Burgers, burgers, Burgers. The hamburger is a major pinnacle of the grilling season. You just can not forget about them. It is an American classic to have grilling outside in July and everyday meals for major fast-food establishments.
Are you looking to make a five star-restaurant quality hamburger? And Tryin to get away from those fast-food burgers and get some flavor in your life? Well, that is easy to achieve; it’s about creating fun combinations of flavor and texture.
First off, where did they come from:
Did you know that the Hamburger isn’t American? Yup, it’s German !! The Hamburger got their name from the small seaport town of Hamburg, Germany. There around the 19th- century, it’s thought that the sailors brought back the idea of raw shredded beef to their hometown after trading with the Baltic provinces, Russia.
It is said, during the long boat rides to the Baltic provinces of Russia, a smart German chef decided to cook the beef. The sailors love it so much that they name it after their town. The hamburger did not make it’s the first debut to America until the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904.
Since 1904 till now, the hamburger had evolved into what we currently have now—consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat, veggie, lamb, chicken, or even bean sandwiched between two halves of bread.
Understanding Lean to Fat Ratios
There are different types of ratios between protein and fat. Between each ratio, makes determines the juiciness and texture of the patty. They are:
- 50: 50 (Intensely Fatty)
- 100:0 ( Very lean)
- 60:40 – 90:10 ( Best balance of flavor tenderness and texture)
The best burgers are made from freshly, high-grade ground beef in 80:20 ratio of meat to fat.
To figure out your preferred lean to fat ratio, break down your cuts into two separate piles. One pile is the lean protein (mostly the meat), while the other is a collection of clean white fat. After that, weigh out the ratio that you prefer.
60:40 fat ratio you would weigh out 600 grams of lean meat to 400 grams to fat
You got your ratio that you want now to figure out what form of burger you want
There are four different burger forms:
To create sliders, you need to pat 1 1/4 pounds of ground beef into a 6 X 8 inches. Cut the meat into twelve 2-inch beef squares; then you refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before putting on the grill.
Suppose you want Oozy melted cheese that is a surprise inside a burger. Just gently shape 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef into four balls. Press your thumb halfway into each ball to form a well. Pack in two tablespoonsful of shredded cheese into the middle of each ball. Shape the meat around the cheese and gently form into 3/4 inch thick patties. Chill for 30 minutes before putting on the grill.
Form one pound of ground beef into four balls. Set the balls down and squash them down thin. Chill for 1 hour. You chill this one for an hour because this burger would be super thin and fall apart on you on the chill if not chilled first.
Divide 2 pounds of ground beef into four 1/2 pound pieces. Toss each piece back and forth into a 1-inch-thick patty. Let sit 10 minutes at room temperature. Since they are thick, room temperature is perfectly fine, but don’t leave them out, especially if it is a hot summer day.
Know that you know the History of the Hamburger, the Ratios, and what different forms they can become. Time to learn some tips for grilling the burger.
5 Quick tips of Grilling Hamburgers
1. Keep Everything Cold
Ground beef is full of fat, especially if you’re using 80% lean, which is what I recommend. When it is warmed (like a warm and sunny day), the fat starts to liquefy and gets all over your hands, plates, and everything that you can touch to get dirty.
2. Form Your Patties Gently
You do not want to turn your tender hamburger into a tough slab of meatloaf from being overworked. Ground beef is very sensitive to physical inputs. Excessive kneading will cause proteins to cross-link with one another, turning it from soft and tender to tough and springy—the minimum amount of handling, the better.
3. Forming your patties
You are making your patties. Grab either a 5 or 6 oz of meat, then toss it gently hand to hand, forming a ball. Pat the beef to a disk that should be as wide as your bun and be approximately 3/4 to 1 inch thick.
(Key tip: Make a divot in the middle of the burger with your thumb to help keep it’s shape while cooking.)
4. Season the outside of the Patties
Liberally season your burger patties once the coals or wood are hot. Add in your salt, pepper, and any spices you want. Dust them up and then get them on the grill. Seasoning, especially salt, can go a long way in bringing out the meat’s natural flavor.
5. To flip or not to flip
Flip your burgers whenever you want. There no rule on how many times to flip your burgers. No matter how hard BBQ Blowhards might tell you, it doesn’t make a difference. So, flip as many times as you want.
You cooked that burger and now the grand final
Building the Burger
Toast your buns
Lightly toast your choice of hamburger buns – brioche, french, ciabatta- in butter or whatever fat in a pan or on the grill to get a nice brown crust.
Sauce up that burger
Slather sauce of your choice on both sides of the bun to form a moisture barrier that prevents juices from the patty and condiments from making the bread soggy.
Melt that Cheese
Place a slice of cheese on the patty, then quickly cover under the heat in the oven or the hottest point of the grill. Once melted, take it away from the heat. The trick is to melt the cheese without further cooking the burger. A lot of cooks melt their cheese in a pan first, then pour it over the burger. Either way, you do you.
Pretty damn good burger!!!
For more hamburger ideas and tips. Check out: