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Serious hamburger question


Airehead
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I want to make grilled hamburgers tomorrow.  Mine are always awful.

Einstien likes no pink.  I  prefer pink.

The problem is that they are always hard and burnt on the outside and not done inside.  Sometimes way too dry too.

 

Please share your best tips.

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I mix in an egg and some bread crumbs to my hamburger meat, along with salt, pepper, minced garlic and minced onion and sometimes some Worchestershire sauce.  Mix just enough get things worked in.  

Form the patties bigger around than your buns and on the thinner side, about 1" thick, as they shrink a bit when cooking.  I do this with wax paper and then put the patties back in the fridge.

Grill at med high (400-450) for around 2-3 minutes per side 5-6 minutes total.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Airehead said:

I want to make grilled hamburgers tomorrow.  Mine are always awful.

Einstien likes no pink.  I  prefer pink.

The problem is that they are always hard and burnt on the outside and not done inside.  Sometimes way too dry too.

 

Please share your best tips.

What kind of grill are you using?  Gas, charcoal?  either lower the temp or raise the grill over the coals if possible.

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1 minute ago, 2Far said:

Put a big dimple in the center of the burger to even out the cooking.

image.jpeg.d4af7311aa3ab58ceb12f0d891502ef0.jpeg

I have read that this helps the patty retain its shape and avoid swelling, which makes it thicker in the center and thinner at the edges.  Never tried it, but I would think this works best with thicker patties.

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Make your’s thicker and his thinner that way when his is done yours will still have some pink 

I have better results cooking on a cast iron griddle over the coals rather than over direct heat

The griddle will have hot spots to get a crusty exterior and cooler spots to finish cooking through 

A handful of hickory chips in the coals will add some flavor 

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Just now, Randomguy said:

Don't listen to this food adulterator, Aire, he just gave you a recipe for meatloaf and not a hamburger!  He doesn't even put lentils or raisins in his chili, for dog's sake!

He is correct, I do not put either of those mainstays in my chili.

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1 minute ago, Further said:

Make your’s thicker and his thinner that way when his is done yours will still have some pink 

I have better results cooking on a cast iron griddle over the coals rather than over direct heat

The griddle will have hot spots to get a crusty exterior and cooler spots to finish cooking through 

A handful of hickory chips in the coals will add some flavor 

 

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 I can't help you.  Philly Cheesesteak hamburgers were the special at the gas station on Monday.  Today they only have:

 

Special 1- Chicken Salad Ranchero: Chicken Tenders, Chicken Salad, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Melted Cheddar, Ranch & Buffalo Sauce $6.99tx
Special 2- Ranchero Wrap: Chicken Tenders, Melted Cheddar, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Ranch & Hot Sauce $6.99tx
Special 3- Buffalo Chicken Panini: Sliced Buffalo Chicken, Pepper Jack, Bacon & Buffalo Sauce $8.99tx

Salisbury Steak $7.99tx
Chicken Cordon Bleu $7.99tx
BBQ Pork Ribs $7.99tx
Shrimp Penne a la Vodka $8.99tx
Sides: Mashed Potatoes, Spanish Rice, Vegetables

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Just now, Kirby said:

 I can't help you.  Philly Cheesesteak hamburgers were the special at the gas station on Monday.  Today they only have:

 

Special 1- Chicken Salad Ranchero: Chicken Tenders, Chicken Salad, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Melted Cheddar, Ranch & Buffalo Sauce $6.99tx
Special 2- Ranchero Wrap: Chicken Tenders, Melted Cheddar, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Ranch & Hot Sauce $6.99tx
Special 3- Buffalo Chicken Panini: Sliced Buffalo Chicken, Pepper Jack, Bacon & Buffalo Sauce $8.99tx

Salisbury Steak $7.99tx
Chicken Cordon Bleu $7.99tx
BBQ Pork Ribs $7.99tx
Shrimp Penne a la Vodka $8.99tx
Sides: Mashed Potatoes, Spanish Rice, Vegetables

I wonder if you could have them put that Salisbury steak on a bun?  Maybe pour some of the gravy over the fries?  And a vanilla malted for the drink? 

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7 minutes ago, jsharr said:

He is correct, I do not put either of those mainstays in my chili.

Still, don't fall for the Texas meatloaf sandwich trick!  Who knows what else is in there?

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1 hour ago, Further said:

Make your’s thicker and his thinner that way when his is done yours will still have some pink 

I have better results cooking on a cast iron griddle over the coals rather than over direct heat

The griddle will have hot spots to get a crusty exterior and cooler spots to finish cooking through 

A handful of hickory chips in the coals will add some flavor 

This is what I was going to say. If you adjust the size of the patty & cooking time both of you will be happy.  
 

 

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1 hour ago, Kirby said:

 I can't help you.  Philly Cheesesteak hamburgers were the special at the gas station on Monday.  Today they only have:

 

Special 1- Chicken Salad Ranchero: Chicken Tenders, Chicken Salad, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Melted Cheddar, Ranch & Buffalo Sauce $6.99tx
Special 2- Ranchero Wrap: Chicken Tenders, Melted Cheddar, Mixed Greens, Tomato, Ranch & Hot Sauce $6.99tx
Special 3- Buffalo Chicken Panini: Sliced Buffalo Chicken, Pepper Jack, Bacon & Buffalo Sauce $8.99tx

Salisbury Steak $7.99tx
Chicken Cordon Bleu $7.99tx
BBQ Pork Ribs $7.99tx
Shrimp Penne a la Vodka $8.99tx
Sides: Mashed Potatoes, Spanish Rice, Vegetables

Get the Panini

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4 hours ago, Airehead said:

I want to make grilled hamburgers tomorrow.  Mine are always awful.

Einstien likes no pink.  I  prefer pink.

The problem is that they are always hard and burnt on the outside and not done inside.  Sometimes way too dry too.

 

Please share your best tips.

I make an excellent, juicy, hamburger that I learned to make watching America's Test Kitchen.

For each pound of ground beef they used a panade: a couple slices of bread torn or cut into small pieces then doused with about 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of milk added and allowed to sink in, then mixed with the ground beef.

America's Test Kitchen used 1 slice of bread, 2 tbsp milk, and 1.5 lb of 80%-lean ground beef but, in my hands, the amounts I used worked better to keep the burger juicy.

The biochemicals in the milk and bread grow into bubble walls around the moisture in the mix and keep the meat from drying out.  So you can cook it longer - lower heat to keep to outside from burning - without it getting tough or drying out.

Here's my version (you can skip the seasonings besides the panade and egg if you want) plus the original America's Test Kitchen version from my Recipes folder files:

Mick’s Juicy Tender Seasoned Hamburger

https://www.food.com/recipe/mick-s-juicy-tender-seasoned-hamburger-382367

This recipe begins with a “panade” – a mixture of crumbled bread and milk – that keeps the beef moist and tender, even when well-done, by interfering with beef proteins that would otherwise link together and toughen the meat when cooked.  This trick was explained on America’s Test Kitchen in the Season 8 Episode “Drive In Specials” and it works very well!

I try to avoid too many spices in any one recipe because I don’t want to mask the flavors present.  If you’d like to try spicing it up, feel free to try others.  Some recipes concentrate on soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, etc. to give it a Chinese cuisine flavor.  Others use Greek, Mexican, etc. accents.  Beginning with the first four ingredients insures it will be juicy, tender, and hold together even when well cooked.

Don’t go overboard on the liquid ingredients or the mix will become too wet.

This makes 5 quarter-pound sized burgers or 4 very large burgers.

Ingredients

1 lb ground beef (lean to 80% works fine for me)

2 slices of bread, diced into 1/4” square pieces (or equivalent breadcrumbs or crackers)

4 tablespoons of milk (4 tbsp =1/4 cup, use any %, but real milk)

1 egg

2 tsp dry Italian seasoning (or 1 tsp dry oregano, 1 tsp dry thyme)

2 tsp garlic powder (or 1 tbsp finely minced garlic)

1 tbsp onion flakes (or 2 tsp onion powder)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or 2 tbsp ketchup or steak sauce)

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

Optional: 1 tsp Cajun seasoning

Optional: pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Procedure

1. Dice the bread into ¼” squares and place in a mixing bowl large enough to handle all the ingredients.  Sprinkle the milk on them to moisten, and mix by hand to coat all the bread with milk.

2. Break up the ground beef into small pieces and add to the mixing bowl along with all the other ingredients, making a depression in the mixture for the egg and scrambling it a little bit by hand before mixing it all together.  Mix gently by hand until all materials are roughly evenly distributed, about a minute or two.

3. Form the mixture into four or five round or square patties.  The center of each patty should be slightly thinner than the outsides since it will fatten on cooking.  Place them in a lightly oiled frying pan and press down on the middle to form the desired depression.

4. Heat on a low or medium-low flame until each side is browned, about 4 minutes each side.  Add cheese the last minute if a cheeseburger is desired.

 

America's Test Kitchen - Recipes: Well-Done Hamburgers on a Charcoal; Grill

Well-Done Hamburgers on a Charcoal Grill

from the Episode: Drive-In Specials, Season 8

Adding a panade (a paste of bread and milk paste) to the ground beef creates

burgers that are juicy and tender even when well-done. For a burger that cooks up

flat, press the center of each patty down with your fingertips before grilling. Serve

the burgers on your favorite buns or rolls. For cheeseburgers, follow the optional

instructions below.

Serves 4

1 large slice high-quality white sandwich bread , crust removed and

discarded, bread chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 teaspoon table salt

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 medium clove garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1

teaspoon)

2 teaspoons steak sauce , such as A-1

1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck

Vegetable oil for cooking grate

6 ounces cheese , sliced, (optional)

4 hamburger buns or rolls

See Illustrations Below: A Half-Ounce of Prevention

1. Using large chimney starter, ignite 6 quarts charcoal (about 100 briquettes) and

burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 20 minutes. Empty

coals into grill; build modified two-level fire by arranging coals to cover half of

grill. Position cooking grate over coals, cover grill, and heat grate for 5 minutes;

scrape grate clean with grill brush. Grill is ready when coals are medium-hot (you

can hold your hand 2 inches above grate for 3 to 4 seconds).

2. Meanwhile, mash bread and milk in large bowl with fork until homogeneous (you

should have about 1/4 cup). Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and steak sauce.

3. Break up beef into small pieces over bread mixture. Using fork or hands, lightly

mix together until mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into 4 equal portions.

Gently toss one portion of meat back and forth between hands to form loose ball.

Gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patty that measures about 4 1/2 inches in

diameter. Press center of patty down with fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch

thick, creating a slight depression in each patty. Repeat with remaining portions of

meat.

5. Lightly dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe

cooking grate. Grill burgers on hot side of grill, uncovered, until well seared on

first side, 2 to 4 minutes. Using wide metal spatula, flip burgers and continue

grilling, about 3 minutes for medium-well or 4 minutes for well-done. Distribute

equal portions of cheese (if using) on burgers about 2 minutes before they reach

desired doneness, covering burgers with disposable aluminum pan to melt cheese.

While burgers grill, toast buns on cooler side of grill, rotating buns as necessary to

toast evenly. Serve burgers on toasted buns.

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Use the cast iron skillet or a blackstone griddle.

Form the beef tightly into balls.  Get griddle or skillet hot.  Put a pat of butter down and then put the ball o' beef on the butter.  Give it about a minute and then use a press or heavy spatula to smash the meat down into a flat burger.  Salt and pepper and cook another few minutes until you see some blood coming up on the top tide.  Flip and wait.  After about a minute and a half pull off and top with cheese.  

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33 minutes ago, MickinMD said:

For each pound of ground beef they used a panade: a couple slices of bread torn or cut into small pieces then doused with about 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) of milk added and allowed to sink in, then mixed with the ground beef.

America's Test Kitchen used 1 slice of bread, 2 tbsp milk, and 1.5 lb of 80%-lean ground beef but, in my hands, the amounts I used worked better to keep the burger juicy.

I am sorry, ATK is WRONG!  Really desperately and pathetically wrong, that is not a burger because that is meatloaf pure and simple.  A burger is meat and not a damn thing else that doesn't go on top.  NOTHING else is in a burger, nothing.

 

The definitive end.

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Does grill have a thermometer? If so 350-400 degrees. Gas knob for each row of burners should be 2-3 notches from absolute low. Begin with patty intended to be well done, when half cooked, add the rare. 

Now for the burger itself. Lean ground round 87% or higher to eliminate flare ups. Also, I will dice onions and mix in with the patty, however, with recent guest "veggie" burger I did sauté onion rings on grill til brown in vegetable grill pan with the onion pre-soaked in olive oil for 15 minutes or so and they loved it. Also, back to ground beef, when mixing with salt and pepper, will also add steak rub seasoning in the mixture, and even top with it. Also, be sure to salt lightly when begin grilling as this will limit the fat hitting the coals/burner.

Buns, toast them on the grill. Start a minute before adding cheese. Flip and add cheese to burgers. Both should be done about the same time.

 

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Never cook one side and then the other and call it done.  Hamburgers should be flipped more often than that.  The first couple of minutes to sear the outside a bit and keep some of the juices inside then turn the heat down to finish.

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1 hour ago, MickinMD said:

This recipe begins with a “panade” – a mixture of crumbled bread and milk – that keeps the beef moist and tender, even when well-done, by interfering with beef proteins that would otherwise link together and toughen the meat when cooked.  This trick was explained on America’s Test Kitchen in the Season 8 Episode “Drive In Specials” and it works very well!

So this is why meatloaf stays tender and moist.

I sometimes mix egg &breadcrumbs in burgers, but don't consider it a "real" hamburger

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12 minutes ago, Further said:

So this is why meatloaf stays tender and moist.

I sometimes mix egg &breadcrumbs in burgers, but don't consider it a "real" hamburger

The egg and breadcrumb with beef mix could also be lumped into the meatball category. 

I use oatmeal in my meatloaf in place of the breadcrumbs, it definitely holds onto moisture that way.  Meatloaf is nice, but it has a meatloaf taste.

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8 hours ago, jsharr said:

I mix in an egg and some bread crumbs to my hamburger meat, along with salt, pepper, minced garlic and minced onion and sometimes some Worchestershire sauce.  Mix just enough get things worked in.  

Form the patties bigger around than your buns and on the thinner side, about 1" thick, as they shrink a bit when cooking.  I do this with wax paper and then put the patties back in the fridge.

Grill at med high (400-450) for around 2-3 minutes per side 5-6 minutes total.

Oh, for goodness sake!

Given what's been happening in Texas recently, this is simply a

recipe for disaster.

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