The Art Of Creating The Perfect Burger
Enjoying the perfect burger is a very individual experience with each person having their own preferences. However, there are some essential basic elements that every burger should contain to make it perfect.
The secret lies in combining your own individual tastes while keeping the basics in mind.
1. What’s Your Beef
The biggest mistake you can make is purchasing ready made burger patties or low grade beef. Although expert chef’s recommend that you grind your own beef, this is not ideal for everyone so ask your butcher to grind for you. I prefer to ask for a Grade A steak (normally containing some fat) while others prefer cheaper cuts of meat such as brisket, chuck or even short rib.
You may want to try a combination of these to find the ideal texture. I like to use a little egg in the mixture to bind the ground beef as well as a little finely chopped onion for extra flavor. I normally mix in some BBQ spice and then refrigerate the mixture for at least 15 minutes before making the patties.
Roll a ball of your beef mixture in your hands and then press flat on a clean, lightly floured surface, leaving an indentation in the center of the patty. This will ensure that it stays flat while cooking.
2. To Grill Or Not To Grill
Most burger aficionados will say they prefer to grill their burgers but I say a skillet or griddle pan is much better. Flip the burger multiple times to get the right temperature. If you like your burger rare, just a couple of flips will do while a longer cooking period will ensure a well done patty.
Never press down on the burger patty while cooking. This will just result in all the juices running out. A thinner, larger patty will cook faster and is ideal to allow for the shrinkage that will occur during cooking. Let the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking.
3. A Bun In The Oven
A fresh bun is ideal. Buy from your local bakery rather than using prepackaged buns. I like to cut the buns open and place under the grill in the oven to toast them and spread some butter. You can also toast your buns directly on the griddle after cooking your patty.
4. Assembly Point
There are only three additional ingredients I use for the ideal burger – tomato, lettuce and onion. Also keep condiments to a minimum. I only use mayonnaise.