The short answer: Hell yes!
A lot of people ask this question and if you are simply discussing taste and texture then definitely fresh beef is the way to go. There are some benefits to frozen meat. Typically frozen meat will be cheaper than fresh and it will also last longer. However, at Rockit Burger Bar we find the negatives associated with frozen meat too far outweigh the positives. After all, if you wanted a hockey-puck frozen burger patty you’d just go to your neighbor’s BBQ.
When cooking burgers at home, grinding your own beef is always the best option if possible. Obviously, most of us don’t have a meat grinder at home, but don’t worry; a secondary option is to have your butcher (even some chain groceries will do it) grind the meat for you. Grinding the meat offers a couple great benefits. 1st, it ensures the freshness of the meat. The bacteria, E. Coli, grows most effectively in only ground beef, therefore grinding larger cuts of beef will drastically cut down the possibility of contamination. 2nd it allows you to customize your own burgers by choosing the cuts of beef that will be ground to create your burgers. At Rockit Burger Bar we use a proprietary blend of chuck, ribeye and sirloin. We can’t tell you our exact award-wining recipe, but you should certainly experiment with any number of cuts, each adding their own flavor and fat content. (After all, the fat is where the majority of the meat flavor comes from for all you burger noobs.) You can also get crazy creative with ground meat: try adding espresso grinds, your favorite cheese, hot sauce, veggies, anything you like to enhance the flavor of your burgers.
Freezing meat creates structural damage; once frozen, ice crystals will form and damage the meat. They cause tearing in the cells of the meat, which leads to loss of flavorful juices once the meat is cooked. In normal people terms, we are talking about freezer burn; it happens to everything from veggies to ice cream and it can cause some serious funk to the flavor.
In addition, cooking techniques on frozen burgers can become problematic. If you cook a frozen burger over high heat, you will almost certainly overcook the outside of the burger, while the inside remains raw. If you make adjustments and to counteract this problem and lower the heat, you will lose the sear on the burger that is required to keep the juices. Check this site out on why searing is so important: http://bit.ly/X5pNqU. So why not defrost the burger before cooking it? Again, the torn meat cells will release necessary juices and the process of freezing and defrosting meat repeatedly is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. The more time meat spends between 41 degrees and 140 degrees, the more dangerous it can be.
Rockit Burger Bar will always use a fresh burger patty in order to deliver you the juiciest, most flavorful and delicious burger out there today. It might cost us a bit more, but that’s the price of being the best.