For the past few months, I've been doing a fair amount of curing, and I think I've gotten my pastrami down pretty nicely. Now that warm weather is here, I have burgers on the brain, and considering how to merge these two loves.

What I'm looking for advice on is how to approach this feat. I was considering one of two basic directions:

  1. Cure ground beef
  2. Patty-ify completed pastrami

In the former case, I would mix the cure right into the beef, rest for a few days, then form patties, crust, and slow-grill over a smoky flame.

In the latter case, I would take a completed pastrami, mince it, form it into patties (probably with a binder), and then grill.

Has anyone tried anything like this? Am I off my rocker? Are there any other approaches I'm missing here?

  • 1
    This is an interesting idea. Part of the joy of pastrami for me is the texture. Perhaps you could abandon the burger idea and instead make a grilled pastrami sandwich. Slice your pastrami very thick and give it a nice crust on the grill. May 21, 2011 at 1:12

1 Answer 1


It strikes me that it would be a bit overpowering, and that even with a binder you would have a hard time keeping it together. Cured ground beef just seems like it would be nasty :-)

I've experimented myself with two 'inclusions' in fresh beef patties. One is bacon (cooked), the other is salami. They are both interesting, and if minced finely and added to the grind they do not interfere with texture but add some excellent flavors and saltiness.

I would imagine pastrami would give you a nice result as an inclusion too. I'd chop it up and mix it in with the cubed up beef before you run it through the grinder.

With burgers really the fresher the better. I grind about 2 hours before grill time, and that is only so I can throw the patties into the freezer. I like them thin and cooked through, so I need to freeze them so they hold their shape better during the first side cooking. If you like your burgers to have some pink you'll probably want to skip the freezer.

  • Great idea on the mixed meat. I'll give a 50/50 a try. BTW, isn't much sausage cured ground beef?
    – Ray
    May 21, 2011 at 15:40
  • Sure, plenty of beef based sausages. You could patty it up and cure it so you don't have to fiddle with binders. But then you'd really just be cooking a patty shaped sausage wouldn't you...?
    – renegade
    May 21, 2011 at 16:29
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    I've ground ham and bacon into patties, but have found that much more than 20% results in a salty patty. The best results I've had with ham or bacon was to fold it in by hand after grinding, as the texture added to the overall flavour. May 21, 2011 at 17:53

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