Slideshow: The Burger Lab: A 60-Day Dry-Aged Home-Ground Prime Rib Burger (That You Will Probably Never Make At Home)

Smokin'
Smokin'

A smoking hot cast iron skillet is the best way to put a good crust on a fat burger like this.

Dry Age Trim
Dry Age Trim

The trim from several aged prime rib roasts went into making these burgers. The trim ranged form between 21 to 61 days. I froze it all in cryovacked bags as I collected it, then thawed it out in the fridge over the course of two days when I was ready to grind.

Ready to Grind
Ready to Grind

The beef, trimmed, chunked, and ready to grind. Notice that fat? That's where most of the dry aged flavor comes in.

Start Grinding
Start Grinding

If everything is chilled, the meat should grind very nicely, coming out in distinct strands like this, rather than solid mush, which can happen if sinew or smeared fat clogs up the blades. I grind at medium speed.

Finish Grinding
Finish Grinding

To get the last bits of meat out, press a piece of paper towel down into the feed tube. It'll push out the meat without getting ground itself.

Spread It
Spread It

Spread the meat across a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. The goal here is to keep it as loose as possible.

Press Together
Press Together

Press the meat into cohesive patties, pressing just until they hold together on their own, allowing them to stay as loose as possible without actually falling apart.

Season
Season

Season the patties well on both sides with salt and pepper.

Get 'er Ripping
Get 'er Ripping

Heat up a touch of oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until it starts smoking.

Flip and Keep Cooking
Flip and Keep Cooking

You can flip your burger as many times as you want, or just flip it once if you're that kind of person. Either way, the goal is to develop a deep, crisp crust.

Baste
Baste

Once a good amount of fat has rendered, you can start basting the burger with a spoon, which will help it crisp better and cook faster from both sides.

Temp
Temp

Take the temperature. For a nice medium rare, I go for around 115 to 120°F (a little lower than for a steak, as the air spaces in a burger allow it to carry over a little more than a steak does).

Top it
Top it

Place a slice of cheese on top to get it started melting.

Onions!
Onions!

I like to use the rendered beef fat to quick-fry some onions. We're not really caramelizing here so much as softening and lightly charring.

Done
Done

See how nice and brown/frizzled they get?

Spread It
Spread It

I spread some Thousand Island-style spread on the top and bottom of the toasted bun.

Flash the Beef
Flash the Beef

Flash the burger under the broiler just to melt the cheese.

Done
Done

Now THAT'S a burger.