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Get to Know: Local Butchers

Your local butcher can be your guide to custom-ground burgers.

Meat-eaters of America, grilling season starts with burgers. And great burgers start with great meat, freshly ground. Which is why this grilling season is the perfect time to start a relationship — with your butcher.

Find yourself a good full-service butcher — someone who grinds daily, and grinds to order. Just as importantly, find someone you can talk to. That someone holds the key to carnivore happiness.

The following list is intended to help you in your search. Call it grill season matchmaking. All the places below grind beef fresh daily. Some even make their own proprietary burger blend. But at these establishments you needn’t feel limited by what’s already in the meat case. Any good butcher will be happy to grind whole cuts for you. Chuck roast, which has great flavor and a fat-to-lean ratio well-suited to burgers, is always a good burger choice on its own. But try mixing in some brisket or adding some short rib and top round to the mix and see what a difference it makes. Better yet, solicit some ideas from the guy behind the counter. Get to know him!

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