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What's The Difference Between A Steak Burger And Hamburger?

Hamburger on marble background
Hamburger on marble background - Hiphotos35/Getty Images

Nothing beats that first bite of a perfectly juicy hamburger. When it's cooked just right, the bun is fresh, and the meat quality is great, it's something of a food euphoria. The quality of the meat plays the biggest role in the burger's overall flavor, so if you're looking for the highest meat quality, you might want to opt for a steak burger over a hamburger -- but why? It turns out the biggest difference between these two patties is the cut of meat from which they're derived, and the steak burger will almost always be from a better cut.

Hamburgers are mostly derived from chuck steak, which is run through a meat grinder and formed into a burger patty. Steak burgers, on the other hand, can come from either a sirloin (the most frequently used cut), a T-bone, or a ribeye. There are a number of factors that determine a steak cut's quality, but the chuck steak is generally regarded as lower in quality than any of those other three cuts; it's part of the reason it has become so popular in burgers.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Steak Burger Versus Hamburger: It Comes Down To Quality

Sirloin steak burger
Sirloin steak burger - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

When it comes to choosing the perfect steak, you want to look for marbling. This is fat, which signals tenderness and a juicy, melt-in-your mouth bite. Chuck steaks, though, come from near the cow's shoulder, meaning they're typically less tender because they're used so much during the cow's life. That tougher cut makes them lower quality and ultimately more affordable.

If you eat a hamburger, then try a steak burger, you'll probably quickly notice the steak burger is juicier and more tender than the burger made from chuck steak. Sirloin is more tender than chuck steak, meaning its better quality, but it's not quite as tender or marbled as a T-bone or ribeye. If you eat a steak burger made with either of the latter two cuts, you might never go back to a standard hamburger again. With higher quality meat comes a higher cost, though (cost varies depending on cut and weight), which explains why your local fast food joint probably won't have steak burgers on the menu.

How To Cook A Steak Burger Versus A Hamburger

Hamburger on wooden board
Hamburger on wooden board - Marko Jan/Getty Images

If you order a fast food burger, you'll find that it's usually quite thin and cooked well done. The same goes for a smash burger -- a thin patty with zero pink in the middle. Both are made from ground hamburger meat, and they cook quickly and thoroughly without getting too dry. Steak burgers, on the other hand, are thicker and more delicate, meaning they dry out easily and should not be cooked past medium.

The actual cooking process for the two is the same, but you'll never want to cook a steak burger to well done, or it will end up too difficult to eat due to its toughness and thickness. Both types of burgers should be seasoned well before cooking, either with simple spices like salt and pepper or more complex flavors like Worcestershire and mustard. And both should be kept on the grill long enough to get a nice caramelized char on both sides; only flip them once, if possible, to build the best caramelization.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.