The iconic hamburger might appear simple to make, but a lot of times we get it wrong.
Americans consume some 50 billion hamburgers a year. What’s so hard about shaping some ground meat into a patty and cooking it?
We use the wrong grind of beef. We handle the meat and shape them wrong. We cook them wrong.
With the grilling season already underway, here’s our guide to making and grilling burgers to perfection.
What kind of beef should I use?
Choose beef with fat in it. Most cookbooks and burger aficionados say the ideal choice is 80/20 beef chuck. This means it’s 80 percent lean and has 20 percent fat. You can go somewhat leaner if you like with ground beef labeled 85/15. Any leaner be sure to add some moisture like Worcestershire sauce or wine to prevent the burger from drying out. And if you can, grind your beef.
How do I grind my own meat if I don’t have a meat grinder?
You can come close using a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Choose the cut of meat you want — chuck, round, brisket, short rib, sirloin — and make sure it’s super cold. Cut it into 1-inch pieces. Add to the bowl of the food processor and pulse a few times to get chop into smaller pieces. Don’t process it too much or the meat will get mushy.
How should I mix the ground meat?
Make sure it’s cold, and always mix the meat gently so it just comes together. Do not over-mix. If you over-mix the meat (the same holds true when you make meatballs and meatloaf) the meat will…