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Is ground beef sirloin good for burgers?

Ground beef sirloin can make excellent burgers that are flavorful, juicy, and budget-friendly. However, there are some things to consider when choosing ground sirloin for your burger patties. In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of using ground sirloin for burgers.

The pros of using ground sirloin for burgers

Here are some of the benefits of using ground sirloin for your burger patties:

  • Lean and flavorful – Sirloin is a lean cut of beef that still has good beefy flavor. Burgers made with ground sirloin will be juicy and tasty without being too fatty or greasy.
  • Budget-friendly – Buying sirloin steak to grind at home can be cheaper than buying pre-ground beef labeled as “hamburger.” Sirloin is often less expensive than other steak cuts.
  • Versatile – Ground sirloin works well for a variety of burger styles from basic backyard burgers to gourmet restaurant-style burgers. It has enough fat for flavor without limiting what you can do with it.
  • Healthier fat content – With around 10-15% fat, ground sirloin has a lower fat percentage than many pre-ground beef options which can have up to 30% fat. The lower fat content makes it a healthier choice.
  • Good grilling qualities – Burgers made with ground sirloin hold their shape well on the grill. The meat has enough fat to keep patties moist and juicy but not so much that they fall apart.

Overall, ground sirloin makes a tasty, affordable, and lean burger option. If you want flavorful burgers without a lot of grease, it can be an excellent choice.

Potential drawbacks of ground sirloin burgers

Using ground sirloin for burgers does have some potential downsides to consider as well:

  • Can be dense/tight – With less fat, sirloin burgers can sometimes be dense and tight rather than light and loosely packed. Extra care is needed when forming patties.
  • May lack juiciness – The leanness of sirloin means it can become dry if overcooked. Pay close attention to doneness when cooking.
  • Less richly flavored – While still flavorful, sirloin often doesn’t have quite as robust “beefy” flavor as fattier cuts like chuck or brisket.
  • Prone to shrinking – With high protein and low fat, sirloin burgers shrink and lose volume more than other burger blends when cooking.
  • Can lack tenderness – Sirloin comes from a part of the cow that gets more exercise, so the meat can be slightly less tender.

While none of these drawbacks necessarily make sirloin a bad choice, they are important to keep in mind. Taking care with proper grinding, patty forming, and cooking methods can help maximize the benefits of ground sirloin for burgers.

Best practices for making sirloin burgers

Follow these tips to get the best results when making burgers with ground sirloin:

  • Choose high-quality sirloin with good marbling. Look for decent flecks of white fat running through the meat for added moisture and flavor.
  • Grind the sirloin yourself if possible for ideal texture. Or ask your butcher to freshly grind it coarse rather than buying pre-ground.
  • Mix in a small amount of fatty ground beef or other meat like bacon or pork to boost juiciness.
  • Handle the meat gently when forming patties to avoid denseness.
  • Make indented depressions in the middle of patties to reduce bulging and promote even cooking.
  • Cook sirloin burgers to medium doneness for best moisture and texture.
  • Let burgers rest for a few minutes after cooking before serving to allow juices to redistribute.
  • Use flavorful toppings like cheese, caramelized onions, mushrooms, etc. to enhance the burger.

With the right preparation, ground sirloin can make delicious burgers that are perfectly juicy and flavorful. Following best practices removes some of the potential downsides.

How does ground sirloin compare to other burger blends?

Here’s how ground sirloin stacks up against some other popular burger meat choices:

Meat Fat Content Flavor Texture Cost
Ground Sirloin 10-15% Good beefy flavor Dense, can be less tender $$
Ground Chuck 15-20% Full, rich beefiness Tender, juicy $$$
Ground Brisket 18-22% Intense beef flavor Moist, loose texture $$$
Ground Round 8-12% Mild beef taste Dense, can be dry $

As you can see, ground sirloin provides a nice middle-of-the-road option between the ultra leanness of ground round and the higher fat content of ground chuck or brisket. In terms of cost, it’s also very reasonable.

Ideal ground sirloin blends for burgers

While 100% ground sirloin can make good burgers, blending with other meats can maximize juiciness, flavor, and texture. Here are some ideal ground sirloin burger blends:

  • 80% lean ground sirloin + 20% ground chuck – This classic blend provides moisture and beefy flavor from the chuck while keeping the fat percentage reasonable.
  • 85% lean ground sirloin + 10% bacon ends + 5% ground pork shoulder – Bacon and pork add tremendous moisture, juiciness, and smoky, meaty flavors.
  • 70% lean ground sirloin + 15% 80/20 ground beef + 15% boneless short ribs – The 80/20 and short ribs provide marbling and tender, rich flavors.
  • 60% lean ground sirloin + 20% ground veal + 20% ground pork – Veal and pork lend unique flavors and tenderness to complement the sirloin.

As a general rule, blending in 15-20% of a fattier meat will give you ideal burgers. Get creative and find a combo that suits your tastes!

Seasoning and cooking methods

To maximize the potential of ground sirloin burgers, use these seasoning and cooking tips:

  • Generously season – Use spices, herbs, Worcestershire, etc. to add lots of flavor.
  • Don’t overwork the meat – Handle patties gently and don’t compress too much.
  • Use a hot grill – Get the grill as hot as possible and don’t move the burgers too much.
  • Flip once – Only flip the burgers once for better texture.
  • Cook to medium – Pull them off the grill when they reach 150-160°F internal temp.
  • Let rest before serving – Give patties 3-5 minutes rest for juices to redistribute.

Proper seasoning and cooking techniques will mean you end up with tender, juicy, and flavor-packed sirloin burgers every time.

Top sirloin vs. bottom sirloin for burgers

Sirloin steak is divided into two main sections – the top sirloin and the bottom sirloin. Here’s how they compare for making ground beef:

  • Top sirloin – This comes from nearer the rib and tenderloin region. It has more marbling and tends to be more tender and flavorful.
  • Bottom sirloin – This is closer to the round primal cut. It will be leaner with less fat marbling and not quite as tender.

While both can work, the general consensus is that top sirloin makes better ground beef for burgers. When purchasing sirloin, look for top sirloin cuts labeled as “steak” or “roast” rather than bottom sirloin labeled as “tri-tip.”

Grinding sirloin at home vs. store-bought

You can go about getting ground sirloin in two ways:

  • Grinding sirloin steak at home – Buy sirloin steak and use a meat grinder or food processor to grind it fresh.
  • Buying pre-ground – Some grocery stores sell pre-packaged “ground sirloin”.

Grinding it yourself has some advantages:

  • You can pick specific sirloin cuts rather than mystery trimmings.
  • You can control the coarseness of the grind.
  • Meat stays fresher when ground right before cooking.

However, store-bought pre-ground can work fine as long as you read the label and get an all-sirloin product. Talk to the butcher counter if possible to understand what specific cuts are used.

Sample recipes for sirloin burgers

Here are a few tasty sample recipes that use ground sirloin:

Basic Sirloin Burgers

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hamburger buns
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion (optional)

Gently mix ground sirloin with Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Form into patties and grill to medium doneness. Serve on buns with favorite toppings.

Steakhouse Sirloin Burgers

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/4 lb ground chuck
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Montreal steak seasoning
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Blend ground meats and mix in spices. Make patties and grill until almost cooked then top with cheese to melt. Serve on buns with A1 steak sauce.

Tex-Mex Sirloin Burgers

  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • Guacamole, pico de gallo, tortilla chips (optional toppings)

Season meat with taco seasoning and salsa then mix gently. Grill burgers and melt cheese on top. Serve on buns with Tex-Mex style toppings.


Ground sirloin isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when making burgers. However, it can make a delicious and budget-friendly burger option when done right. Lean sirloin provides plenty of beefy flavor while keeping fat and calories in check. Blending with a small amount of higher-fat beef or other ground meats maximizes juiciness. Grinding sirloin yourself and employing good patty forming and grilling methods also helps optimize texture and moisture. With a little care in preparation, sirloin burgers can be just as tasty and satisfying as burgers made from fattier cuts.