It’s all about the beef, baby.

“The most important tip that someone needs to know – I don’t care how good of a chef you are, a cook, a restaurateur you are – if you start with crappy meat, you’re gonna have a crappy burger. Just really take the extra time to find the best meat you are capable of finding and please, for the love of God, do not buy lean ground beef for hamburgers. The minimum amount of fat you can have in a burger is 20 percent, the absolute minimum. These 10-percent ground meat concoctions of whatever the hell they’re grinding up back there, there’s no way you can make a good hamburger with it.”

“As the hamburger cooks, the fat melts, and you can taste the meat, and that’s what makes it flavorful, and that’s what makes it juicy. The good news is that typically if you get one thats 20-percent fat, it’s gonna be cheaper per pound at the grocery store. Source the meat as good as you can. Ask the butcher to grind whole muscle for you, not scraps, if you have that kind of relationship.”

“With whole muscle, you know what you’re getting. I’ll never forget, about 20 years ago, I read that any McDonald’s hamburger can have up to 800 different steers ground into it. That scares the hell out of me. Why? Eight-hundred different animals ground into one sandwich? The odds of something being wrong with one of those animals is high, and the level of quality – I know if I’m working with a farm that is raising it’s meat correctly and I can look at the steer that’s going to be in my burger, that it’s going to be a good burger with high-quality meat. I can’t look at 800 steers – those are the 800 that are going to be in my burger? Well, that one looks like it’s really on it’s last legs over there; you know, it’s been a dairy cow and now you’re going to grind it into my hamburger. Ah ah, nope. To be able to single-source your meat, to be able to grind whole muscles, you get the natural fatness of the meat, you’re not trying to add fat in. Everything is proper at that point. It costs a little bit more money but it’s worth it. If it costs more, just have a smaller burger. And I guarantee you’ll be as full and as satisfied eating the good meat because it’s going to taste great.”