Thursday, March 22, 2007

Make Your Burgers Taste Even Better

We all know how to make a hamburger, but some burgers are better than others.

When the editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine were working on 'The Best Recipe' (Boston Common Press, $29.95), they wanted to know the secret to making not just a better burger but the best burger.

Here are some tips, from them and from others:

o Use ground chuck, preferably a chuck roast you've cajoled the butcher into grinding for you. Or you can grind it yourself at home in a food processor.

Make sure the meat is cold, cut into small (roughly 3/4 inch) chunks and process in small batches.

It also helps to chill the bowl and the blade in the freezer for 30 minutes.

~ Eighty percent lean meat is best; more fat and the burger will be greasy; less and it won't be as tender and juicy.

~ Season meat before shaping it into patties.

~ If you're planning cheeseburgers, an alternative to a slice of cheese on top is to grate the cheese directly into the raw beef.

~ Divide the meat into (6-ounce) portions, toss it from hand to hand to form a ball and press it into a patty with your fingertips to avoid overworking the meat.

~ The perfect burger has a crisp, flavorful crust and a moist, tender interior.

Grilling and pan-searing, especially in a cast-iron skillet, can produce these qualities as long as the grill rack or pan is hot when you start.

~ Don't press down while the burgers cook. It squeezes out the juice and makes them dry.

~ Don't flip constantly. Once on each side should do it.

~ To avoid burgers with that puffy domed shape that allows condiments to slide off, form a slight depression in the center of each patty.

On the grill, the center will puff up on its own and the burger will be more uniform.

from the "Meat Cookbook," by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly;

article courtesy Mercury News wire services.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails