I’m known around these parts as the Burger Queen. I. Love. Burgers. I have a whole (and very real checklist) of what a great burger should consist of that I run through every time I try out a new burger. If I see a burger on the menu, 9 out of 10 times I will order one. Burgers are my weakness.
The Chef makes fun of my addiction. His favorite story is when he took me to a fancy restaurant in our town, the kind that serves beef tips and risotto cooked perfectly and scrapes the bread crumbs from the tablecloth every time a morsel falls , and I ordered the burger.
I’m a cheap date and proud of it.
A burger, a good burger, should have a soft bun that is slightly chewy, fresh and the right amount of condiments, crisp lettuce chopped thin, melted cheese (so many burgers I’ve had has the cheese just slapped on and not melted in the least. What is this?!), and a burger patty that is juicy, seasoned well, and cooked the way I asked.
So do you guys want to know how to make a killer burger!?
I SAID DO YOU WANT TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE A KILLER BURGER?!?!
I thought so…
Follow this step by step and you will get such succulent, flavorful burgers, you’ll want to go spat at the feet of ‘ol-big-red hair-with-creepy-painted-smile man.
But I’m not naming any names.
The Chef has put together some tips for the burgers your about to grill up. Ok first, get good quality meat, half 80/20 and half ground sirloin. You want a little fat in there to give it flavor and juice. (I am going to give measurements for a lb. of meat.) Next add either 2-3 Tbsp of butter or oil.– this gives it a little more moisture. Pour in about 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp garlic salt and 1/2 tsp regular salt and 1/4 tsp of fresh ground pepper. Mix it all together until well incorporated.
That’s it! But now here comes another trick…
With meat, they have strands of protein that help keep it together. When the meat it ground, it breaks about the protein, making it crumble more easily. (Have you had trouble with this is other burgers and have to find a binder like eggs or breadcrumbs? This will eliminate those.) Break off the desired size burger party and form it into a ball. Holding it in one hand, slap it into the other hand. Repeat this, going back and forth several times. When the meat is manipulated in this way, the protein elongate and form back together and adheres, making it one cohesive party… I’m mean patty.
Now pound and shape how thick or thin you want the burger patty, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside until the grill (or cast iron skillet which also works great) is rip roaring hot. We want it HOT so it forms a sear on the outside of the burger. Do not flip it more than once. Do not squeeze the burger with the flipper. You are just letting all those delicious juices escape.
Timing is a huge factor with burger making. Good burger making. You want everything done so all you have to do is put the patty on the bun, drizzle and place your condiments of choice on top and sink yer teef in. So while we’re waiting for the grill/skillet to get hot, butter you burger buns. The Chef and my favorite bun is Kings Hawaiian Big and Fluffy dinner rolls. They are so soft and chewy and soak up just the right amount of the burger juices. Ummm delish. Use whatever kind you prefer, but just know that these are best. (Insert Ina)
Place the buns on the skillet until the have a nice golden color on the buttered side. Set aside.
Prepare all the condiments. Slice up lettuce (like I said, we like it thin) and cut up your homemade pickles you made (elbow nudge elbow nudge), unwrap whatever cheese you desire, if in fact you want cheese. (But why wouldn’t you?) Line up ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc for easy accessorizing.
You’re good to go! Grill it up! Hear the sizzle!Feel the heat! Smell the charcoal and grease mixture!
Now, we at The Everyday Chef and Wife like our burgers mid-rare. We like pink. The great thing about these burgers is how tender they are, that even if you do over cook them, you have a hard time telling. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve over cooked The Chef’s burger (he’s the grill master, not I) and he devoured it and complimented me on how great I did. Yes, he might’ve been being nice, but I asked him about it later and he said that it was so moist that he didn’t even care.
If you did want to be more technical, here is the link to the Food Network’s guidelines on meat temperatures.
A way to tell if it is ready to flip is if it releases easily. Is it time to flip? Quickly flip it over and lay the cheese on right away. (If you have missed this step and are a bit late at putting the cheese on, you can still achieve a proper melt. Place the cheese on and cover with a pot top. The steam and heat surround the cheese better, allowing it to still get the perfect melty cheesiness that we all love.
Last tip, when the burger is done, immediately transfer it to the crisp buttered bun. The juices that flow off of it get sucked up immediately by the bun and you waste no flavor. Waste not, want not.
You are ready for feasting time.
Happy grilling everyone!!
-The Everyday Chef and Wife