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The perfect hamburger

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Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:39 am
Ironwulf well done
well done

Posts: 457
Location: Texas
I'm having two problems with my burgers on the grill.

My first problem is that I'm having trouble keeping the burgers together. They have a tendency to fall apart, which makes them more difficult to manipulate. Perhaps I should press them more before putting them on the grill?

Also, I'm getting some crispy, burnt areas on the outsides of my burgers. It only occurs in small spots, and I'm not having any trouble keeping the insides of the burgers moist. But still, they might taste better if I could get rid of this problem. Could I be salting them too much?

Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:35 pm
502mids well done
well done

Posts: 306
Location: Centreville, Virginia
You may be squeezing them to much already. This pushes out the fat, which helps to hold the meat together. The burnt edges are another sign of not enough fat.

Fat is good.

Post Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:40 pm
BBcue-Z well done
well done

Posts: 3209
Location: Atlanta-GA
Sometimes if you flip the burger too soon before it had a chance to sear and hold together, it will fall apart (I’m only guessing that you’re doing that). The burger usually gives you a sign on when it’s ready to be flipped. Few drops of liquid will start to bead up on the surface. The burger needs a good heat initially to sear, and then a gentle heat to finish cooking. Having several zones of heat on your grill will take care of any burned edges. Also good kneading and molding prior to cooking will insure that the patty will hold its shape. The amount of fat and moisture in the meat has a lot to do with how juicy the burger will be, but the way you grill it does not change.
Here is a link to a thread on this subject: ... hamburgers
I hope this helps.

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:26 am
snapshot0729 well done
well done

Posts: 366
Location: New Lenox, IL
I'll add my findings to a perfect burger. Follow all of the directions above and read the link Z has denoted. For my burgers I always get ground chuck. That's 80/20 meat to fat. Ground round and sirloin are far too lean for burgers. You won't have the shrinkage you get with chuck but you've gotta have the fat. Add whatever seasonings your heart desires. If you add dry seasonings you've gotta add a liquid to the meat to compensate for the juice the dry seasonings are going to absorb. You can use water but if you like beer there's nothing better. I always make at least 3 pounds of burgers. That garners 9 1/3 pounders or so. For that amount of meat I'll use about 1/3 of a can of beer 3-4oz. I'll put the meat, dry seasonings, and beer in a bowl, mix gently, and fashion the patties. Working the meat too much will make the burgers tough. If you use liquid seasonings, soy, A1, worchestershire, etc, then I'd use less additional liquid, but I'd follow the same rate I mentioned, at about an ounce of liquid per pound. I've added shredded cheese to the meat before making the patties. These are really tasty. You can also make stuffed burgers. Olives, chopped green onions, shredded cheese, sliced mushrooms, whatever you like. Stuffed burgers by nature are usually huge, and must be cooked slowly due to their size. I've also mixed ground pork with the ground chuck at a 25/75 pork to beef ratio. For 3 pounds of beef add about a pound of pork. Mix well. I'll second the post that states it adds a different dimension, and I'll recommend you give that a try, but not in combination with any other changes you might make. Try the beef/pork straight up just to see what you're dealing with. I've also combined ground chuck with bulk breakfast sausage to make a burger. It was different than the regular ground pork. Not better, not worse, just different. The favorite of the family is the dry seasonings, with the beer, and a couple of slices of cheese on top. For the beer drinkers out there, you've gotta try this. You'll never make them any different. Anyone that has had one of these from me has stated that they were the best tasting burgers they've ever had.


Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:04 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 13157
Location: Texas
Another great way to cook the burgers is to smoke them or grill them indirectly. You don't flip them and they're removed when they are fully cooked. Spfranz has a recipe for Smoked Hamburgers posted on the forum that I love! :D

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:39 pm
hankgni medium-rare

Posts: 56
Location: Chicago Ridge, IL

Snapshot0729, great idea regarding the beer, I am definetly going to try that. To further discuss the thread about the burgers falling apart - when using salt inside the beef a certain amount of mixing is necessary to extract the salt soluble proteins (primarily myosin), this will help bind the meat, fat, water (beer) and other ingredients together. As stated however in some of the other posts, over mixing is not that good either because the burgers will tend to get tough, not necessarily dry but tough - the leaner the meat the more protein therefore the less mixing is needed. Thanks again for the beer idea - always looking for a reason to open a can of beer while I'm grilling.

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:51 pm
Rifter well done
well done

Posts: 340
Location: Idaho, Boise

If you want to try something really different in a burger, try this recipe: I made these a bit after I got my gas grill, and my wife and I both really liked them. They SOUND very strange, but when grilled, the flavor is very... normal. I was actually a little disappointed in that aspect of it, but they were still yummy.
Kevin 'Rifter' Rank

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 6:27 pm
Trout medium

Posts: 185
Location: Home...WNY
I always like the butter burgers from How to Grill. Mine sometimes fall apart too, especially when I am in a hurry.

Post Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:09 pm
Ironwulf well done
well done

Posts: 457
Location: Texas
snapshot0729 wrote:
For the beer drinkers out there, you've gotta try this. You'll never make them any different. Anyone that has had one of these from me has stated that they were the best tasting burgers they've ever had.

Beer!? In a hamburger!? I LIKE IT :D !! I think i'll try that next time!

Post Tue Sep 14, 2004 9:19 am
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Well I know alot of people willcomplain that you shouldnt have binders in your burger but here is the recipie for my legendary Big D's Collasal Heartstoppers, they have garnered rave reviews for years.

I like to make, as the name implies, big BIG burgers! I normally use around 3/4lb per burger but have made 1/2 pund burgers, I wouldnt go anysmaller than that though as part of the greatness of these very moist and delicious burgers are to be BIG.

ATLEAST 1/2 lb of beef per burger
roughly a handful of shredded cheddar and mozerela cheese per 1/2lb
roughly a tablepoons of ketchup per 1/2 lb
roughly a teaspoon of dijion must ard per 1/2 lb
roughly 2 tabepoons of dried oats per 1/2 lb
1 tsp liquid hickory smoke per half 1/2
I also like to throw in some salt&pepper, maybe some Montreal steak spice a bit of bbq rub or whatever I have around at that moment that I feel like.. many of the things above I may leave out or add more/less etc... basically keep manipulating it till the beef sticks and you think looks rasty/...

I than form two small patties (atleast 1/4 lb each to make 1/2 lb) and put a generous dallop of garlic butter between the patties like in HTG sometimes I may even put a half strip or partially cooked bacon too. I then mold the two burgers together and should let you know I air on the side of very small service area burgers and very thick, like a dinner, basically about just enough surface area to cover the hamburger bun.

I then wrap the burger with two full strips of hickory smoked bacon and actually indirect grill the burgers at about 275 degrees because of the thickness of the burgers,s they take a while to cook through... but boy do they taste great

Near the end of the cooking I like to toast both sides of the hamburer bun with garlic butter on the grill then tplace 1 slice of mozerlla and 1 slice of cheddar on both the top and bottom bun and let it become gooey...... trust me these burgers taste awesome

Warning the precedding recipie may or may not result in catasrophic heart failure. Eat at your own risk and pleasure!

Post Tue Sep 14, 2004 10:18 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I make a recipe very similar to Big D's but I go the extra step (because thats not already enough right?) and wrap the burger mixture around a hot dog, than wrap in baccon and grill. Mine are also known as Heart Stoppers or Baccon Burger Dogs.
Pass the lipitor please.

Post Tue Sep 14, 2004 12:58 pm
Big D well done
well done

Posts: 616
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
I strongly recommed trying G.S. Bacon Burger Dogs they are amazing.. I use the same burger mixture as i listed above but without the dried oats plus I wrap the dog with a slice of kraft singles (as they wrap dogs very easily)... they are sooooo good and with the cheese around the dog its a nice gooey cheesey dog, top with chilli! mmmmmmmmmmm

Posts: 7
Location: Chesapeake, Va
Per pound of ground chuck:

In a large mixing bowl
1 egg
Worchestershire sause (I eyeball it)
teriyaki sause (again I eyeball it)
several dabs of Texas Pete
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh grated garlic)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon fresh basil
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ceyanne pepper
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon oregeno
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of just about any spice you like

Mix well, add beef and mix gently but evenly.

patty into thin to average size, push in center and add a pat of butter and cover with an equal amount of beef to complete the patty.

I use a broad range of spices depending on my guests.

If you want a real unique taste mix in a 1/8 to 1/4 cup of finely ground peanuts. I almost ate myself into a coma. This might be a bit regional, I'm from just east of Suffolk, Virginia who bills itself as the peanut capital of the world. But peanuts add a very good flavor to a wide variety of dishes. each person has to experiement to taste on how much peanuts to use. My youngest is the pickiest eating thing you ever met and if he suspects I even showed a picture of a peanut to the meat he'll beg off and claim he is not hungry.

When I don't use peanuts, top of course with cheese and bacon. For some reason I usually don't add bacon when I use peanuts, but that may be more due to not stocking up.
Just really starting out doing mo' grill'n

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