Burgers 101

The burger…the all American classic. What makes a great burger GREAT and a not so awesome burger, well, not so awesome? Choosing the right protein, cooking it right and topping it off correctly are the key elements for the best burger ever.

80/20? I seriously have to work with fractions?!?

How many times do you go to the grocery store and stare at the meat counter with that “deer caught in headlight” look? What the heck is 80/20? No, they are not giving your Vegas odds to whether or not you will cook the burger properly. The manufacturer is simply giving you the tell all on how juicy or dry your burger will be! The first set of double digits is the lean meat percentage. The second set is the fat percentage. You see, the higher the fat content, the juicer the burger…and before you ask, no—they do not sell 10/90 ground beef. For a simple down to earth burger, I choose 75/25 ground beef. If you are a hard core burger enthusiast…experiment with blending your beef. A mixture of ground short rib, brisket and ground beef works wonders.

Shape matters.

Have you ever wondered why the patties you form turn out smaller, firmer and not as flat as you thought? Well, shape matters. Next time, when you are mixing your ground beef, turkey, chicken or what not, follow these three rules…

  • Always make your patties 25% bigger (in diameter) than what you think is right. When your burgers cook, they shrink.
  • Do not OVER MIX your meat. Mix gently just to combine the flavors. Over mixing results in tough texture.
  • Now that your patties are better, bigger and not tough, before you grill them, form a dimple in the middle of the patty about 2 inches in diameter. This will result in flatter, more even burger.

Bubbly juices tell all.

Gauging doneness by sight is the way to go. Put down the thermometer. Poking, pressing or cutting into your burger before it’s done only results in a less than juicy burger. You can tell exactly how cooked your burger is just by looking at it. After you do your initial flip, look at the small cracks of the top of the burger…

  • no juices = rare
  • red juices= medium rare
  • rosy juices = medium
  • pale juices = medium well
  • clear juices = well done

Back to blog

Posted on January 14th, 2016 at 10:52 am [ssba]