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Making Bellybomb (Slider) Holes

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
White Castle hamburgers were a staple when I was growing up. Post-war parents could feed their hungry families on the cheap, and as teenagers a group of us would often go to the local WC and have Bellybomb eating contests.

Recently I saw an Alton Brown episode in which he made small, square burgers, and around that time there was a show that showed how WC prepared their burgers.

These two things got me to thinking about making my own Bellybombs - it shouldn't be hard. However, in the true WC tradition, I'd like to put some holes in the burger meat. Anyone have any suggestions on the best way to do that?

post #2 of 6
As I understand it shel, they put the holes in to keep the meat from drawing up. I've experimented with it on many occasions and haven't been real satisfied with my methods.

I've used:
1. My finger (s)
2. Cooking Chopstick (the back end of one of the large ones)
3. Wooden dough docker on semi frozen thin meat

They don't leave the patty very pretty and there is still some shrinkage. Wish I knew definitively how to mitigate or eliminate shrinkage in a 20% hamburger meat but I guess by it's very composition that it's not possible?
post #3 of 6
Cook them from frozen. You will get a little less shrinkage. As for the
holes, Tamp them down with the light textured side of a meat mallet.
post #4 of 6
Blue, with 20% fat content there is no way you can reduce the shrinkage significantly. That's a lot of fat searing out.

As to the holes, my underestanding is that by putting the holes in those thin patties they didn't have to turn them. Lay 'em out on the flattop, and the steam coming up through the holes cooked the top side of the slider.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
It's been suggested to use a straw frm McDonalds to make the holes, and i think I'll try that.

The holes are there for the purpose you note, but also to warm and steam the buns, which are placed atop the burger patties, which in turn are cooked on top of grilled onions. The "steam" goes through the holes, warms the buns, and infuses them with flavor. Try using leaner meat, which is what I'll be doing.

Just curious, what recipe do you use to create the patties?

post #6 of 6
shel I use Hawaiian Rolls and steam them.

Here's what I do for the meat. Our Sam's Club here has awesome ground chuck. I swear it tastes just like ground ribeye.

I mix up 3.5 lbs of burger meat at a time.

Here's my recipe (and note I'm going for a White Castle style here but I wanted it hot but not too hot. We were growing habaneros and I came up with a nice little recipe for so called bar burgers):

3.5 lbs Ground Chuck
1 Onion Minced + 1/2 Onion, minced finely
3 Habaneros (carefully seeded so not to disturb capsicum veins), minced finely
4 Cloves Garlic, pressed
3 Tbsp Worcestershire
Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to look

Crumble cold meat into large stainless bowl. Add finely diced veggies. Using the tines of a fork lightly work veggies and Worcestershire sauce into the burger meat. Once mixed, bring meat together firmly with your hands, trying not to over mix.

Pour meat blob out onto wax paper lined baking sheet and using a grill press, work meat to the edges of the pan. (Mine used to make slightly more than 1 pan so I would take out the excess and start the process in the next pan). You want the patties to be about 1/4" thick. Using the edge of the grill press score the meat so that it is a little larger than your rolls. They will be square shaped. You want them scored/cut but still kinda connected. Cover with plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil and freeze.

Once frozen they are ready to cook. Remove from the freezer. I break the burgers into 4-plexes and season with salt and pepper and we place on a white hot grill (cooking on ignite). It takes about 2 minutes per side. As they are done, we remove to a pan and cover with foil. Juices start to escape. Save those.

Take one whole connected package of Hawaiian rolls out of back and split them. Using homemade mayo, hit the bottom half with a light coat of mayo. Once the burgers are done, separate the 4-plexes into individual burgers and place on bun bottoms that have been separated. For the bun tops: while they are still connected, use the inside tops to mop up the juices left in the casserole dish. Then split them apart. Sprinkle burgers lightly with minced onion. Top with juiced tops of buns. Place in aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Place in an oven for about 10-15 minutes set on 250. (I also set a pan of water in the oven). Remove from oven and serve.

The result should be a moist but not soggy, little burger that has really good flavor.

We found during our tests that it was easier to grill thin and frozen in the 4-plexes. They break easily because of the scoring. We also found it was better not to put holes in them.

I'm sure if I was griddling these I would use a lower fat meat. But the flavor of this fatty meat grilled is dynamite. Seriously tastes like little ribeye burgers. Very moist. A little heat. It was very yummy. **** now you're making me want to make up a mess of these!

Works great for a bar or pool party. Cuz you can make them ahead and put them in a disposable turkey roaster. Cover with foil and just put a couple holes in the top so the steamy oven heat can warm them.

The habaneros are very fruity tasting and have a low level of heat because of how carefully we remove the seed pods and cap. veins. Very nice.
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