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Making a perfect burger !!! - Page 2

post #31 of 42

For the food truck, I use a #10 can to smack out patties between two patty papers.

 

Made burgers at home tonight, same paper (or parchement) but I use a little heavy bottom saucier.

post #32 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
 

How to make the best burger gets into sticky territory—how far can you afford to go? How far is it appropriate to go? Philosophically, I’m not excited about some of the approaches that have shown off by Michelin-starred chefs who use prime, dry-aged rib meat and often other extravagances (like truffles). Not because I have a problem with extremes, but because I don’t think that’s what a burger is for. If I have those ingredients, I’m going to mostly leave them alone … I’m not going to grind them up. The burger, to me, is a way to elevate more humble ingredients. 

 

To that end I like to do a lot of elevating—more than would likely be feasible in a restaurant unless you were able to charge a fair amount, and even then you’d want to be selling enough of them that you have your workflow down. 

 

The main thing, I think, is the blend of meats. Chuck is classic, tastes the most “burgery,” but is not the last word in flavor. After many years, I’ve settled on equal parts chuck eye, brisket (preferably from grass-finished beef, for the brighter and more sour flavors), and shin (for intense beefiness). 

 

The result is lean, so I add about 5% butter and marrow from the shins to bring the fat to 18 or 20%. I make it a compound butter with the salt and pepper—this isolates the salt from the meat so the meat doesn’t cure and become tough. Usually this is not a concern at all, but I cook these sous-vide, and this provides enough contact time for the salt to affect the flavor. 

 

My seasonings in the compound butter: 0.7% salt, 0.2% black pepper, and the marrow from the shin bones. There isn’t a ton of this, but it adds some nice savor. This gets partially frozen and then fed into the grinder with the meat. Did I say the main thing was the blend of meat? I take it back. The main thing is grinding the meat fresh. Ground meat oxidizes very quickly and loses its brighter, more aromatic flavors. I always grind within an hour or two of cooking. 

 

I make the burgers 150–200g, working the meat as little as possible, and bag them in ziplocs (vacuum sealers tend to overcompress ground meat). 

 

Sous-vide at 55°C 60 minutes for inch-thick patties, 80 minutes for 1-1/4” patties. 

 

These can be seared and served immediately if you have a VERY hot grill or griddle or broiler. Generally it’s best to drop first into an ice water bath for a minute to chill the exterior, so the searing doesn’t overcook the outer portion of the meat. 

 

I sometimes dust with 1:5 baking soda/glucose to speed Maillard reactions.

 

You can also chill or freeze after sous-vide cooking and sear right before service. You’ll want to experiment with this. I’ve had the best luck warming in a water bath, then an ice water chill and then searing. You can’t really use the searing to warm the burger through from fridge temperatures.



You make some interesting points. How do you keep the patties from mushing together or just getting deformed when you place them in the ziploc bag?

Don't pay mind the other comments. Some people just don't accept the fact that cooking not only is evolving into a sophisticated science, but an expressive art form.

 

Anyways

Shouldn't you keep the temperature of the patty when you take it out of the water bath? Bringing the temperature of the patties down means it will take longer for the patty to get back up to searing temperature. If the patty is already at 55ºC then the searing will happen quicker. Atleast that's the case with the reverse sear method and sous vide steaks.

 

Have you read about cryo fry method? Where you sous vide the protein then you dip in liquid nitrogen for a several seconds then you deep fry it for the same amount of time you dipped it in liquid nitrogen.
 

post #33 of 42

Thanks IceMan, I always figured those gadgets would compress the meat too much, but I'll give one a try.

If you make a pizza you can eat for a day.  If you make two pizzas you can eat for a day.
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If you make a pizza you can eat for a day.  If you make two pizzas you can eat for a day.
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post #34 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post

REALISM my friend.

WHO?!? ... On "Fantasy Island" maybe?!?

Nowhere near realistic.


You'd need people plating for you. But if you have something hot enough (grill, broiler, griddle) the burgers will sear in under a minute on each side. Or use a deep fryer and it will take 30 to 45 seconds total. Remember that the burgers are cooked in advance and can be held for a long time. They could even be cooked medium rare AND pasteurized.

post #35 of 42

Wonderful ...

 

Quote:
 "Remember that the burgers are cooked in advance and can be held for a long time."

LOL. You could call the place serving these burgers "SUCK CITY".   Good luck with that. 

post #36 of 42

Hank ... Just smash out your burgers to your desired size and then gently work them a little bit with oil on your hands and they will hold shape just fine.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luis de Vence View Post
 



You make some interesting points. How do you keep the patties from mushing together or just getting deformed when you place them in the ziploc bag?

Don't pay mind the other comments. Some people just don't accept the fact that cooking not only is evolving into a sophisticated science, but an expressive art form.

 

Anyways

Shouldn't you keep the temperature of the patty when you take it out of the water bath? Bringing the temperature of the patties down means it will take longer for the patty to get back up to searing temperature. If the patty is already at 55ºC then the searing will happen quicker. Atleast that's the case with the reverse sear method and sous vide steaks.

 

Have you read about cryo fry method? Where you sous vide the protein then you dip in liquid nitrogen for a several seconds then you deep fry it for the same amount of time you dipped it in liquid nitrogen.
 


I use 1-gallon ziploc freezer bags. you can get four patties into each one. Evacuate the air under water. If you bag them with some neutral oil they tend to not deform. I also put a stainless steel weight in each bag.

 

The ice water step is essentially the same thing as cryo frying. Same purpose ... you're chilling the meat to a depth of a 1/4" or so, so the searing step will be less likely to overcook below the surface. It will warm it up to service temperature, though.

 

Liquid nitrogen is much more efficient, but I'm going on the assumption that most people don't have it around. 

 

If you don't have the BTUs you'd ideally want, you can help things along with a Maillard-enhancing compound. Just mix baking soda and dextrose (or some other reducing sugar) and sprinkle on the patties before searing. They'll brown and crisp nearly twice as fast.

post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by IceMan View Post
 

Wonderful ...

 

LOL. You could call the place serving these burgers "SUCK CITY".   Good luck with that. 


I've had burgers made this way. They're the best I've ever eaten. I'm guessing you don't have much experience with sous-vide cook/chill methods.

post #39 of 42

Also, we should ask the OP: what style of burger are you trying to make? Some of us are talking about thick burgers that emphasize juicy meat in the middle, others are talking about smashed burgers that emphasize the crust.

post #40 of 42

Iceman, I totally agree, burger making ain't rocket science, nor does it need to be.  I hate when chefs overly complicate things.  IMNSHO, there is a time and place for the gadgets and the molecular cooking methods, but making burgers isn't one of those times.  A burger is a simple, humble food, and I do agree with Paul about places that use Prime, dry aged beef, and top burgers with truffles and foie gras.  Sure, simple foods can sometimes benefit from ultra premium ingredients and/or new, modern cooking techniques, but sometimes all it does is over complicate things.

 

Hank, as for making thin patties, can I ask how do you normally cook your burgers, over a grill (fire) or fried, in a pan?  If grilling, I find thin burgers to not be a great choice.  They get well done, before you get a good char on the outside.  If you are making your burgers in a pan, use the smash burger technique.  A really good tutorial can be found on Serious Eats, but simply, you make a loosely packed ball of burger meat, place it in a really hot pan, let it cook for about 20-30 seconds then smash it flat with a heavy, metal spatula quickly.  Once smashed you are not allowed to press on your burger again.  Season, allow to cook for a couple of minutes then flip and finish cooking.  Doing burgers this way will result in a well done burger, but if done correctly it does not result in a dry burger and you do get one with a fantastically brown and slightly crispy crust.

post #41 of 42

I love how Chefs come on here are say it's simple just throw the freaking burger on the grill. If it is so easy why is it you only have a few places in each town that save good burgers. Most no chain drive-thru burger joints aren't all that good. Those one or two places that serve a juice burger with lines around the corner and a full parking lot may be doing something different. IMHO, making a burger and serving it with the right amount of sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and a good bun is an art. I have been to many Mom and Pop burger joints, some were better than others and some were great. If it's so dam easy then why aren't they all great ?????? lets tell the OP what we think makes it great!

post #42 of 42

Form your patty however you choose, toss it into a screaming hot pan, season, cook until the burger slides with a pan shake, flip an lower the heat to medium and cook to desired level of rare/medium/well. It isn't complicated! Use the best meat you can to grind for the burgers! I have grass fed organic beef so I have some tasty burgers. Whatever you do DO NOT buy the meat in a tube form Walmart etc! That stuff is a bio hazard!

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