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Build a GREAT Burger: Tips from the BBQ Master

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

HMMM...Hamburgers the staple of America.

What makes a great hamburger, some people will argue that it is the condiments, the bread, the meat.. the spices.

Well, I don't want to beg to differ, to make a great hamburger the above-mentioned elements when prepared and married together with some magic touch bring the basic Hamburger to an exquisite palate tickler.


MEAT


First and foremost is the ground beef. A mixture of brisket, chuck roll, and sirloin tip

with some boneless short rib these are some options ...What is interesting about this is that you ask your butcher to get some trimmings from these parts and make sure you have a 25% fat to 75% meat ratio. This will guarantee a tender burger that won't dry up, the fat content will seep into the meat and render creating a juicy tender burger ...If your looking for a lean hamburger, than you can use round eye or any part of the thigh, but be forewarned ,there is one major drawback...lean means a dry hamburger...


Now remember, I said ask your butcher for him to grind your meat, but there is no better way than to grind your own. |If you don't have a grinder that attaches to your Kitchen Aid Or whatever you have. if you're doing a lot of grinding it's worth the investment trust me you don't have a grinding apparatus, a good knife. some ice, and a cutting board will do the trick. Just make sure to grind it evenly and not too coarse so the meat will bind together in a unified form. Put some ice in a bowl .In another bowl over the ice bowl put your grind meat in it so it will keep it cold assuring it that the the fat won't render and stay intact.


GRINDING YOUR OWN BEEF


Simple when you grind your own beef you ensure the mixture of the cuts and the fat content ratio. you know where the beef cuts are coming from. while this may be insignificant factors to some , to the Grill Master, it's a must, remember controlling the fat content is the secret to a juicy burger. Two more factors, saving money instead of buying the prepackaged ground meat or patties , will be a benefit and your wallet will wink at you. The second factor basically. a VIP one fresh ground meat equals a nice juicy rare hamburger or medium-rare when cooked... when your guests ask why your burger is so good, tell them I grind a mix of meat to the level of making a dull and boring burger from a pre -ground patty to a spectacular delight.


SPICES


To me, it's a personal choice. Some people put everything except the kitchen sink from Onion soup mix, to garlic salt, to putting eggs as binders ...Different strokes for different folks I guess. For me, I like the KISS theory... Keep It Simple and Short...

Fresh ground black pepper, Sea salt, and a touch of Sriracha sauce .mixed into the ground beef.


MAKING PATTIES


Mixing patties is as easy as can be. Slip-on a pair of nitrile gloves, throw in the spices in an even scattered manner, and massage the grind... weigh out 220 grams in a meatball, use a hamburger mold and flatten and put them in an evenly cut square of peach paper or parchment ready to be grilled or pan-fried.



PAN-FRIED or GRILLED

That is the question, no debate here. While nice grill marks on a burger look good, the truth about grilling is that it dries the meat ... On the other hand, Pan-Fried renders the fat of the meat penetrating the burger while cooking and keeping it juicy and tender. No fat escaping through the grills.

Pan-fried you can control the heat. medium high heat on a hot pan for searing. Three to five minutes on either side, depending on the thickness of your patties and voila the secret to a great pan-fried burger, so up to now we all figured the big secret ...no way a secret... like the old lady said,

WHERE IS THE MEAT... I SAY ... COMING FROM AND WHO IS GRINDING IT, and how are you cooking it...


BUN

While burgers are all about the thick, juicy meat patties, Whether it’s a plain white bun, milk bun, potato bun, or a brioche bun, the roll is what brings all of the ingredients together as one. a really good bun can make a burger. Imagine a burger with all the condiments but no bun...Pas Bon...

A milk bun, nothing falls apart from eating the burger,. An interesting fact about a milk bun is that it doesn’t overpower the burger's ingredients, Brioche is sweet. and a tad overused. I would say passe. A bun says a lot about a burger because the bun is the foundation that holds everything together. You need a strong bun but soft and fluffy that will hold and soak the juices to the bun, from the meat patty and condiments while maintaining the integrity in one piece. also match the bun to the size of the bun


CONDIMENTS


If you are going to a deluxe hamburger joint and God knows there are a Million ones today, then you'll be inspired by their choices of condiments ... From a variety of peppers, sweet, hot, jalapenos, killer hot ...Cheeses , Monterey, old aged Cheddar, Swiss cheese, Roquefort, Blue Cheese, Gorgonzola,, and on and on. Sauces from copies of BIG MAC (TM) Smoked Sauces...Hot Sauces. Caramelized Onions ..Mushrooms.. Roasted Peppers.AH, you get it...For me I like it the way it was born , Mustard, Relish, Lettuce, Pickles , Raw Onions. Tomatoes...YOU GOT IT >>> CLASSIC


Enjoy your burger and go for it...In the end ...make it yours ..spread out all kinds of condiments and let your guests and you make it the way you like,


FOOTNOTE

Don't forget to melt the cheese while the burger is frying or grilling and toast your bun either on the pan before or after cooking the meat , or grill it your choice.


ENJOY!



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