Grass-Fed Half-Pound Burgers
Why This Recipe Works
by Tim Chin
Grass-fed beef burgers are notorious for being dry, flavorless, and generally unpalatable. But they don’t have to be that way. Grass-fed cows typically lack the extensive fat and marbling in their meat that grain-fed cows are prized for. Without the insulating properties and perception of juiciness that fat provides, grass-fed beef is prone to tasting dry and overcooked. You can’t just slap a grass-fed burger on the grill and expect greatness. So we thought that a thick, pub-style burger might allow for better control over cooking and highlight the delicate flavor of high-quality grass-fed beef.
We tested many cuts of beef—from brisket to short rib to sirloin—and all blends in between. But our team kept coming back to one of the most common cuts available: grass-fed chuck. In a grain-to-grass comparison of cooked patties, grass-fed chuck tasted slightly less fatty and unctuous but still packed tons of grassy, beefy flavor. So to ensure perfect cooking and perfect texture on this burger, we settled on a reverse searing method: we cook the patties in a low-temperature oven for an extended period of time and then give them a nice quick sear to finish and create a perfectly browned crust. This technique all but eliminates the dreaded “gray band” of tough, overcooked meat and allows for more control over final doneness. So you truly can have it your way.