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Building Blocks of a Perfect Burger
End the Madness!
By Chef Phillip Dell
Memorial Day tends to be the national “opening day” of the grilling season, and that means that grills everywhere will be loaded with food! Unfortunately, that also means that most of it will be over cooked, leaving the grill-master unhappy. In America, when we think of grilling, we think of hamburgers, hotdogs and the like. I have given myself the task of trying to help all of you to grill the best food you possibly can, and put an end to the madness once and for all!
To begin, let’s tackle the first one listed–Hamburgers! Let’s face it; almost everyone loves a good burger. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to perfectly cook one. In the list below, you will find tips on how to cook a better burger and place a crown on your head as being the king or queen of the grill!
Building blocks of grilling the perfect burger!
1. Use fresh ground meat (beef, chicken, turkey etc.)
-What I like to do is pick out a really nicely-marbled steak and ask the butcher to grind it for me.
-I prefer to use an 85/15 meat to fat ratio for a well-balanced burger. Any more fat and it may leave the burger more greasy that flavorful.
-If you are concerned with fat, a 96% burger can be used as well and, quite honestly, is my favorite blend as it yields a more beefy flavor.
2. Season your burger
-A good all-purpose mix of sea salt, black pepper, granulated garlic, and granulated onion will lend great flavor to your burger.
3. Don’t over-mix your burger
-Over mixing your burger will leave it tough due to the fat melting and break down. I recommend blending it with a fork, and then, carefully form it into patties.
4. Form a bun-sized burger
-One of my biggest pet peeves is to order a burger somewhere, and it doesn’t even come close to the edge of the bun. In my opinion, a burger should be at least the size of the bun.
5. Don’t Press your burger
-Pressing your burger to speed the process squeezes out all of the juices leaving it dry and, often, as hard as a hockey puck.
6. Toast your bun
-Toasting your bun adds a great deal of flavor.
7. Don’t overload your burger
-over loading your perfectly cooked, seasoned burger will cover it up. Let the burger speak for itself. A few toppings or sauces can accentuate the burger, but too many will hide your hard worked efforts.