The "perfect" Burger
Nothing is better on a warm summer day by the pool then biting into a perfectly cooked burger. It is a hard to beat experience. I am a firm believer that there are always ways to make improvements to a burger. From toppings to bread type to the method of cooking, there are different ways to determine what your perfect burger consists up.
In this article I have searched the internet to find some of the best tips to creating the “perfect” burger. Take a look and maybe try something new this summer to spice of your burger times!
If you try any of these tips be sure to tag us at #GrayGloriaSummer so we can see your creations. Also, if you have any tips you think we should try send it over in the comments or slide into are dm’s on Instagram or Twitter.
Many chefs recommend that the best cooking method for burgers is in a heavy cast iron pan or griddle. Their reasoning for this is that in a cast iron skillet situation the burger is able to cook its self in its grease (I know sounds kind of gross, but hey I am not a top chef).
George Motz who released the documentary “Hamburger America” and is considered a leader on Hamburgers stated, “Grease is a condiment that is as natural as the beef itself.” He goes on to say that a great burger should taste as itself. Thus baking it in its own grease provides that effect.
Various professional chefs believe the basis of a great burger begins with what surface the meat is cooked on with the majority agreeing that a heavy cast iron skillet is the way to go. Of course this is always a matter of personal taste.
Ground beef right? Well actually no. The experts have a few recommendations when it comes to the type of meat that should be used. The first important step is finding a portion of meat that is 20% to 25% fat, if you go any lower the twenty percent you are most likely going to be left with a dry burger, if you go over 25% you are looking at a greasy mess. The traditional cut of meat that is used for burgers is chuck steak due to its fat to meat ratio.
Now often times when you go the supermarket they have the meet already grounded for you. However often times those are grounded to thin. Experts state that whenever possible have the butcher freshly ground chuck steak for you and ask them to coarse grind it.
THE SIZE & SHAPE OF THE BURGER
Now everyone seems to be agree that around 7 ounces is the magic number in terms of burger size. (I highly recommend a food scale, you can get this one on amazon for $10.95 USD)
If you go too small you risk them not being juicy, but if you go too large you risk not being able to cook it through properly as well as having a lump of meatloaf instead of a burger.
Now when I would make homemade burgers I always assumed you basically made a meatball first then squished it down. I was sadly mistake, the experts state that it should be loosely packed together, just squished enough that it keeps its form.
One chef even recommends using an ice cream scoop to portion out your meat and placing the scoop directly into the skillet.
Another tip that I was shocked to hear was that you should use a spatula to squish the burger down. That always seem like a big no no and a good way to dry out your burger. However, they state that this action enables you to add a nice sear to the meat. Who doesn’t like a nice searing.
This is where you get to show your individuality. This is where you can go as little or as crazy as you want and no one can past judgement. Now in my case I am always between two moods….the plain or the over the top one.
For my plain one that is pretty self-explanatory for this one I add, white American cheese, ketchup, mustard and if I am feeling a little rebellious finely chopped onions (Finely chopped due to the fact that I hate biting into a burger and pulling out a long string of onion).
Now when I feel like celebrating that is one the over the top one comes out, this one includes, white American cheese, ketchup, mustard, finely chopped onion, relish and meat hot sauce. Now I know some people may not consider this over the top but for me this is going out of my norm. Also I hate lettuce on my burgers….but I don’t judge the others who place it on theirs.
Being from upstate New York I know very well that often times different regions have a love for different toppings on their burgers, which I love. I think it makes for interesting meal times during travel as so many American’s treat burgers as a staple menu item, that I love to see how a region takes a staple item and makes it their own.
If there is one thing you take away from this piece, please let it be this. Go home and mix siracha into strawberry jam and place that on your burger, it’s a game changer.
Again this is where people’s opinion varies. Many professionals recommend buns such as potatoes buns for their sturdiness yet softness. They state that you want something the complements the burger. For me I am a fan of a ciabatta bun, yes sometimes the ciabatta is a bit harder but I enjoy how the thickness of the bread tastes with a well-seasoned burger. Also I am a carb baby….so I’ll take any excuse to eat more bread.
Chips or fries….you can’t go wrong (especially if they are truffle butter fries)
Burgers can be altered in so many creative and new ways, which is what I love about this summer meal (who am I kidding, burgers are a year round treat) Let us know what your secret tips and tricks are for the “perfect burger” and any unusual toppings that you use.
Interested in the countdown to summer? Stay tuned more information to follow!
Want to be a featured contributor? Sign up here!