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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:24 PM   #1
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Default i can't do hamburgers

i'm terrible at hamburgers. i really need to get better as i really havn't been doing them much but wifey wants better now. mine usually shrink up and die. the stuff i see here blows me away. any help will be appreciated. thanks,
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Old 05-24-2009, 12:55 AM   #2
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This is my method. I go with one lb 90/10 beef grind(beef flavor), but to this I add a chub of pork sausage or an equal ratio of ground pork for more fat but most of all flavor and moisture. From there a dash of wooster and some Montreal. I also make a hole in the center of patties so they don't ball up and cook more evenly. From there it's a hot fire to sear and then a med/hot fire for indirect and finish off. It works for me. Basically, just dont over cook em.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:33 AM   #3
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Here is a recipe that will make you a hero.
This is from brother Brauma.


Brauma Burgers:

1 lb good ground beef
1 packet Hidden Valey Ranch dressing powder
1 egg
1 Tblsp Lea & Perrins Burger Booster Worcesteshire sauce

mix together to make 4 patties

Melt a slice of provalone on each patty when near done. Place grilled onions on top of the cheese.

I like mine on Onion buns but you can choose the bun of your liking.

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Old 05-24-2009, 06:41 AM   #4
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Tell us more about your equipment and what you have been doing?

I find the key to great burgers is having enough good hot coals to sear on both sides first. Then move them over to a lower heat area of the grill to cook to the internal temperature you prefer.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:23 AM   #5
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one thing I have learned is to loosely pack the meat when making the patty. i just pinch what I want off of the pile of meat (whether I preseason or not). and then work it into a patty with my thumbs against my fingers (NOT two palms together pressing). it is easier to show than explain, but if you pack it down tight, it causes ALOT of shrinkage.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:32 AM   #6
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I learned along time ago not to work the meat to much, keep it loose but not so loose it falls apart.........
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:37 AM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Location: San Antonio, TX

I agree with don't over work the meat. Also, put an indention in the middle of the patty with your thumb and the patty won't bulge. Sear on both sides at very high temp and then move to cool side to finish. And DON"T TURN THE MEAT more than once. Now I'm hungry. Is it wrong to make burgers for breakfast? :)
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:43 AM   #8
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The following is an excerpt from a thread I started about a weekend of caming and cooking with my kids. I can't figure out how to make a link to the thread, so... Click on "search" on the tool bar, type in "stuffed burgers" and click on a thread with my name, there is a step by step pictorial in there. I find that about 45 minutes in the kettel indirect after a quick sear is good timing, or about 60-75 in the WSM at 275 works good. I have made these burgers for many folks & have never received a complaint. Good Luck!

"Thursday night's dinner was stuffed burgers. Seasoned the ground beef with my own rub, and some "Famous Dave's Steak and Burger Seasoning". I formed 1/2 lb patties, covered one with onion, japs & sharp cheddar, then put another patty over the first and made a slightly better than 1 pound burger...6 of them! Used my Craig's List 20 buck score Weber 22.5 kettle and smoked them for about 45 minutes indirect w/hickory. Mmmm good!"
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:52 AM   #9
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I like my burgers plain. I take the ground sirloin, place a good pat of butter in the middle and form the patty. I work quickly and try not to handle the meat much.

The grill is set for direct high. I grill the burgers six minutes per side. I season rather liberally with kosher salt and ground pepper. That's it.

The butter keeps the meat moist.

This was yesterday's lunch.

I did add a little creole seasoning to this particular burger.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:02 AM   #10
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This is one of my favorite burger recipes: Hamburger with Double Cheddar Cheese, Grilled Vidalia Onion and Horseradish Mustard from Bobby Flay.

It's simple, and freaking awesome. Bobby is old school with burgers, just ground chuck and salt and pepper. The extra flavor comes from the toppings and condiments.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:18 AM   #11
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Good Recipes. Keep some basic Ideas in mind. Don't over cook, Don't Press the patties when cooking with the spatual (Flip only once if possible). Start with good meat not too lean though. Make sure grill is preheated before putting them on.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:19 AM   #12
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I am in the "sear it first, then cook at moderate heat till the internal temp is right" crowd. The magic internal temp for us is 135-140, no more.

My burgers have improved 1000% since I started doing them this way.

Let us know what works for you.

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Old 05-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #13
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I use regular "hambuger" not the lean kind -

("beef flesh and beef fat contain about the same amount of cholesterol. This means a standard ground beef patty could potentially have slightly less cholesterol than the equivalent lean ground beef patty after cooking")

if you make 2 large thinner patties and sandwich a nice slice of Bremuda onion between the two and seal the edges and cook as you normally would you will have a juicy tasty burger that the wife will love (unless she hates onions that is ! )
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:51 AM   #14

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Burgers are the most under-rated fare. I often order them out to see if the chef is any good. You can do so much with a burger, it is very exciting. Here are a few of my "rules":

1. Start with the beef. 80/20 ground chuck is the best. I have had so many people tell me about ground sirloin or lower fat ratios. I always arrange a blind taste test. 80/20 always wins over lower fat. Try it yourself. Of course if you add pork to the mix, which is a nice option, you've changed the rules and the fat content, but I'm talking purist ground beef here. Personally, I have no idea what ground round is good for. I just don't like the flavor of round steak, and I don't care for the drier burgers and flavor. The chuck has a good flavor. My grandmother made what I consider the best burgers. Her secret was to add a tablespoon of sour cream (not the low fat kind) to a pound of meat. This adds extra "juice" but it also melts away so the burger is not so hard packed. Many comments previously talk about overworking the meat and I fully agree. The sour cream is another way of getting this same effect in addition to increasing the moisture content, making cooking a bit more forgiving. Also, if you have radiated beef available to you, go for it! I prefer my meat rare, but with burgers this can be dangerous, so the really tricky part is to cook until done, but not dried out, which is the hardest part with burgers. I wish we had radiated beef here.

2. Add what you like. This is the exciting part. There are so many options. I've tried most of the ideas posted and I love them all! I like especially the Worcestershire sauce mixed in. Also, I do not mix all the spices in with the meat -- the flavor gets lost in this case. I prefer to add spices to each side of the patty before grilling. My standby is Lawry's, fresh ground pepper and parsley flakes.

3. Cooking: Again, I agree with most of the previous comments. Start with a very hot grill. When I put the burgers on, I turn the heat way down. You want to sear the outside and then cook slowly so the inside gets to temp. Of course if you have radiated beef, this isn't essential. The amount of time is the really tricky part. When the burger swells up, all the fat inside has been turned to juice and the burger most likely is overcooked and will be dried out by the time it hits the table. If you see a pool of juice on top of the burger, the same. You need to catch the burger before this happens, usually, when there is a nice sheen, but it has not started to swell. It really is an art and requires some practice. Also it is very dependent on your grill and the grilling conditions.

Man, I love burgers, and to answer chambersuac, it is ok to have burgers for breakfast. I've had them many times.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #15
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