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Smokey Hamburgers

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Post Tue Aug 19, 2003 7:40 pm

Help! Evertime I cook hamburgers (pre-formed from the grocer) they are very fatty and drip like a son of a gun. The dripping fat on the hot coals makes enough smoke to hide a battleship. I have tried the "lean" less fat burgers... but have the same result.

P.S. Just got a copy of "How to Grill" Mouth watering pictures - can't wait to get to it :-)

Post Tue Aug 19, 2003 11:11 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Here are a few things to take a look at:
1. Store made hamburger patties are normally not the best cut of meat and include a large amount of fat (to add weight). Try making your own patties therefore not only can you pick the grade of meat, but you can also add your own seasonings. I only use ground chuck for burgers - I buy the large 5-10 lb packages and make my own patties when I get home and then freeze so that I have the convience of the frozen burgers but a better quality that the store made.
2. When cooking burgers you need to have a very hot grill. I will preheat my grill to 500 degrees for about 5-10 minutes and then put the burgers on the grill (after lubracating the grates with olive oil first) and then sear the burgers for about 5-6 minutes per side. The time depends on how thick your burgers are and how you like them cooked. I have 1 inch thick burgers and cook to about medium.

Good Luck

Post Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:38 am

Agree 100% with the post above. Far too often these days we lose something when we use "convenience" foods. IMHO, frozen burger patties are simply leftover meat scraps, including lots of fat trimmings. In days that are almost (but not quite) behind us, fat trimming were rendered into lard. Ever wonder where the fat goes since lard isn't a popular ingredient today?

For burgers exactly like you want them, grind your own. Hand cranked meat grinders aren't expensive and are fairly easy to use. As mentioned above, use chuck. It's easy to experiment. Grind a little, make a patty and grill it.

If you elect to use an assembly line approach and make lots of burgers for the freezer, go easy on the additions to the ground meat. This isn't as relevant if you're going to be grilling those burgers fairly soon. However, for long term storage, many "extras" put into the burgers lose their flavor and/or texture.

In addition to a grinder, add a FoodSaver to your wish list. Make your burgers and freeze them on a plastic wrapped cookie sheet. When frozen, stack the burgers with waxed paper between each burger. Then vacuum seal meal sized quanties with a FoodSaver. No freezer burn, longer storage life. (Standard disclaimer, I have no association FoodSaver, other than I own one and highly recommend it.)

Tip: When you grill, cook extra. Vac seal for quick meals when firing up the grill isn't an option. Cook a few extra burgers. Cook 2 beer can chickens and freeze one, is another example.

I'm getting too long winded this morning, so I'd better close. Again, I agree with the previous poster. Buy fresh ground chuck or grind your own. Leave the frozen burgers to the fast food places.

Just my 5 cents this a.m.


Post Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:05 pm
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
I must make an addition to my previous post and add support for Longmill. The FoodSaver product is excellent. I use the same methods for freezing uncooked items and also make extras for those times when we just can not wait for the grill to warm up!!

Post Wed Aug 20, 2003 11:16 pm
Luke medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Texas

There may be another culprit here. If these patties are even the slightest bit frozen they are going to tbleed like crazy and this will cause your coals to smoke.
Live Different

Post Thu Aug 21, 2003 10:22 pm

Thanks for the info guys... I know the package at the store says 80% or 90% lean meat ... but that would mean 20-10% fat! I will stop buying those hockey pucks and make my own. I just got How to Grill and I want to try the herb butter hamburger recipe. :)

Happy Grilling!!

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