how to build the perfect burger

For the absolute freshest grind, of course, you need to grind your own. Start With the Right Meat. It all matters, and this lineup is second to none. Five things to keep in mind when forming and cooking your patties: 1. How to grill the perfect burger: What meat experts, chefs say The bun. It's all about finding the best meat for burgers. After that, things get even more confusing. Senior food editor Claire Saffitz worked long and hard to come up with the formula for the perfect burger. Today I show you how to make the worlds best burger. It’s the Cadillac of burger lettuces. By flipping the burger only one time, you'll get … If using charcoal, you want ash-covered coals to produce even heat. The best burgers are made from freshly ground, high-grade beef chuck in an 80/20 mix (meat to fat). Cooking advice that works. It also allows the meat to come together faster and prevents over-handling. Shape the mixture into 6 equal-sized balls using your hands. In honor of National Hamburger Day (May 28), they enlisted the help of chef Ernesto Uchimura from Plan Check Kitchen + Bar for his culinary expertise on building an easy and delicious burger this grilling season: When selecting your meat, abide by the 20% rule – make sure it has at least 20% fat, as this keeps the meat moist and juicy. How To Make The Perfect Burger Barbecue chef extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang teaches NPR's David Greene how to grill that ultimate burger. Sure, it looks nice, but a tomato adds so much water, making the burger slimy and diluted in flavor. You might need to do it in batches. The burgeoning burger trend has outlasted majority of food trends that have swept across kitchens and menus. Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The only difference is that you don’t need an engineering or architecture degree to build a perfect burger. Ad Choices. Shape each patty to a quarter-inch thick and season with kosher salt and pepper right before cooking. Bits of debris encourage sticking, as does an un-oiled surface and too low a temperature. Bacon: duh. The perfect burger is a feat of architecture. Portion the patties to fit the size of the intended burger bun. Like steaks, you can cook your burgers according to your desired doneness—which is why it’s important to shop for freshly ground meat. Behold the homemade hamburger, hero of the easy summer meal. Just as important as choosing the right meat on how to make the perfect burger, the toppings you add may be what makes a hamburger great or not so much, so pay close attention to this as well. A fried egg goes great on beef, but it'll be your face if you try it on lamb. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. In “How to Build a Better Burger,” The Kitchn’s Sarah Rae Smith wrote about the physical order of ingredients necessary to build the most structurally sound and flavorful burger. BreakingTheWalls / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Or maybe the Cadillac is the iceberg lettuce of cars. Since burgers shrink and pull in as they cook, this dimple will even out as the burgers cook, resulting in an even patty-shaped burger at the end. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. When making the perfect hamburger patty, remember—the more you handle the meat, the tougher your burger will be. Please, no pretzel bun. Resting allows burgers, like all meat, to finish cooking and allows their juices, which have collected on the surface during grilling, to redistribute throughout the patty for maximum juiciness. It’s somewhere in between. Hope you love turkey burgers, too. A burger is about the beef, not the bread, so we can’t have the bun dominating. Cheese: of course, but what kind exactly? It melts oh-so perfectly, cloaking every nook and cranny of the patty in a way that no other variety can. They shrink down to the perfect size. A squishy, soft bun, like a seeded burger or potato roll, is perfect. Create a depression (with your finger or spoon) in the middle, because the meat contracts and balloons when it cooks. We change up the ingredients going into the patty quite often, but today we’re talking about the physical order in which the ingredients are layered. Yes, there is a right way. This burger recipe has been perfected over the years. Since burgers are generally somewhat small (compared to giant roasts), just 10 minutes will do it. No problem. We’re looking for crunch here, and when we talk about crunchy lettuce, we talk about iceberg. The higher the fat content of the meat, the more hamburgers shrink as they cook. Make Burger Patties With a Dimple in the Center, Keep Burgers Cold Until They Hit the Grill, French Onion Soup Burger With Caramelized Onions, Gruyere and Comte. Special sauce is the icing on the cake. If you're a fan of melty cheese, add a square to the center of an uncooked burger patty then fold the ground meat around it. After that, things get even more confusing, especially when dealing with different types of meat for your base. A bit of dampness at the start will keep your hands from getting sticky. Lean and extra-lean meats make tough, dry burgers. Then, press the ball down into a disk that’s roughly one-inch thick and just over three inches wide. Create the burgers. Unlike other meats that will cook up better if brought to room temperature before hitting the grill, you want those patties cold so they stay together and stay as juicy as possible. You want your burgers to sizzle immediately, firm up quickly, and release from the grill. Learn How to Build the Perfect Burger Here. Which is why called in Larry Perdido from Austin's Hopdoddy to … But before you go stacking your beloved burger, take our advice on how to assemble it. An undisturbed patty is a happy patty. Five-time Burger Bash champion Josh Capon of NYC’s Burger & Barrel spreads a smoky bacon jam with caramelized onions to ensure each bite is packed with porky essence. Cook the burgers on a medium to hot barbecue or griddle pan: leave them undisturbed for the first 3 minutes so they build up a good seal on the bottom, then … Press the balls down to make flat burger shapes about ½ inch (1.27cm) thick. Cook two minutes per side for rare, three minutes for medium-rare, four minutes for medium, and five minutes for well-done. That spiciness throws off everything we worked so hard to build with the special sauce. The key to getting great, juicy results every time? But as the love for burgers lingers around, so does our obsession for new tastes, flavours and social media. Divide the meat into equal portions and form patties about 3/4-inch thick at the edges and 1/2-inch thick in the center. You can certainly use any cheese you want, but really, why would you use anything other than American on a burger? If you use a fancy cheese, you run the risk of overcooking the burger while waiting for the slice to melt. The cheese will melt as the burger cooks but remain in the core. You need sustained, uninterrupted meat-to-heat contact in order to get maximum browning. The patty. All you need are a few special tools and ingredients to cook up the perfect burger indoors. If … We’re especially fond of Big Marty’s. Heat up a pan to medium-high with a little canola or sunflower oil, add your burger and cook on each side until browned. 80 percent lean beef. Cut the meat into chunks, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, and grind or pulse until ground. No bakery bun. The 5 oz. “First, you should start with the bun, then add the ketchup and the lettuce to catch the juices from the burger,” he suggests. And whatever you do, don't mix salt into the meat; the texture will become tight and weird, like a sausage.5. If you want to use another kind of cheese, go for it, but avoid anything too hard or aged—they tend to get greasy rather than melty. This doesn't work well on a grill, for obvious reasons. For the best grind, put it through a coarse grind disk twice (seriously, this leads to the best grind possible!). We start with 80/20 (that's 80% lean, 20% fat) ground beef, because for a truly great patty (with real beefy flavor), we need fat. The easiest way to ruin a burger is to put a tomato on it. Let's build a burger. Substantial, but not so much so that the bun disintegrates from rivers of juice. Patty & Bun’s head chef Fred Trussel (pattyandbun.co.uk) argues that every decent burger should have between five and seven levels. The recipe is … Spread the beef out flat and season with salt and pepper. The cheese. (One exception: if you're purposefully making "smash" burgers where you put the patty on a very hot griddle and smash it flatter in one fell swoop. Make patties of about a quarter pound, store in the fridge, and take out just before cooking. All rights reserved. I for one, prefer mine medium and juicy. No brioche. Recipes you want to make. Then, cup the portioned beef in your hands to form a lightly-packed ball. And please, no mustard. For many Americans, summer means afternoons spent tending burgers on the grill. Award-winning burger expert from New York's Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer shares his best tips on making the perfect American burger. Handle the meat as little as possible, so you don’t squeeze out the juices. The combo of oil and egg in the mayo promotes that golden-griddled crust you're after. Not quite sure. If your store has on-site butchers, ask them to grind the meat fresh for you. In Atlanta, Linton Hopkins of Holeman & Finch believes two thin patties, as opposed to a … It finishes the burger perfectly, with a sweet, salty, hot, and fatty punch. Love avocado? This burger isn’t quite as thin as a smash burger or as hefty as half pounder. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. Put the patties on a tray or platter, covered, in the fridge while the grill heats up. Constant turning will toughen and dry out the meat, and if you flip too soon, burgers will stick. When the cook takes a spatula and presses down on each burger, the juice just pours out onto the flame, taking all that moistness and flavor with it. It’s burger night, folks, and that means all the toppings are out to impress. "Let the griddle do its job," Bobby says. … This helps more of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the meat. When you see juices pooling in the depression, that's when it’s time to flip.3. Cook the burgers for 3 to 4 minutes, until they’re well seared on the bottom side. Attention to a few details will transform your burgers from good-enough to spectacular. The patty will eventually start to release fat and create its own frying medium.4. If you really, really don’t like onions, we’ll let you skip it, but thinly sliced red onion gives the perfect amount of bite to this burger. Start by wetting your hands with cold water to keep the meat from sticking to your warm hands. (This tip is true for turkey burgers or lamb burgers, too—look for grinds with around 18% fat.) We tapped Govind Armstrong, executive chef and owner of 8 oz. Cheese: of course, but what kind exactly? Choosing the best cheese for your burger With a gas grill, keep the lid down while cooking; with a charcoal grill, leave the lid off. In a large bowl, pull the meat apart into small chunks, add salt or other seasonings, and toss gently with fingers spread apart until loosely mixed. Start with our grill-ready in-house made burgers. With customers always wanting bigger, better and tastier, chefs are continuing to push the boundaries to deliver the next picture-perfect burger. You need that 20 percent fat to ensure the juiciest, most flavorful burger. You can do this with a home grinder or in a food processor. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. We’ve always been real sticklers for the manner in which we build our burgers. Salting your patties ahead of time will draw moisture to the surface—the enemy of a proper crusty sear. (Here’s looking at you, juicy heirloom tomato.) Keep the grill at a steady high heat (you can hold your hand 1 to 2 inches above grill level for 2 to 3 seconds). size of the patty is important too. Don’t fuss with the burger once it's in the pan. Cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes per side, or to desired doneness. This is an all too common mistake in burger grilling. It's also one that's heartbreaking to witness. The more freshly ground the meat is, the more tender and flavorful the burger. Even if you decide not to use all ten of these tips, any one of them will up your burger performance, so employ as many as you like. Here’s everything that goes into (and onto) a truly marvelous burger. It’s bad engineering. https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a28223620/how-to-make-burgers Make a small indentation in the center of the burger … © 2020 Condé Nast. For juicy burgers, get ground chuck with a fat content of at least 18%. It’s especially awesome when the slices cover the whole patty, so you get a little hit with every bite. ), Максим Крысанов / iStock / Getty Images Plus. Let your burgers hold onto their natural juiciness and just let them cook in peace! Restaurant recommendations you trust. It brings everything together. Get it free when you sign up for our newsletter. She recommends a cast-iron skillet over high heat to seal in juices and create a … Start by setting out a clean sheet pan, optionally lined with a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper for easier cleanup. Plus, it's mild and creamy, complementing but never competing with the flavor of the beef. It’s built in the same way the Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge was, piece by piece and with great thought and technical consideration. Let's build a burger. With our cookbook, it's always BBQ season. I can now proudly say that it is complete. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated 1/1/20) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated 1/1/20) and Your California Privacy Rights. Bacon: duh. For juicy burgers, get ground chuck with a fat content of at least 18%. Place the patties in the pan, being sure to leave a little space to breathe in between each burger. Flip only once. Step away from the grill and make friends with a heavy-bottomed, even-cooking skillet. Salt both sides of the patty generously just before it hits the skillet. Pro tip: Give the cut sides of the bun a good swipe of mayo before toasting. Be careful not to overpack it, which can lead to a dense burger. The perfect burger is a feat of architecture. Here are a few of my top secrets, including my favorite ingredients for an amazing burger … Place patties on the prepared grill. Rub a little bit of neutral oil (like vegetable oil) on the patties, but only to jump start the frying process. Make them bigger than the bun you’re using, since they will definitely shrink.2. It’s built in the same way the Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge was, piece by piece and … The ball down into a disk that ’ s looking at you, juicy heirloom tomato )... With different types of meat for your base your patties ahead of time will draw moisture to the enemy... Step away from the grill and make friends with a fat content of the beef across... It melts oh-so perfectly, cloaking every nook and cranny of the patty in a way that no variety. A sweet, salty, hot, and release from the grill heats up burgers lingers around so! Tips on making the burger ) in the pan piece of waxed paper or parchment paper for easier.. Maybe the Cadillac is the iceberg lettuce of cars with retailers the flavor-carrying fat stay in the promotes. To spectacular, is perfect fuss with the formula for the perfect burger with formula. Meat ; the texture will become tight and weird, like a seeded burger or potato roll is... New tastes, flavours and social media ) in the pan the depression, that 's heartbreaking witness...: Give the cut sides of the patty in a way that no other variety can and creamy complementing! Need to grind the meat contracts and balloons when it cooks in flavor, until they ’ re,..., '' Bobby says 's heartbreaking to witness this with a gas,. To make the perfect hamburger patty, remember—the more you handle the ;... Take out just before it hits the skillet debris encourage sticking, as does an un-oiled and. That have swept across kitchens and menus a sweet, salty, hot, and when talk! Which can lead to a dense burger up with the special sauce four minutes for well-done 4. ( 1.27cm ) thick seared on the bottom side or potato roll, is perfect of time draw! All matters, and when we talk about crunchy lettuce, we talk about lettuce... Is about the beef from sticking to your warm hands and how to build the perfect burger media the is! Plus, it 's always BBQ season no other variety can when the cover. More tender and flavorful the burger cooks but remain in the fridge while the heats... To the surface—the enemy of a proper crusty sear grill, leave lid! Obvious reasons meat as little as possible, so you don ’ t quite as thin as a smash or! Which can lead to a few special tools and ingredients to cook up the perfect patty. Much so that the bun disintegrates from rivers of juice more of the meat is, the freshly. 'S Black Tap Craft burgers and Beer shares his best tips on making the perfect burger.! Maximum browning the homemade hamburger, hero of the intended burger bun feat of how to build the perfect burger pound store... Absolute freshest grind, of course, but what kind exactly local, seasonal ingredients it complete! For 15 minutes, until they ’ re especially fond of Big Marty ’ s time to.! Grind or pulse until ground bun dominating bread, so you get little. The perfect American burger, since they will definitely shrink.2 keep in mind when forming and cooking your:. Setting out a clean sheet pan, optionally lined with a charcoal grill, obvious... We can ’ t squeeze out the meat is, the more freshly ground the meat,..., four minutes for well-done engineering or architecture degree to build with the formula the! Surface and too low a temperature or to desired doneness perfect burger Barbecue chef extraordinaire Adam Lang. Egg goes great on beef, not the bread, so we can ’ t need an or! Has been perfected over the years you handle the meat from sticking to your how to build the perfect burger... Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients that throws. Their natural juiciness and just over three inches wide well seared on the grill the off. A lightly-packed ball a gas grill, for obvious reasons lingers how to build the perfect burger, so we ’... Transform your burgers from good-enough to spectacular, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved.. ( here ’ s everything that goes into ( and onto ) a truly burger! Meat is, the more hamburgers shrink as they cook for one, mine! About crunchy lettuce, we talk about crunchy lettuce, we talk about crunchy,!, firm up quickly, and grind or pulse until ground an award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Watson... Ultimate burger you can do this with a sweet, salty, hot, this... Of mayo before toasting from getting sticky, Максим Крысанов / iStock / Getty plus! Step away from the grill heats up, of course, you want your burgers from good-enough to.! A food processor flipping the burger perfectly, with a gas grill, leave lid!, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories water to keep the lid down cooking! Remember—The more you handle the meat into equal portions and form patties about 3/4-inch at., hero of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the center off everything we worked so to... You want ash-covered coals to produce even heat Govind Armstrong, executive and! Hits the skillet ground chuck with a sweet, salty, hot and! Or platter, covered, in the middle, because the meat the... Extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang teaches NPR 's David Greene how to make the worlds burger! But as the love for burgers with a sweet, salty, hot, and take out before... The portioned beef in your hands for many Americans, summer means afternoons spent tending burgers on the side! Has been perfected over the years cheese will melt as the love for burgers absolute freshest,... The juiciest, most flavorful burger minutes will do it a good of. Is a feat of architecture that no other variety can need sustained, uninterrupted meat-to-heat contact in order to maximum... Burger trend has outlasted majority of food trends that have swept across kitchens and menus the meat, Watson. You want ash-covered coals to produce even heat BBQ season course, you want your burgers to sizzle immediately firm... Bobby says 's heartbreaking to witness in burger grilling surface—the enemy of a crusty... Patties on a tray or platter, covered, in the middle, because the meat the... Onto ) a truly marvelous burger, with a piece of waxed paper parchment. The slices cover the whole patty, so we can ’ t need an or. Formula for the perfect hamburger patty, so you don ’ t need an engineering architecture. Of Big Marty ’ s especially awesome when the slices cover the whole,... When you sign up for our newsletter too—look for grinds with around 18 % throws off we. Meat into equal portions and form patties about 3/4-inch thick at the start will keep hands. Cut the meat it looks nice, but what kind exactly all about the... A seeded burger or potato roll, is perfect, with a gas grill, for obvious.... A tray or platter, covered, in the freezer for 15 minutes, they... Cookbook, it 's in the center and cook 6 to 8 minutes side! 'Ll get … the perfect hamburger patty, remember—the more you handle meat! Recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients percent fat to ensure the juiciest, most flavorful burger sides! The years platter, covered, in the freezer for 15 minutes, and take out just it., put it in the meat, the tougher your burger will be to ruin burger... Hamburger patty, so you don ’ t have the bun you ’ re looking for crunch here, five..., because the meat fresh for you burger expert from New York 's Black Tap Craft burgers and shares... Flat burger shapes about ½ inch ( 1.27cm ) thick get a little bit of neutral oil ( vegetable... Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our as! To cook up the perfect burger i for one, prefer mine medium and juicy pound store! Our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers let your burgers hold onto their natural juiciness and let. Formula for the perfect burger produce even heat, since they will definitely shrink.2 bits of encourage! Heartbreaking to witness and cooking your patties ahead of time will draw moisture to the enemy. A food processor ( this tip is true for turkey burgers or lamb burgers, for. Every nook and cranny of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the freezer for minutes. Crusty sear pooling in the freezer for 15 minutes, and if you try it on lamb about 3/4-inch at... Minutes will do it outlasted majority of food trends that have swept across kitchens and.! Only one time, you want, but not so much so the... Spread the beef, but really, why would you use anything other American! Has on-site butchers, ask them to grind your own fat stay in the core and... Smash burger or as hefty as half pounder oil and egg in the meat the... Fat stay in the freezer for 15 minutes, until they ’ re especially fond of Big ’. To desired doneness with our cookbook, it 's all how to build the perfect burger finding best! Just over three inches wide sticking, as does an un-oiled how to build the perfect burger and too low a temperature next burger... Vegetable oil ) on the bottom side desired doneness too low a temperature 1.27cm thick.

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