Several nights a week, we use our outdoor barbecue to prepare marinated lamb, yakitori chicken, Puget Sound fish, and veggies. When our grandchildren request hamburgers, though, we fall short badly. We use the leanest hamburger or ground round to produce the patties, which are about 1/2-inch thick. However, when we cook them, they crack and break apart. How are we going to keep the patties together?
First and foremost, I would make them thicker, perhaps 3/4- to 1-inch thick. Cook them over a lower heat so that they don’t burn on the exterior before the inside is done.
The hamburger’s low fat level definitely has something to do with it, but there are a few tactics you can employ:
For every pound of hamburger, add 1 egg yolk. It won’t add a lot of fat to the meat, but it will bond it beautifully.
You may also make the hamburger with canned, drained, crushed black beans or chickpeas. The beans’ starch will bind the meat together and give it a unique flavor. (However, the youngsters might not appreciate it.)
What’s the trick to making juicy hamburgers?
- Keep the meat mixture refrigerated until ready to cook. If the fat remains solid until it comes into contact with the heat, it will quickly expand, creating flavor pockets inside the patty.
- When creating the patties, don’t overwork the meat. The tougher the patty becomes once it’s cooked and placed onto a bun, the more you handle the meat combination.
- To make uniform patties, use a burger mold or a lid. They’ll cook more evenly this way. (This is one of our go-to burger suggestions.)
- While the patties are cooking, don’t move them around too much. This is the key to a delicious sear with a salty crust. If you’re grilling the patties, wait until they’ve developed grill marks before moving them. After that, switch them to indirect heat to finish cooking until they reach the required internal temperature.
- Apply the sauce generously. Barbecue sauce or aioli, for example, will provide tasty wetness to your burgers. However, an over-easy egg is one of our favorite burger toppings. With the first few nibbles, the yolk will come out. You can then dip your hamburger in the yolk that has dribbled onto your plate. The shambles are completely worth it.
Do you prepare hamburgers with an egg?
If you’re preparing your own hamburger patties, adding an egg to the meat will help it hold together and cook faster. The burgers may come apart in the pan or on the grill if you don’t use the right binder.
Why are my hamburgers crumbling?
It’s important to note that the solution is to simply refrigerate rather than freeze your patties. Although frozen patties will stick together, placing a frozen patty directly on your grill is not a good idea for several reasons. The first reason is that it will take longer to cook all the way through. Second, because the side of the patty that is touching the grill will likely cook while the other side is still thawing out, the burger may not cook evenly. Of course, you’ll flip it over, because the top is now beautiful, but the bottom is still cooking. This eliminates the possibility of overcooking the side you began with (now on the top).
Now that you know why freezing it isn’t an option, the next best option is to refrigerate it because cold meat tends to stick together. Although it may not appear so, your ground beef will absorb a lot of heat from your hands, the environment, and even non-chilled items like spices as you shape it. We recommend forming patties, placing them on wax paper, and placing them in the refrigerator to cool until you’re ready to grill them.
Gordon Ramsay demonstrates how to create a burger patty.
Gordon adds coarse sea salt and coarsely ground pepper to season his burgers, as well as garlic powder. While the burgers cook, he lightly seasons the onions with salt and pepper, drizzles a little olive oil over them, and grills them while the buns toast.
What is the greatest hamburger meat mix?
The ideal ground beef for burgers is 80/20 ground chuck, which contains 80 percent lean meat and 20% fat. Ground chuck is ground from the shoulder and has an 80/20 lean-to-fat ratio (not too lean) for a delicious, juicy burger.
What do you use to season burgers?
Kosher salt is the best burger seasoning. Seasoning ground beef with coarse salt or kosher salt, as with all meats, is the finest option. The big granules provide the most control and deliver on the promise of improving the final burger’s flavor. Per pound of ground beef, use roughly 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
Cooking Tip Don’t press down on your hamburgers after you give them a flip or for that matter, at any time.
It’s much easier said than done. I grew up seeing my father flip burgers on our circular kettle barbeque grill, and I don’t recall ever seeing him NOT press down on the cut meat paddies, lighting a flame from the fatty fluids to our enjoyment.
His method of preparing burgers is deeply engrained in me, as it is in many of you. Many of you, I’m sure, can’t help but give your patties a brief press on the grill. I had to battle the impulse to give them a little push with my silver spatula, even though I know it’s the incorrect thing to do when cooking a burger. Oh, how I enjoy seeing the flames erupt.
As I write this, I’m thinking about how the ritual got started in the first place. Is it because we enjoy messing with food, or did early cookbooks advise it’s preferable to flip and press?
Reasons for “Pressing Down On A Burger
I did some research to see if I could come up with some good reasons for pressing down, and this is what I came up with:
“If you cook burgers medium well, no bloody juices will remain in the burger.”
OK, they’re all good replies (except for the last one), but none of them are ones with which I concur.
Reasons for Not “Pressing Down On A Burger
When the fat he pressed into the hot charcoals ignited the grill in flames, I used to love watching my father leap around and become excited. He’d try to shift the burgers to a different part of the grill as quickly as possible, but it was impossible because the remainder of the grill was covered in hot dogs.
I’m sure he didn’t have a spray bottle of water on hand to help put out the flames, but he might have used some of his beer to do so. Actually, I don’t have a water spray bottle with me when I’m grilling, but there’s no way I’m throwing any of my wine on the flames.
Here are several reasons why you shouldn’t press down on your burgers while they’re cooking, so you can determine which way is best for you:
- Pressing down on the burgers releases the desired, flavorful juices, which are beneficial and should not be wasted in the flames.
- When you press the meat down onto the grill, the paddies are more likely to cling, making flipping much more difficult.
- A flare-up will occur when fatty juices contact the coals or reflectors of a gas barbecue.
- It may amuse the children, but it makes controlling the flames while cooking quite difficult.
- Some may argue that it expedites the cooking process, but I disagree. If you need to get anything done quickly, use the grill cover. This traps the heat and effectively transforms the grill into an oven. You’ll get direct heat from the grill as well as ambient heat reflected off the lid in this manner.
Is it better to season ground beef before or after it’s been cooked?
Wait to season your ground beef after it has been browned and drained before seasoning it. Adding salt to raw ground beef draws moisture out of the meat, causing it to dry up and create steam while it cooks, preventing it from browning correctly. Other seasonings are the same way, but for a different cause. The herbs and spices will be washed away with the fat, leaving your ground beef underseasoned.
Ground beef can be seasoned with nearly anything after it has been cooked and drained. A taco seasoning combination, Old Bay, herbes de Provence, or garam masala, to mention a few alternatives, could be used with salt and pepper. It all depends on what you’re going to do with the meat. Check out some of our favorite ground beef dishes from the past year for ideas.
How can you make a burger more flavorful?
If you’re going to make hamburgers with ground beef, use a combination of cuts to get the juiciest and most flavorful patties. Prepackaged meat from the grocery store is good, but fresh ground beef from your butcher is preferred.
Regular ground beef is a “no-name” or generic category that can be made up of a variety of cuts or come from a single source, and can have up to 30% fat content. While a small amount of fat in the mix provides taste depth, a large amount can make the burgers too oily and increase the risk of flare-ups on the grill.
Animal fat flare-ups generate charring and a smokey residue, which has been related to a variety of health problems For a healthier grilling experience, use a lower fat-to-meat ratio.
Ground chuck has approximately 20% fat, which, while flavorful, is still a high percentage of fat. When blended half and half with lean ground sirloin, this pick is full of taste and has a lower fat content (about 17.5 percent).
Ground sirloin is a lean choice with around 15% fat, and it blends well with ground chuck to make flavorful, lean burgers.
Ground round has a low fat content of about 11%, making it an excellent choice for burgers. However, due to the reduced fat content, the cooked patties may be a little dry. To increase the fat content and juices, combine with ground chuck or add a delicious liquid to the meat when forming patties.
Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Sriracha sauce, steak sauce, or a dash of red wine are all good additions to ground beef mixes.
Parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, marjoram, savory, garlic, and chili flakes or powder are some herbs and spices that mix well with beef burgers. Dill pickles, sweet relish, capers, anchovies, or chutney are all good additions to a beef burger, and practically any cheese would do.
Try a combination of sharp cheeses to bring out the greatest flavor in the meat red Leicester, extra-aged Cheddar, and Roquefort make an incredible flavor combination.
You can even combine the cheese and ground beef for large bits of taste. Take a page out of our book and try our Bacon Cheddar Burgers!
Of course, beef can be served with any fresh or grilled vegetables and fruit, as well as your preferred bun. Try this Oozy Bluesy Stilton and Sirloin Burger for a trip to flavor heaven.
Oozy Bluesy Stilton and Sirloin Burgers
Due to the use of two types of ground beef, these burgers have a rich flavor and a fine, lean texture. The red wine gives these burgers a great depth of flavor that is perfectly balanced by the blue cheese.
Serve open-faced or on crusty bread with your favorite toppings, sweet potato fries, and a cold beer for the perfect summer food for any beef burger aficionado.