While seemingly oh-so simple to prepare, these few mistakes can cause your hamburger meal to end in total disaster. Hambergers make such a simple and delicious meal, avoiding these few simple mistakes can be the difference between a dry, tough burger and a juicy, meaty, full-of-flavor one. Our goal is to achieve a beefy & smoky flavor, with a soft juicy texture that melts in your mouth, and a nice crunchy and caramelized outer layer.
• Avoid Ultra Lean Beef
A great burger starts with the right beef. Stay away from ultra lean beef. Flavor and juiciness is dependent on the fat content of your meat. No 90/10 mixes. Using such a mix will leave you with a bone dry, flavorless, hard piece of cooked burger. The minimum should be 80/20, better yet, 75/25. Cooked right, the juices will come flowing down your chin!
• Avoid Bargin Basement Beef
You might think skimping on good beef will be okay under the bun, melted cheese, grilled onion, and other accompaniments you might lavish on your burger but you’d be wrong. Don’t skimp, use good quality beef.
• Avoid Packing Burgers Too Tightly
Avoid overworking the meat and don’t make hockey pucks. Avoid those special burger molds that cause you to pack the beef in. Hand forming buggers will give you the best shape. Its best to leave it scraggly so you have the most exposed surface area that will give your burger the right char, caramelization and the grill marks to prove it. Dome-shaped burgers can be avoided by using your finger to add a small divot in the center on both sized of the raw burger.
• Improperly Seasoned
A great hamburger needs just great beef, salt and pepper but in the proper order. Adding salt and pepper before forming the patties causes dry burgers and require more salt and pepper than is necessary. Salt and pepper should only be added once the patty is formed and no more than 30-60 minutes before grilling.
• Not Properly Preheating the Grill
Not properly preheating your grill will result in a soggy mess that sticks to the grill. Preheat your grill so it is very hot, you can always adjust the temperature once you start grilling. Then, clean the grill and generously apply oil. These steps will ensure your burger doesn’t stick and you get enough char and caramelization.
• Avoid Playing With the Patty While Grilling.
Once you place the burgers on the grill – leave them alone. No tamping them down – it only squeezes out the juices. Don’t polk, prod, or play with the patties – and flip them just once – this assures your burgers achieve the perfect, slight outer crunch. Well-formed, half-pound burgers only need about 4 minutes per side for medium rare and about 5 minutes for medium. Any longer, and all bets are off.
Once you avoid these six burger blunders, its time to personalize your hamberger. Be creative – a fresh bun. a flavorful melted slice of cheese, caramelized onions, garlic aioli, mayonnaise, gourmet mustard, avocado slices – the list is endless.