How to Make the Best Hamburgers
There are some foods out there that when they are really good, rank as my all time favorite foods. Hamburgers are one of those foods. A medium rare, messy drippy and perfectly seasoned burger served with lettuce, tomato and dill pickle would have to be high on my list of favorite foods. Now, if that burger is a little closer to medium, eh…I can pass. And if that burger is one that I could eat in a silk blouse without fear of dripping any of the juices…yeah, I’ll save my fat grams for something else.
Because we live in a free world I will grant you your degree of ‘doneness’ of your hamburgers. One of my beloved offspring won’t eat his burger unless there is not a sign of pinkness anywhere…I don’t understand it, but I grudgingly accept it.
However, we might just come to blows over the fat content of the burger. In my book, if you make hamburgers with lean ground beef you might as well just grill a chicken breast. So that’s my line in the sand.
When I worked at Williams-Sonoma several years back, I had the opportunity to try several of their seasonings and food items. Heretofore, we had always just sprinkled salt and pepper on our burgers when we put them on the grill and called it done.
But after using their burger seasoning, I quickly became a convert and came up with a recipe that upped the flavor of the burger just enough without being THE flavor of the hamburger. I mix up a batch at the beginning of the summer and mix into our 80/20 ground beef or chuck for all our burgers.
This Hamburger Seasoning ups the flavor just a bit without becoming the predominant flavor of your burger.
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. I tuck in a dessicant package from a vitamin bottle to make sure it doesn't clump up.
Lightly mix 2 teaspoons per pound of 80/20 ground chuck. Don't over work your beef, just toss it with the seasoning.
Now before you ask yourself…’Why would I buy Porcini Powder just for this one mix?’, let me tell you…this stuff is worth keeping in your pantry. It really provides a bit of earthiness to soups, stews, risottos and makes a great rub on on just about any cut of meat. Plus…this Hamburger Seasoning Mix is so good…it would make a great gift for that BBQ aficionado in your world. Just mix up a big batch of the stuff and put it in some fun jars and presto…great gift.
So in addition to this bang-up Hamburger Seasoning Mix, here are some other suggestions for making the best burgers:
- The Meat…Ideally find a coarse ground beef of 20% fat. Once again, the leaner meat will result in a dryer burger and more than 20% fat will produce a burger that falls apart.
- Toss the meat with the seasoning lightly…handling your meat as little as possible. Form large balls (6-8 ounces each) and then compress them. Don’t over-handle, pat, mush, etc…
- Use your thumb to make an indentation in the middle, this will help the burger from bulging in the middle.
- Keep your burgers chilled until they are ready to cook
- If you’re grilling outside, heat your grill to medium high/high and oil the grates.
- If you’re cooking inside using your cast iron skillet, turn the heat to high.
- Right before you are ready to cook your burgers, salt the outside to your taste.
- Place your burgers on the cooking surface and let it cook undisturbed for:
Medium Rare…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 4 minutes or internal temp of 130-135°
Medium…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 5 minutes or internal temp of 135-150°
Medium Well…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 6 minutes or internal temp of 150-165°
Well Done…3 minutes, then flip and let cook for 7 minutes or internal temp of 165° and up
8. Whatever you do, DO NOT PUSH YOUR HAMBURGERS DOWN WITH YOUR SPATULA! You will squeeze out all the goodness when you do.
9. Let your burger sit for about 5 minutes over a rack before placing them on a bun. This will allow and liquids to reabsorb or drain away so that your bun doesn’t get soaked.
A couple of my blogger pals also have ‘grilling’ on their minds and are sharing their recipes today.
Robin has me intrigued with her Grilled Pizza Dough!
Sherry’s Broccoli Salad will be perfect with my very best hamburgers.
And if you are hankering for some tender grilled pork chops, check out this recipe from Carol.
So, if you are ready to to start up your grill for the season, here are some great recipes to get you going. Enjoy and Happy Weekend!
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