Elisa Djuhar

If you're committed to grilling the perfect burger at home, start with this simple recipe. A good quality ground chuck paired with a few basic seasonings will make for a truly phenomenal burger. Or try this cheeseburger recipe, which is labeled as being "the best ever" (and I believe it).

Although these recipes don't specifically say to use ground chuck, use it anyway to cook the perfect burger and impress everyone at your barbecue. Using these recipes with ground chuck will ensure a beautifully crafted, juicy burger. A good burger isn't complex, uses normal ingredients, and requires no machinery other than your grill. It's a win-win for everyone.