The perfect burger?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by teamfat, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Rather than hijack the January challenge thread, I'll start this one on how to make the PERFECT burger. Do you grind your own meat? DO you mix flavorings into the meat, or leave the meat alone and add the flavor through toppings? Do you bake your own buns like @GeneMachine suggests?

    Not being much of a baker I use store bought buns.  I grind up beef chuck for the patties, season with salt and pepper grill over hot charcoal. Toast the bun, spread some mayo and some cheese on the bread. Then the patty and the toppings. One of my favorites is simply roasted red pepper and a thin slice of raw, red onion.

    mjb.
     
  2. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Definitely grinding my own. Salt/pepper in the meat. Additional flavours come from the topping and the sauce. Home-made pickles and a slice of my own homecured bacon.

    I mentioned the burgers in the challenge thread since I find it rather amusing how much work you can put into something that generally goes under the "fast food" label :)
     
  3. teamfat

    teamfat

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    When you grind your own it is safe to eat a rare or mid rare burger. Prepackaged ground meat can not be trusted.

    mjb.
     
  4. genemachine

    genemachine

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    My main reason to grind myself, indeed.
     
  5. maryb

    maryb

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    I get ground beef in my 1/4 I buy every year. Being grass fed it is very tasty. I grill or broil then onto a toasted buttered bun. Toppings can be anything, same for seasoning. depends on my mood and what I have in the house!
     
  6. jake t buds

    jake t buds

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    AAaaaahhhhh…….The Perfect Burger. 

    Long sought after, this elusive creature with a long and varied history, is a myth. 

    We have endured this hunt for far too long, and should just admit defeat. 

    Alas, there is no such thing as 

    The

    Perfect

    Burger 

    They are all perfect. . . well, except - 
     
  7. genemachine

    genemachine

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    Hehe, defining it in the negative would be easier, I give you that. How about "things definitely not to do to your burger"?
     
  8. teamfat

    teamfat

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    Don't squish all the juice out of it while cooking.

    Don't pretend it is meatloaf.

    mjb.
     
  9. mike9

    mike9

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    I grind my on because I like 'em medium rare to rare depending on what's in the grind.   I save the chain and trimmings from whole fillet.  If brisket is on sale I'll snag a small one, but the mainstay of the grind is chuck.  If it's too lean I'll add some pork back fat to bring it to 80/20 which to me is the perfect ratio.  Oddly enough I like my burgers cooked on a flat top as well as grilled with grilled (caramelized) onion, dill pickle slices and melted American cheese.  A little mustard/ketchup, but that's the perfect burger in my mind I'll have my salad on the side thank you.  

    The odd man out is my "Ruben" burger.  Chuck and corned beef ground 50/50, cooked on a flat top and topped with swiss, Russian dressing and sauerkraut.

    Things not to do to a burger:

    Spank the monkey with the spatula  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/mad.gif

    Over season  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/confused.gif

    Under season  /img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif  
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  10. teamfat

    teamfat

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    That sounds good!

    mjb.
     
  11. butzy

    butzy

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    I grind my own meat, but sometimes buy mince as well.
    I use hindquarter and off cuts from rump, roughly 75/25%

    My go to burger contains kecap manis, chili paste, some garlic, egg and breadcrumbs. I like them medium, but unfortunately here everyone prefers well done to overdone..
    I like tomato, fried onions and cucumber pickle as toppings
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I grind chuck, sirloin and brisket  perfect every time
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  13. duckfat

    duckfat

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    I've kind of given up on the Chuck since they are now pushing $5 a pound. Lately I've been using a blend of 50/50 brisket and Choice NY strip which is typically $5.50 a pound here for sub-primals in cryo. If I can find it I like to add some tongue to the mix.
     
  14. bkashot

    bkashot

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    One way of making my burger is very simple, and the burger is fantastic. Everyone loves it. I cut a large amount of onion, and fry it with a lot of oil. About 3 large onions on a pound of meat. Once the onion has cold, I add it along with all the oil to the meat. I add salt and pepper and that's the whole story.

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  15. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    While I whole-heartedly agree with this statement in general, I have to admit that I sometimes crave a thin "smashed" burger.  The key though is knowing how to do it properly so as to not press out all the juices.

    First, I start with a 75/25 mix (this is my preferred ratio for burgers no matter what style).  Form into a loosely packed 3-4 oz ball.  Place in a screaming hot cast iron skillet and smash the burger to about 1/4" thickness.  You must do this in the first minute of cooking while the meat is still cold and the fat has not started to render.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until a nice crust forms.  Flip the burger (you will probably need to scrape it off of the skillet so be careful).  Add the cheese, if using and only let cook for 1 minute longer, maximum.

    This gives you a diner style burger with a nice crust and and little crispy edges, but one that is still relatively juicy.

    While I, generally, prefer thicker, grilled burgers, if I find myself having to fry burgers this is usually how I do it.

    As for mix-ins I am absolutely against adding anything to my meat before I patty them up (the exception being my chorizo burgers which is about 2/3's burger meat & 1/3 Mexican chorizo).  I season liberally with Penzey's Turkish Seasoning (has become the household "seasoned salt" around here).

    I have to admit that I am not a fan of cheese on my burgers.  I don't know why as I love cheese and I love burgers, but I'd rather not combine the 2. Although, occasionally I do cheese on my burger.  Yes, I know, weird.

    As for toppings, while I occasionally like something a little different, I am mostly a classic burger kind of guy.  Ketchup, mustard, thinly sliced raw onion and homemade dill pickles (and occasionally cowboy candy-sweet pickled jalapeno slices).
     
    flipflopgirl and french fries like this.
  16. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    We started out grinding our own 'burger as an economic tactic and way back then that meant brisket.
    As time went by more people started catching on and doing the same (thanks Food Network grr. ;-)
    Once the packers figured this out the pp lb shot up (just like the skirt cut when fajitas became so popular) so had to change strategy.

    I try to keep my eye on the sales and as long as I can keep it under what the butcher is charging for his 80/20 I am satisfied.
    If the sale is just on because the meat doesn't look that great and the freezer is getting low will just put together a mix of cuts.

    Like mentioned above just salt and pepper .... then a light touch to mix .
    I want my burger at the more done end of medium.... cooked but still juicy so slap a cover on for the first side and open to finish.

    mimi
     
  17. ordo

    ordo

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    No sweet buns please! No sweet buns!
     
    millionsknives likes this.
  18. ajb temple

    ajb temple

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    To make a luxury burger (expensive) I use rump steak (not sure what you call that in the US) which I mince (grind) myself, fairly course, along with some pork belly fat (ratio of about 1 to 4 beef to pork fat) and some chopped bone marrow added to the mix to taste.  Some chopped marjoram and finely chopped red onion.  Plenty of seasoning.  

    If I don't have bone marrow to hand I might use a slice of black pudding (basically a dried blood sausage readily available in the UK) chopped or crumbled and mixed in.  

    Pretty hard to beat ;-)
     
  19. ordo

    ordo

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    I like that burger AJB. It's pretty much what i do. I also go with beef kidney fat (suet) when i can get it, which is the finest fat of the beef.

    A nice addition is a spoon of bordolaise sauce to the mix. In fact i'm doing a burger today, with steak meat.
     
  20. ordo

    ordo

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    Some picks of a steak burger.

    Steak, cost in Arg: U$2,50.


    Cleaning. Adding beef fat in this case.


    Cut in strips.


    Mince with a cleaver, the meat coarser than the fat.


    The burgers.

     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015