Think back to the best hamburger that you ever had. You needed two hands to hold it and a lot of napkins to wipe away the juice. You will remember it had a toasty bun and was piled high with all the toppings you desired and topped off with your very favourite sauce. Can’t wait to have one again? Well follow along with me, and together we will build your choice burger.
Pick Your Protein
fresh ground beef 20-30 per cent fat
fresh lean ground beef
fresh ground chicken or turkey
veggie – black beans, mushrooms, tofu
Pick Your Mix-ins
crushed Rice Krispies
crushed Corn Flakes
fresh minced garlic
fresh finely chopped onion
fresh chopped herbs
favourite steak spice
cumin (especially for black bean burgers)
Pick Your Bread
brown, rye or white bread
Pick Your Hot Toppings
fried caramelized onions
grilled pineapple rings
Pick Your Cold Toppings
avocado or guacamole
sweet pickle relish
sliced coloured peppers
roasted red pepper
fresh onion slices
crunchy potato chips, wide chow mein noodles or corn chips
Pick Your Sauce
mustard or honey mustard
Buffalo wings sauce
Thai sweet chili sauce
Make sure your meat is fresh. Keep meat cold until mixing and cold until cooking.
Combine your choice of mix-ins with the ground meat. Consider using eggs or egg whites to help bind the mixture together.
Make uniform-sized patties, about four ounces each, for diner-style burgers cooked on a griddle or frying pan, and about five ounces each for barbecued burgers.
After the patties are made, gently push one finger into the middle to create a small indentation. This will make certain that your burger will cook evenly.
Sprinkle salt over the outside of the patties, then spread a thin layer of oil over the patty. This will help sear the meat, keep moisture inside and reduce sticking to the grill or griddle.
Grill burgers three to four minutes on each side for medium-rare, five to six minutes on each side for medium-well. Remember, it depends on the thickness of the burger – it doesn’t hurt to check the doneness along the way by cutting into a burger. Better safe than sorry.
To cook on a griddle, lightly oil griddle, add burgers when griddle begins to smoke. Gently press them down and cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
With either method of cooking, don’t squish the meat with the spatula, or you will have dry burgers.
Flip burgers only once.
To toast buns or bread on the grill, brush with extra virgin olive oil and place on grill or griddle for 1-2 minutes and set aside.
That’s all there is to it. Not bad, eh? So take some time to create your new hamburger memories.