For burgers, or anything else, some people have their own way. It works for them, they’re happy, and that’s great. Some people don’t have a method. They buy the pre-formed burgers and toss them on the grill. Then there’s people new to grillin’ burgers. They know nothing. No one has bothered to teach them, or teach them the right way. Maybe they’ve never grilled a burger. I know it sounds sad, but it doesn’t have to be. There is hope. I want to be that hope, or at least hope I can put you on the right track to becoming a grill master. These people are my target audience. As for the people with their own way, I still want you to read this. Maybe you can find something to incorporate into your system.
I LOVE burgers. I always have, and I always will. That’s why I wanted to take my burgers to the next level. I hate to admit this, but I used to buy the pre-formed burgers. Shame on me. I’ve learned, grown, and matured. The inspiration behind my new take on burgers started from making meatballs. I didn’t want to eat the pre-made frozen balls of whatever in the grocery freezer and came up with my own recipe. I use an abbreviated version of the meatball recipe to make very tasty burgers. Sometimes I surprise myself. These are damn good burgers. Enough of this, let’s get ready to grill.
The first thing we need to discuss is the meat. I use 80/20 chuck. What does that mean? It’s the ratio of meat to fat. The big number (80) is the meat, and the small number (20) is the fat content. I like a little fat in my burgers. Fat is flavor, but you don’t want to overdo it. If you buy the meat a day or two before, leave it in the fridge. If it’s frozen, get it in the fridge a day or two before so it can thaw. You can’t do the microwave defrost method. You’ll have too much liquid, and the burgers won’t stay together. You’ll need milk and lots of breadcrumbs to get them to hold their shape.
It’s a good idea to let the meat sit out before you make the burgers. This is a good time to prepare the grill. If you’re using charcoal, once you light the grill you can make the burgers. How do we do that? Like this. As always adapt to best suit your taste.
I try to use between 2 and 2 ½ pounds of 80/20 chuck
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of burger seasoning (I use Emeril’s Baby Bam Burger spice I make myself, a Google search will find the recipe. If you don’t want to make your own, McCormick’s makes a good spice.)
Take a clean hand or two and incorporate this together. Next form a ball about the size of a baseball and set it aside and do that until there isn’t any meat left. Make sure they’re all the same size and form them into burgers about the same size and thickness. Take your burger seasoning and hit both sides. Shake the seasoning out on one side, pat it in, flip over, and repeat.
The burgers are now seasoned, shaped, and ready to grill. Grill to order. If someone wants a rare one, grill it rare. You aren’t eating it. Grill yours how you want and do the same for everyone else. Simple stuff. If you make them the size I said, about 4-5 minutes a side gives a good medium to medium well burger. Another good rule of grilling burgers is DON’T PLAY with them. Put them on the grill and move them only when it’s time to flip. DON’T PRESS. The burgers didn’t do anything to you as Emeril would say. When you press, you don’t help them cook. You press out the juiciness, and the flavor. The result is a flavorless, dry burger no one wants to eat. If you add cheese, and I mean cheese, not cheese product, put it on about 2 minutes before the burger comes off the grill.
All that’s left is the toppings. I add bacon and a fried egg to mine along with the usual stuff. If you haven’t had a fried egg on your burger you should try it. Great stuff. I hope this helps anyone who might need it. I’m no expert, but I haven’t had any complaints. Enjoy the experience. Enjoy the food. Be safe. Grill on my friends.
Copyright © Drew Martin 2016