The Difference Between A Good Burger And A GREAT Burger

Everyone can make a decent burger right? It’s not rocket science. Stick a skinny beef pattie you bought in a shop under the grill or on the barbecue for a few minutes, throw it into a bun and voila! A burger. A squirt of dressing or sauce and that’s that. Right? Wrong! Would a portrait artist hand a client a little stick man figure? Would a car dealer sell a skateboard? Of course not!

Yes, anyone can make an acceptable burger. In fact most people can handle a good burger. But a truly great burger? That’s a whole other basket of sesame buns. Here are a few tips to help you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Prepare Your Own Beef

Buying burger beef in a store is a bit of a gamble. Where did it really come from? How was it prepared? What exactly is in it? And of course there are other considerations like contamination during packing for example. If you really want to take your burgers to the next level then you’ll need to invest in the right equipment and grind your own beef. There are various types of grinding implements out there from restaurant level electric meat grinders to the more commonly used kitchen aid attachments. Hand cranked grinders are also popular. If you can’t afford another gadget then a food processor with the correct attachment will also work. Grinding your own beef gives you control from the start.

  1. Chill Out

Meat don’t like heat! Keep your beef and all of your equipment chilled before use. The fat in beef becomes oozy and pliable when warm. So use cold to keep all those flavors locked in. Even after you have made your patties, keep them chilled if you aren’t cooking them immediately. This helps the meat stay together and stay as juicy as possible.

  1. A Little Dimple Goes A Long Way

When creating your burger patties, first divide the meat into equal portions and shape your patties so they are about 3/4 inch thick at the edges and 1/2 inch thick in the centre. Since burgers tend to contract when they cook, putting a dimple in the middle will ensure a more even cook and shape.

  1. Don’t Flip Out!

A classic barbecue will have a number of people gathered round while the host continues to flip the burgers over and over, quite often absent-mindedly while talking to his or her guests. This is a big mistake! Flip your burgers once and only once. Over flipping will dry out and toughen the burger and if you flip too soon they can stick to the grill. A good rule of thumb is 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes for medium rare, 4 minutes for medium and 5 minutes per side for well done.

  1. A Pressing Matter

This is another all too common mistake and something that can almost feel like part of the ritual. You have followed all of the tips above and are finally cooking your lovingly prepared burger which is bursting with delicious juices and flavours. And then you press firmly down on the burger forcing all the juices to run out. Don’t! This is crazy! Please let your burgers keep all of those lovely juices and cook in peace!


6 thoughts on “The Difference Between A Good Burger And A GREAT Burger”

  1. Love ur comment through I don’t ground my own
    I get the meat from a reputable butcher while I wait.
    Then it goes in to my cooler with an ice pack till I get home then I prepare them the day before and the flavors meld in. For an awesome burger.
    Love ur tips thanks right on for sure

    1. The best beef would be the one that is high in fat content. The more fat it has, the more flavorful the beef will be.

  2. What about adding flavor before cooking steak sauce, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce !!!

  3. It’s really about how to cook them to make the burgers more flavorful and juicy. Another tip to point out is salt: that should never be added on the burger patties. The reason for that is it takes the moisture out of the patties, causing them to become dry and dense. So you should season them while the burger patties are cooking. Good article overall.

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