Sunday, April 24, 2011

Build a Better Burger Tips

While sitting in Paradise (on spring break with my girls in Key Largo) I realized I had not had a burger worth posting about since my original post from the Green Iguana.  Sorta wishing I could just fire up the grill and make my own.  But not having a grill at the moment, I decided instead to post about tips I have learned over the years, and hopefully I run into Jimmy or at least a 'cheesy' touristry burger joint...Until then here ya go:

  1. Alway start with 80/20 ground beef.  You want healthy start with turkey.
  2. You want fresh, so ask your butcher for it.  You should know your butcher, let him know you are a foodie, and you take these things seriously.
  3. Season your ground beef 4 - 6 hours before.  Save some for during the grilling, and don't add salt yet (or not much if you are using a store bought seasoning mix). Don't play with your meat too much, it makes it tough.
  4. Make patties right out of the fridge, the fat will be cold, and they will stick together better.
  5. Stack patties using wax paper between layers.  I usually stack them in those throw away aluminum trays.
  6. Let your meat come to room temperature before grilling.  I use charcoal a lot, so it has just worked out this way, but does seem to make a difference.  Don't worry about it with store bought frozen burgers though.
  7. Seasoning should always be done in intervals.  So as the burgers grill, add a little of what ever you put in the burgers. It adds depth...
  8. Flip only once!  It was a hard habit for me to break, but it is best.
  9. Now you can add salt.  I use finely ground sea salt or kosher salt.  But wait until you flip. And when the burger is finished flip it as you take it off, salt this side.  Meat has two sides! 
  10. If you are adding cheese (and who doesn't) instead of taking the burger off, I flip on the way to a part of the grill with little or no heat, apply your 2nd salt here, and then add cheese.  Cover with the aluminum pan or grill lid.  
  11. Use a good Mayo on the bottom bun; keeps the juices from making the bottom bun soggy.  Nobody likes a soggy bottom.

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