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Grilling Burgers

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi all, i'm pretty new to this place but seems like the right place to have a chat about grilling and would appreciate any advice greatly smile.gif

I'm currently working in a burger joint in the South West but I normally work on the "side orders" working on the fryer, onion rings, chips, and preparing stuff for the burgers.

But recently I have been asked to work the grill as the chef is away, without any grilling experience other than watching him do what he does. And we've also had the head chef from our other burger place come down as a backup I assume, but he was happy just watching me - didn't complain about what I was doing, but kept telling me to push the burgers down quite a lot, "poke into them and flip them" and then cut into them.

We had a few complaints that night and I feel like total shit because of it. "dry burgers" the lot! But surely a head chef knows best?

The buns are meant to be spread with some kind of "fat" but the head chef said not to because it's a "ball ache", and according to the customers they just "fell apart while eating".

Should I follow my gut instinct and do it the way I want?... Place burger on the grill > turn 45 degrees after 2 minutes > flip burger after another 2 minutes > and then turn another 45 degrees after 2 minutes > cook for a further 2 minutes and done? Without any piercing of the burger or cutting into it to check if it's done or not.

Cheers
post #2 of 6

I do not like squashing burgers for the same reason.  They come out dry.

post #3 of 6

Head chefs may not always know what is best, but they know how "they" want it done. A cook's job is to do it the way the head chef wants it done, whether it is best or not.

 

I also do not like squashing burgers either because I agree it makes for a drier, less juicy burger. I grill the burger (or steak or chicken or pork or whatever) and my first turn is actually a flip to the other side keeping the grill marks parallel. The second turn is also a flip back to the original side with a 90 degree turn. The third turn is another parallel flip for the final cross hatch grill marks. I test the doneness by touch rather than cutting into, which lets the juices run out resulting in a drier, less juicy burger. The reason that I flip with every turn is through side by side comparisons I have arrived at the conclusion that it makes for more even cooking and flowing of the juices resulting in a better tasting piece of meat.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post
 

Head chefs may not always know what is best, but they know how "they" want it done. A cook's job is to do it the way the head chef wants it done, whether it is best or not.

 

I also do not like squashing burgers either because I agree it makes for a drier, less juicy burger. I grill the burger (or steak or chicken or pork or whatever) and my first turn is actually a flip to the other side keeping the grill marks parallel. The second turn is also a flip back to the original side with a 90 degree turn. The third turn is another parallel flip for the final cross hatch grill marks. I test the doneness by touch rather than cutting into, which lets the juices run out resulting in a drier, less juicy burger. The reason that I flip with every turn is through side by side comparisons I have arrived at the conclusion that it makes for more even cooking and flowing of the juices resulting in a better tasting piece of meat.

agree with everything cheflayne has said. although, unless physically showing the burger I think grill marks are pointless. Do what your boss says but make note of what he says should anything come down to question whether or not you are doing your job right. The best tool a young cook has is a pen and paper; I never not have one.

if you are able to execute your tickets in the time frame they are requiring you and would like to do better than find a moment where the chef wont be defensive about how you may phrase it but ask in a suggestive way if you can change something in your process in order to produce a better product for the guest. It is how you spin it; if the suggestion you make doesn't affect him in anyway than he is likely to agree and say yes.

for example; can I temp some burgers to start so that they cook faster and more evenly? also, being a burger joint you may not rest your meat but keep in mind that having a resting rack for your meat that has come off the grill allows for the meats juices to settle and also you can organize your placement of the burgers by temp which can make plating easier. Also having a resting rack gives you a place to put your burgers should you need to take it off the grill for what ever reason.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenvhayden View Post unless physically showing the burger I think grill marks are pointless.

 

Not meant to be mean spirited, but have you done a side by side tasting comparison between burgers with one set of grill marks per side and burgers with two grill marks per side?

 

Cooking equipment generally will have variations of heat across their heat surfaces, sometimes subtle, sometimes not, but they are still always there.

 

As an example, do you turn things in an oven?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #6 of 6

hmm, allow me to elaborate; My preference on cooking a burger on a grill is the flavor ergo not a pretty cross hatch presentation which I spent a lot of time doing in the past. but now I prefer using a little higher heat and putting more color on the burger and turn it a little more often to promote even cooking. to put what I mean in another way; I prefer cooking my chicken breast in a saute pan where the entire breast is in contact with the pan/oil to develop an even crust instead of cooking it over the gas grill and only putting a cross hatch marks on it.

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