ByEmily Kammerlohr|April 4, 2023 6:23 pm EST
The United States has a long-standing love of hamburgers. Burgers are an iconic symbol of the country's food culture. We eat them at quintessentially American moments, like backyard barbecues or July Fourth celebrations. But burgers are still a favorite family dinner option — even when there isn't a holiday to celebrate — as they are quick and easy to make. You can even eat them on the go. Burgers also tend to be cheap, whether you order them from a restaurant, or make them yourself.
No matter how classic the hamburger is, you might find yourself getting a little bit bored with it. Whether you are looking to reduce your beef consumption due to taste or environmental concerns, there are plenty of delicious options to try. You might be able to find a few of these at your local grocery store. But more unique burger meats — like alligator, kangaroo, or bison — might require some more searching. Get ready to dig in for the bite of your life. Here are 15 meats you should be adding to your burger mix.
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Chicken is one type of meat you should consider adding to your burger mix. This meat is already so popular as a beef substitute that there are many chains dedicated to serving only chicken — we're looking at you, Chick-fil-A. Whether you're a fan of spicy, grilled, or fried chicken, these restaurants likely have what you want. These same chicken dishes can also be made at home.
When using chicken meat to make burgers, there are a few cuts to look for. You can buy ground chicken at most grocery stores. You can also make a chicken burger from any boneless chicken cutlet.
This meat could be a good option for those interested in eating for good health. According to WebMD, chicken is a good source of protein and other nutrients. It is particularly high in zinc, iron, and copper. Eating foods that contain these vitamins and minerals is associated with certain health benefits.
If you're feeling bored of beef burgers for dinner, reach for some pork. You can use ground pork meat to form burger patties. You could also buy some thinner pork chops, cook them, then place one between your burger buns.
The taste of pork can vary, depending on the cut of meat and its preparation method. Pork usually has a slightly sweet, yet mostly savory flavor. When cooked, pork can develop a crispy crust on the outside, while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. This is excellent when used for burgers. It's even better when paired with your favorite toppings.
Consider adding spices like garlic, paprika, or cumin to your pork burger. These seasonings provide smokiness and heat. Then, toppings like bacon, cheese, or caramelized onions can really step up your meal. These ingredients add depth of flavor. They also help to mimic the taste of a more familiar beef burger.
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Veal is technically a type of beef. But this meat has such a distinct flavor that it's worth considering as a beef alternative for your burgers. Veal meat comes exclusively from young cattle. These cows could be between16 weeks and eightmonths oldwhen they are killed to make veal. By comparison, cattle raised for beef are typically slaughtered when they are between two and three years of age.
The texture, color, and flavor of veal are distinct from typical beef. Veal meat is usually pale pink. It can also contain less fat than beef.Veal is known for being especially tender.Fans of the meat will tell you this softer texture makes for a superior eating experience.
There are several different veal cuts you could use in your burger. But we recommend using ground veal meat to form your patties. If you have a meat grinder at home, you can mince your own meat. We consider this type of meat a great protein alternative for burgers. However, because of the age of the calves when they go to slaughter, not everyone likes to eat veal. Consider consulting your guests before serving them a veal burger.
While kangaroo might not seem like an obvious choice for burger night, it's a great red meat alternative. According to K-ROO, kangaroo meat is packed with protein. It also contains beneficial nutrients likeiron and zinc.
Kangaroo meat may be a more sustainable choice than beef. These animals are native to Australia, where they are not raised in inhumane factory farms. The Australian government has even encouraged its citizens to increase their kangaroo meat intakein the past when there have been spikes in population numbers. When this happens, the excess number of kangaroos can threaten local ecosystems.
This meat has a slightly gamey, tangy taste. It is significantly less fatty than beef or pork. This makes kangaroo meat ideal for those keeping an eye on their cholesterol levels. In Australia, kangaroo meat is easy to find at the supermarket. In other countries, you'll need to find a specialty butcher or buy the meat online.
While you might typically associate duck with fine dining, this type of meat can also be used for burgers. Duck meat has a rich and unique flavor that is different from other types of poultry. Its versatility is shown through its appearance in many different cuisines, from French food to Chinese food.
This meat is tender, juicy, and slightly gamey. Its savory qualities allow it to pair well with pretty much every sauce you have in your pantry. You can serve it with fries, coleslaw, noodles, or rice.
According to VerywellFit, duck meat is a good source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. It is also higher in fat than other poultry, which can give it a richer flavor and texture (via Maple Leaf Farms). When making burgers from duck meat, consider using duck cutlets for a more solid bite. You could also use ground duck meat if you prefer the traditional burger patty texture.
Eating rabbits may seem controversial since many people keep the animal as a pet. However, there are some reasons to consider using rabbit meat for your burgers.This protein is packed with nutrients. Rabbit meat is lean yet tender. It even has a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. It's approachable enough to consider trying, as many compare the meat to chicken.
Rabbit meat is lower in fat and calories than many other types of meat, according to Wholey. If you are watching your red meat intake, try purchasing some rabbit meat to use during your next burger night. While some grocery stores carry rabbit meat, you may have more luck finding it at your local butcher. If a butcher near you doesn't sell rabbit meat, you could always order it online. The saddle is often considered one of the mosttender cuts of rabbit meat. You'll probably want to mince this up to make rabbit burger patties.
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Lamb critics might say the meat is too gamey for burgers. But lamb meat fans will tell you otherwise. It's slightly sweet, yet fatty, making for an excellent flavor. This meat is not even as underrated as it may seem. Even though lamb isn't that popular in American cuisine,lamb is a staple ingredient in many cultures around the world. This includes Mediterranean cuisine, Middle Eastern cuisine, and Indian cuisine. You can dress up your lamb burger with mint jelly, tzatziki, ketchup, or mustard.
If you are trying to eat more sustainably, lamb meat could be a good option. Lambs are young sheep. Sheep produce significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than cows, according to a scientific study. This is because a sheep's digestive systems work differently from a cow's, resulting in less methane production. This environmental factor might help to encourage you to consider using lamb for your next burger night.
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Venison — which usually refers to deer meat — is a great burger option. This beef alternative is especially useful if you are keen on catching your own meat. It has a unique flavor that venison fans can't get enough of.This type of meat tastes rich, gamey, and earthy. Overall, it's very bold and savory.
If you've tried venison in the past and disliked it, the meat might have been prepared incorrectly. If venison is cooked wrong — or if the animal was butchered badly — the meat can be too bitter or chewy. It's worth it to give venison another try, just in case. If you are still hesitant, some people like mixing minced venison with other meats, like beef and pork. This combination is a good way to get used to eating venison.
We also like the fact that eating venison comes with nutritional benefits. According to the University of Illinois, venison is an excellent source of iron, zinc, and vitamin K. This nutritional option is attractive to those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
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Turkey isn't just for Thanksgiving. This lean white meat is a popular burger alternative. You can find it on the menu of several restaurants. But you can also make turkey burgers yourself.
If you are trying to up your protein intake, turkey is a great option. This meat is a good source of essential nutrients.According to Medical News Today, turkey contains vitamin B6 and niacin. It is also a good source of selenium, which is important for healthy thyroid function and immune system support, reports Healthline.
Turkey has a milder flavor than beef. It tastes somewhat sweet and tangy. We recommend pairing your turkey meat burger with foods like avocado, cranberry sauce, or even caramelized onions. Any of these go great with the flavor or turkey. You can usually buy ground turkey meat or pre-made turkey burgers at the grocery store.Either could be used for your next burger night.
If you enjoy hunting, you might be thinking of more ways to incorporate the meat you collect into your daily diet. If you find yourself at the meat processing plant with a wild boar, know that the meat you have will make an excellent addition to burger night. Although both are technically types of pigs, the meat of wild boar tastes very different from pork raised on a farm.
Wild boar meat is leaner and darker than domestic pork. It has a distinctly rich, nutty, gamey, and slightly sweet flavor. That said, the taste of wild boar meat can vary depending on the animal's diet, age, and the way it was killed and processed. If you are familiar with eating other types of wild-caught game, you might find the taste is similar to venison or elk. Wild boar is often used in sausages, stews, and other hearty dishes. But it can also easily be shaped into burger patties that you can eat at home.
If you find yourself in Louisiana, you'll notice that alligator starts popping up on the menus of many local restaurants. These businesses will tell you the meat tastes like chicken. For the most part, they are correct. Alligator meat is white meat that is mild in flavor. It tastes like chicken to some folks, but a little bit fishy to others.
Alligator meat is usually prepared as a part of Southern dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and even fried alligator nuggets. Because it is a delicate meat, you'll find that most alligator burgers are fried. This way, the meat doesn't fall apart as you eat it.
If you are cooking alligator burgers at home, consider deep frying the meat for the same satisfying crunch. You can dress up an alligator burger similar to the way you would a chicken burger. But given its Southern roots, we recommend using some cajun seasoning, as well.
Pheasant is a pleasant meat to use for burgers. The bird tastes pretty similar to chicken or turkey, making it an easy option to reach for when you want to try something new. If you are worried about the meat tasting too gamey, it's helpful to know that younger pheasants are typically more tender and have a milder flavor. On the other hand, older birds may have a slightly stronger taste. It's the same idea behind veal being more tender than beef; the older the animal, the tougher the meat.
This lean white meat is typically served in stews, soups, or as a main course. It was historicallyconsidered to be exotic meat — available only to the wealthy and elite — but this is no longer the case. Hunters and food enthusiasts alike are adding roast pheasant to their burgers. This is a great way to explore an interesting new dish.
Bison — a species related to the buffalo — is a type of animal sometimes killed for its meat. Bison meat has a slightly sweeter, richer, and more gamey flavor than beef. It's also somewhat leaner. Even those who typically don't like eating wild-caught game tend to enjoy bison. This is because it doesn't have a strong aftertaste, unlike deer or elk.
Native American tribes have been eating bison for thousands of years, well before cattle arrived in North America. Because the animals are native to the land, bison meat is also a more environmentally friendly and humane option than cows raised in feedlots. However, you should make sure to purchase bison that is grass-fed or pasture-raised to ensure that your meat is sustainable and humane.
Bison meat ishigh in protein, iron, and other important nutrients (via WebMD). Many restaurants have a bison burger on their menu. But you can also enjoy a bison burger at home, as well.
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If you enjoy eating lamb, you will probably enjoy eating goat. Goat meat is an exciting variation to add to your burger rotation. It's known for being chewy and tough. But this doesn't mean it can't make a great burger.Goat meat can be quite tender if cooked properly.
Many people find that goat meat has a rich, earthy flavor. This is part of why it pairs well with strong spices and bold flavors. Goat meat is a staple in many Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Caribbean cuisines.
If you want to add international flavor to your burger night, consider putting goat on the menu. Plus, goat meat is often considered a more sustainable choice than beef. This is because goats can be raised on land that is unsuitable for other types of livestock. They also require less water than cows.However, goats still produce a good amount of methane gas, meaning they aren't the greenest choice of meat for your next burger night.
As an animal from Australia, the emu isn't eaten widely in other parts of the world. But this type of meat is beloved down under. Even though the animal is a national symbol of the country —along with the kangaroo —it is still allowed to be eaten.
Emu meat is dark red. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that kind of tastes like lean beef.It's also tender and juicy, which makes for a great burger with lots of flavors. Since having a diverse diet is a common piece of health advice, unique emu meat is a great option to reach for when you want to try something new.
It's also considered somewhat sustainable, compared to other types of meat. Emus have soft feet, which prevents more damage to the existing soil where they are raised. In addition to being used for burger meat, you may find emu served as part of a stew or roast.
How much meat do I need for a burger for 15 people? ›
A question we often get is “How much meat do I need?” The starting rule of thumb is: Boneless Meat: 1/2 lb. per person for adults and 1/4 lb. per person for children.How much meat should you put in a burger? ›
Just as with classic burgers, you can choose how much meat you want to use per patty (between 4 to 6 ounces)—just portion it out so that each portion has the same weight so that your burgers cook evenly. Pack each portion into a nice round ball, making sure not to pack it too tightly.Is 85 15 good for burgers? ›
80/20 Ground Chuck Is Best for Burgers
Ground round comes from the back of the cow, near the tail, upper leg, and rump. At 85/15 it's considered an extra lean ground beef and isn't quite as flavorful as chuck, but it's a solid second choice for hamburgers.
Beef chuck happens to fall right in the sweet spot of 15 to 20 percent fat (sometimes you'll see it marketed the other way round, as in 80 to 85 percent lean, or simply 80/20, 85/15, and so on). Its deep beefy flavor with ample, but not excessive, fat makes ground chuck the best meat for burgers.What is the best meat blend for smash burgers? ›
Smash burgers require a higher fat percentage than the average burger, so the best bet is to grind your own. If that isn't an option, use 80/20 or fattier. Choosing a lean beef mixture is likely to give you dry, tough burgers. A mixture of chuck, brisket, and sirloin makes for an ideal burger patty.How much meat do I need for 12 burgers? ›
12 people – 68 oz. (4 lbs.)How much hamburger meat per meal? ›
Meat Math Chart.
|Meat||Lean or Extra Lean Ground Meat|
|Per Person||1/4 lb.|
|4 People||1 lb.|
|12 People||3 lb.|
|40 People||10 lb.|
If I'm making 8 burgers, I'll double the recipe and use 1 lb lean ground beef (maximum fat content 17%) and 1 lb medium ground beef (maximum content 23%). This will make for a perfectly juicy burger.Should I add egg to ground beef for burgers? ›
Do you put egg in hamburgers? Not usually! Putting egg in burgers would help bind the meat, but would create a consistently more like meatloaf than a burger. It would also affect the flavor a bit, too.Is 80 20 or 85 15 better for burgers? ›
85% Lean / 15% Fat – A leaner composition that can have a tendency to dry out if overcooked. 80% Lean / 20% Fat – The most common choice among Burger chefs for its fat content which makes juicier, more flavorful Burgers.
Should you put egg in hamburgers? ›
Do homemade burgers need eggs? No, homemade burgers don't need eggs to bind them. Other ground beef recipes like these low carb meatballs need eggs to help bind the ingredients because they have additional dry ingredients like bread crumbs and onions.How many pounds of taco meat to feed 15 people? ›
Generally, you will want about ¼ pound of taco meat per person. The average person eats about 3 tacos. This recipe for crockpot taco meat yields 3 pounds of taco meat, which is enough for 12 servings, making it perfect for serving a crowd or for meal prepping for the week.How many kg of meat for 15 people? ›
|Number of People||Bone-In Meat||Boneless Meat (250g per serve)|
|FOOD||SERVE 25||SERVE 50|
|Hamburgers||6-1/2–9-1/2 pounds||13–15 pounds|
|Ham or roast beef||10 pounds||20 pounds|
|Hot dogs||4 pounds||7 pounds|
|Meat loaf||6 pounds||12 pounds|
Every one of our McDonald's burgers is made with 100% pure beef and cooked and prepared with salt, pepper and nothing else—no fillers, no additives, no preservatives. We use the trimmings of cuts like the chuck, round and sirloin for our burgers, which are ground and formed into our hamburger patties.What is the best onion for burgers? ›
The boldest onions of the bunch, white onions are very pungent with a strong onion flavor. They're also nice and crunchy in texture, which makes them some of the best onions for burgers. Because of their sharp taste when raw, it's best to use white onions cooked.
For most burger lovers, iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, and green leaf lettuce will be top picks. But, if you're feeling adventurous, maybe give radicchio or dandelion greens a try.What can I add to burgers to hold them together? ›
Add 1 egg yolk per pound of hamburger. It won't add appreciably to the fat content and will bind the meat beautifully. The other thing you can do is add canned, drained, crushed black beans or chickpeas to the hamburger. The starch from the beans will bind the meat together and add an interesting taste.Does ground brisket make good hamburger? ›
Brisket is an excellent choice for turning into ground beef burger patties because it has an ideal fat-to-meat ratio that provides you with a juicy and flavor-packed burger.What is 80 20 hamburger meat? ›
The designation 80/20 for ground beef refers to the mix of lean meat with fat, not nutritional content. Our ground beef is 80 percent lean ground chuck with 20 percent fat, which is rendered out during cooking and leaving you with a moist, juicy burger.
How to season a hamburger? ›
Seasoning your burgers after you form them couldn't be easier: Just gently form your patties directly from your ground beef, then sprinkle them generously on both sides with salt, pepper and anything else you'd like just before cooking them. This keeps the beef loose for tender results.How many cups of meat do you need for a burger? ›
To measure beef for a burger, “use a simple 1 cup measure. Fill the cup until you can fit one finger width in the cup on top of the beef—nearly a cup of beef makes a 1/3-pound patty. Then you can use your measuring cup to help press a neat, thin, round patty that's about the width of that same finger.”How long can you freeze meat for? ›
|Food||Type||Freezer (0 °F or below)|
|Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork||Steaks||4 to 12 months|
|Chops||4 to 12 months|
|Roasts||4 to 12 months|
|Ham||Fresh, uncured, uncooked||6 months|
Meat is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals in your diet. However, if you currently eat more than 90g (cooked weight) of red or processed meat a day, the Department of Health and Social Care advises that you cut down to 70g.How much meat should I have per meal? ›
For example, for people who eat meat, the amount recommended as part of a healthy meal is 3 to 4 ounces – it will look about the same size as a deck of cards.How many burgers is 1lb of meat? ›
If you're making the patties yourself (to save money or because you love making burgers), assume four burgers per pound of meat. For 120 burgers you'll need 30 pounds of ground beef. In addition to the meat, don't forget to get the right amount of buns and condiments for the party.How many burgers to feed 50 people? ›
A standard rule for hotdogs and hamburgers is one of each per person. Since packs of burgers, dogs and buns commonly contain eight pieces, buy seven packages of each. Or, save a little money by buying bulk packages, which are typically twice the size; three bulk packages and one standard of each is adequate.Why add mayo to ground beef for burgers? ›
Texas chef and grillmaster Tim Love recommends mixing 1 to 2 tablespoons of mayo per pound of ground meat to keep it moist and juicy even as you cook it thoroughly.Is Worcestershire sauce good on burgers? ›
Seasoned Salt or regular salt and pepper, Worcestershire Sauce and garlic or onion powder are staple seasonings for burgers. Really any combo of seasoning works, it just depends on your taste.Should I put breadcrumbs in burgers? ›
If the meat is very fresh, adding something absorbent like bread will help it hold, but surely then the patties should be sold as meat and bread patties. It's a good way to “stretch” the meat so you get more patties per kilo of actual meat, but that's a commercial reason to add breadcrumbs, not a culinary one.
Is 70 30 good for burgers? ›
To make the juiciest, most flavorful burgers, choose ground beef that is 70 percent lean and 30 percent fat. To make more healthful burgers—but ones that are still pretty juicy and tasty—choose ground beef that is 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat.Is it better to cook burgers on high or low? ›
Generally, burgers should be cooked on Medium-High (approximately 375 degrees) to High (400 degrees). Most gas grills have a built in thermometer to monitor the heat but you can buy a grill thermometer for charcoal grills too.Should I crack an egg in my burger mix? ›
Should you put an egg in burgers? If you're rearing to add the egg as a binder to your patty, don't. Binders and extenders don't belong to help the meat in your hamburger patties. If you're afraid your burger is going to fall apart, get coarse ground meat, then chill it.Should I use whole egg or egg yolk for burger? ›
As a good rule of thumb, it's best to add one yolk per pound of ground beef. While this rule may seem more like a recipe for meatloaf compared to a fresh-off-the-grill burger, a whole egg is required in meatloaf, whereas only the egg yolk is best when blending into burger patties.How much egg to add to burgers? ›
Egg It On. Although I prefer my burgers without it, for a richer, more cohesive patty, add one egg yolk per pound of meat.Do I need to add egg to ground beef for burgers? ›
Do homemade burgers need eggs? No, homemade burgers don't need eggs to bind them. Other ground beef recipes like these low carb meatballs need eggs to help bind the ingredients because they have additional dry ingredients like bread crumbs and onions.Which is better 80 20 or 90 10 ground beef? ›
serving of 90/10 is 184 calories and 10 g of fat vs. 80/20 ground meat containing 231 calories and 14.8 g of fat for 3 oz. The only difference in the two types of beef, is the amount of fat contained in each; the protein is the same.How many eggs do you add to burger meat? ›
Add 1 egg yolk per pound of hamburger. It won't add appreciably to the fat content and will bind the meat beautifully. The other thing you can do is add canned, drained, crushed black beans or chickpeas to the hamburger.Why do you put fried eggs on burgers? ›
So, when you have an egg on a burger, the yolk soaks into the bun, creating one of the best flavor combinations imaginable. And what's better than the subtle savoriness of egg yolk? That, combined with the yolk's creaminess, elevates the whole flavor profile of the burger.Do you put oil before hamburger? ›
Heat the pan and coat with oil.
The oil helps prevent the ground beef from sticking and scorching in the pan, especially if you are using a stainless steel skillet. Use a little extra oil if you're cooking lean beef.
What herbs to put in homemade burgers? ›
For beef, rosemary, sage, thyme and parsley all work well. Of course, the great thing about making your own burgers is you can concoct a mixture of your favourites. (Why not add a finely chopped chilli for a spicy taste sensation?)Can ground beef go bad in fridge? ›
It is safe to store ground beef in the refrigerator for 1–2 days, and eat leftovers within 4 days. A person can store ground beef in the freezer for up to 4 months. When cooking ground beef, the minimum internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer is 160°F (71°C).What is the healthiest ground meat? ›
The Bottom Line
If you're eating for a healthy heart, lean ground turkey—which is lower in saturated fat—is the better pick for you. Of course, you can still enjoy ground beef from time to time, but choosing lean ground turkey more often will help your heart in the long run.
Ground sirloin is the leanest type of ground beef, at a 90 percent lean meat to 10 percent fat ratio. This ratio can vary, so be sure to closely examine the packaging before purchase. One of the most delicious types of ground beef, ground sirloin is an excellent option for those looking for a healthier meat.