Monday Meal: Build a Better Burger | Buzz Blog
We need your help.

Newspapers and media companies nationwide are closing or suffering mass layoffs since the coronavirus impacted all of us starting in March. City Weekly's entire existence is directly tied to people getting together in groups--in clubs, restaurants, and at concerts and events--which are the industries most affected by new coronavirus regulations.

Our industry is not healthy. Yet, City Weekly has continued publishing thanks to the generosity of readers like you. Utah needs independent journalism more than ever, and we're asking for your continued support of our editorial voice. We are fighting for you and all the people and businesses hardest hit by this pandemic.

You can help by making a one-time or recurring donation on PressBackers.com, which directs you to our Galena Fund 501(c)(3) non-profit, a resource dedicated to help fund local journalism. It is never too late. It is never too little. Thank you. DONATE

Monday Meal: Build a Better Burger

by

2 comments
blog6438widea.jpg

I am often asked where to go to get a great burger. And, increasingly, the answer is: my place. I just can't buy a better burger than I can make at home. ---

Over the years, I have toyed with countless recipes in an attempt to build a better burger. I've experimented with versions of the famed "21 Club" burger, which necessitates myriad ingredients and spices, I've made cheeseburgers where the cheese was blended right into the meat, and I've tried just about every blend of beef, pork and lamb possible.

But, thankfully, the most satisfying burger formula I've found is also one of the simplest, not to mention economical. For a little more than the price of a Happy Meal, you can make from-scratch burgers at home.

But, that's the key: FROM SCRATCH. The secret to making a truly great burger is grinding the meat yourself, just prior to cooking.

Here is how I do it:

After experimenting with all sorts of burger blends, I've found that the most satisfying -- incredibly flavorful AND juicy -- is a ratio of about 85% chuck and 15% sirloin. This provides a nice beef-to-fat ratio. The ratio doesn't have to be exact; just try to get somewhere close to 85/15. You can eyeball it. 

dsc01473.jpg

I have a KitchenAid stand mixer with a grinder attachment that I employ when I make my burgers. It's indispensable. However, if you don't own a meat grinder, most supermarket butchers will happily grind your meat for you.

I buy a piece of chuck (not ground) and some sirloin and put the meat in the freezer for about an hour before preparing the burgers.Partially freezing the meat makes it easier to cut and grind.

Simply cut the beef chuck and sirloin into cubes (about an inch square) and feed them into the meat grinder together -- no need to separate the two cuts of meat.

dsc01480.jpg

dsc01481.jpg

Once the beef is ground, one key to making great burgers lies in not over-handling the meat. Be gentle.

Form the beef into loose balls -- just so the meat hangs together. I make burgers that are about 1/3 lb. each.

dsc01482.jpg

Next, gently press the burger balls into patties. Again, don't overwork the meat. You want burger patties that don't fall apart, but you don't want the ground beef to be pressed too tightly, either.

dsc01484.jpg

As I said, there was a time when I used all sort of seasonings in my burger blend, everything from coriander and Worcestershire sauce to onions and garlic. And, you can do whatever you want with your burger. However, I've discovered that the best burgers are the ones where the beef is front and center. I want my burger to taste like MEAT, not a hodgepodge of other ingredients. 

Therefore, I simply sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper on my burger before cooking. That's all.

dsc01488.jpg

Then, while grilling the burger, I add cheese (which, of course, is also optional).

You can cook your burgers rare or well-done or anything in between. I've learned that cooking a one-third pound burger for about 3 minutes per side over medium-high heat results in a juicy, medium-rare burger.

dsc01489.jpg

While grilling your burgers, again, be gentle. Don't press the patty, as that will push valuable juice out and create flare-ups. Just place the burger on the grill and turn it once, adding the (optional) cheese after turning the patty. That's all there is to it. You can serve your bodacious burger on fancy rolls but, frankly, I just buy the cheapest burgers buns in the store. Again, it's all about the meat, not the bread.