View Full Version : Burger Talk

08-10-2015, 08:30 AM
I have to admit that I've never wowed anyone with my burgers.
When I cook, bake, grill, smoke, etc., I love seeing the expression on guests faces when they take the first bite.

But when I do burgers, they're acceptable, but I don't get that huge pleasant change in expression.

I want a nice beef flavored juicy burger.

What are your tips for achieving this goal?

smoke ninja
08-10-2015, 08:34 AM
First, dont use frozen hockey puck patties. Second, toppings make the burger. Third, good buns take things up a notch.

08-10-2015, 08:42 AM
A nice beef flavored juicy burger is no big deal. Any good restaurant has them. It ain't rocket science. What sets burgers apart is the stuff you do to them. Take a look at the recent burger thread here and see what some of the brethren have done. Any one of the examples there would solicit a "wow".

The great thing about burgers is that they're easy to experiment with without a lot of investment. My signature burger begins with a mix that's basically a meatloaf recipe. Then add toppings. Just gotta find what works.

08-10-2015, 09:01 AM
My wife found a recipe that has a teaspoon of crushed Rosemary and 1/2 cup of A-1 sauce per pound of hamburger mixed in with meat then cooked on the grill. I usually don't put anything in my burgers but was surprised at the flavor this created. The Rosemary and A-1 combination seemed to bring a great flavor but was not overpowering. Can't really describe it. You would just have to try to see for yourself. I grilled some on the Weber yesterday. I personally add a little extra Rosemary and A-1.

Smoke on Badger Mountain
08-10-2015, 09:03 AM
A little granulated garlic, bit of dry mustard, bit of onion powder, little cayenne and some BBQ sauce mixed into the meat then form your patties. Cook over lump charcoal or real wood until med rare-med. And then watch that amazed look on their faces.

Big George's BBQ
08-10-2015, 09:08 AM
Try a stuffed burger

08-10-2015, 09:33 AM
We put "grill seasoning" in ours, which is basically salt, pepper, garlic. A little EVOO since our ground is really lean. And Worcestershire sauce. THAT is our secret ingredient.

And like anything, don't overcook them. :wink:

08-10-2015, 09:42 AM
A great burger starts with the meat. try 60% 80/20 Ground chuck 20% Ground Round 20%Ground Sirloin. Add to that Uncle Chris's Gourmet Steak seasoning( Fiesta Brand) Black pepper, and a little Worcestershire. Mix it together form your patties.
Toppings are subject to the eater I'm all about pickle onion & mustard or mayo & jalepenos, then there is the Green chili bacon cheeseburger with a fried egg & guacomole

BBQ Bacon
08-10-2015, 09:55 AM
I have to admit since I started frying my burgers, I have enjoyed them way more than grilling. I get a griddle hot on the gasser, then drop the patties onto it. It sears in the juices and get a nice crust on the outside. A little S&P and is all you need. Then after flipping, top with bacon and a few minutes before pulling, throw on some cheese to let it melt and you've got burger bliss in your hands.


08-10-2015, 09:58 AM
Plenty of fat content is needed for a good tasting burger, I use a mix of 75% ground chuck along with 25% ground sirloin. I also season the meat with Lawry's seasoned salt, garlic and pepper and mix it in like a meatloaf.:-D
I like to toast the buns on the grill as well. I split them, spread a little butter on the flesh sides and toast em' up till they're a nice dark brown, this gives you a nice crunchy and flavorful inside while the outside remains soft. Just that adds a new dimension to the flavor of the burger.:wink:

08-10-2015, 10:00 AM
I would agree with BBQ Bacon, the diner style burger is the way to fly to get that "wow this burger is amazing" response from friends and family.

Salt and pepper only and let the ground chuck and toppings do their thing. Nothing better than a greasy burger melting cheese...

Check out J. Kenji Lopez's smashed burger method on the Serious Eats Food Lab http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/03/the-food-lab-maximize-flavor-by-ultra-smashin.html

08-10-2015, 03:27 PM
I posted this recently on another burger thread

...I really prefer cast iron skillet to the grill so I can build a nice crust on the burger without drying it out. Extreme, maybe, but I cook mine in a cast iron skillet with homemade beef tallow (rendered hard fat) smoked with pecan wood. The perfect burger blend for me personally is 1/2 chuck, 1/4 short rib, 1/4 brisket. Don't make the patties too big, 6 oz is generally the largest I use. Lightly season the outside of the patty right before it sizzles in that pan with some SPOG. Like a steak, you don't season the inside of it, just the outside. Whichever cheese of your choice and place that prized burger on a toasted brioche bun. I could eat this ALL THE TIME. Good luck, a great burger is outstanding.

08-10-2015, 03:40 PM
My preference for burger meat is the 80% lean/20% fat but, I really prefer to use chuck for the meat source. It means you have to add a little fat to achieve the correct balance. I will cube the meat, and just before grinding, add 1.5 teaspoons of Kosher Salt to the meat, then grind it. After cooking, just as the meat comes off the grill, I will pepper the top of the patties, with medium-fine grind Black pepper. No heat.

In terms of cooking, I love the effects a cast iron griddle will give a burger (yes, all you new griddle owners), however if going over fire, this is the one time I go with mesquite. About 35% mesquite lump, with the balance hardwood lump, and the fire goes hot. For my taste, mesquite really adds something to burgers at high temps. And I never cook over 145F internal.

On edit: One more thing, I do not use a hamburger press or other device. I find that burgers that are barely packed, with lots of air in the patty have much better texture

08-10-2015, 03:47 PM
start with some good quality local beef from a local butcher. I mix a little famous daves in when I form patties, then when its on the grill I do them pretty low and slow. trying to turn them only once! I hit it with a little Worcestershire sauce when I first put it on and when I flip the burger, like 3-5 drops per side. (sometimes "stuff" the burger patty with a small amount of butter!). when its done I shut off the gas and throw on the cheese to let it melt a bit. then throw on the desired toppings with a toasted bun!

my all time favorite burger I made...
burger as made above.
over-easy egg
a little spice mustard

08-10-2015, 08:30 PM
The most simple way with no fuss......80/20 ground chuck partied out in 6 oz. portions. Do not over handle the meat as this is what makes it tough to chew. A little salt and pepper and maybe garlic powder....grill to 160 degrees....always turns out great!
PS...I prefer using very plain hamburger buns as well.

08-10-2015, 09:12 PM
Try this one. Instead of ground beef.

Get a chuck roast. Cut it into about 1 inch cubes. But here's the part, be a bit more diligent in cutting out the gristle. More than you would for, say, beef stew. Just hunks of marbled beef.

Throw them into the freezer until they stiffen up, not frozen solid, just shy of that. When you pinch 'em. they feel frozen but give a bit.

Put those hunks into a food processor and pulse them out until it resembles ground beef. Maybe 10 or so pulses per batch. Being partially frozen helps the blades cut through the meat and connective tissue instead of just mashing it up.

Season with salt and pepper (garlic salt is great too). Mix well and form them about 1/2 inch and char hot..

It does have a little more chew (depending on how you trimmed and processed) but it is beef burger flavor all the way.

Dr. Trout Bum
08-11-2015, 10:20 AM
Cook on a griddle using 80/20, smash the meat down and get a good sear, season with Lawry's seasoning salt, melt cheese on top - toast the buns on the griddle.

Building from the bottom up - shredded lettuce, pickles, 1st patty with cheese, 2nd patty with cheese, green chile, and mustard on the top bun.

They smile every time.

08-11-2015, 10:53 AM
I recently started using just brisket as a standalone. Most because of price. Chuck is 5.49-5.89 per lb whereas I can get whole brisket for 2.49-2.89 per lb.

Ive prepared this twice now once on a gasser and once on a smoker(low and slow).
First time I have ever gotten any big complements on burgers. Now I have been asked to ground up brisket for a few people just for burger meat.

Nothing but Montreal seasoning and a little cayenne.

08-11-2015, 11:15 AM
My favorite:

Mix 1/3rd ground Spicy Italian sausage and 2/3rds ground chuck. Grill to medium. Melt a slice of good Provolone cheese on the patty and putt on a lightly toasted Kaiser roll. Garnish it with Mancini tangy peppers and sauce.

08-11-2015, 11:25 AM
When it comes to burgers I'm of the mindset the messier they are, the more kickass they are. I like grease and cheese all over. Nothing beats a small town cafe or bars double bacon cheeseburger after a long day of hunting or fishing....At home, I agree what you put on and also the bun are huge factors as well.

Fatty meat
chunk of butter on top while cooking
Pretzel bun
Carmelized onions
Homemade "big Mac" sauce
Bit of pink in the burger when done

That's what does it for me at home. I love burgers!!