I am a burger snob. I hate, that is a strong word, but it fits, I hate fast food burgers. From previous blogs you know that the number one thing is the bun. I cannot enjoy a burger on a cheap chemical filled bun. I do realize that they have to be that way to last. That the fast food joints could not afford to throw out moldy buns daily, so they fill them with chemicals to increase the shelf life. And who knows how long it takes before they are used. It could be months in some cases. Anyway read the past blog on buns to know how to fix that problem.
In saying that, there are places that really know how to do a burger. From the bun to the patty they are done well. I enjoy a great burger. Many of use grew up grilling great quality meats for our burgers and some of us might actually remember when some of the early fast food places actually served that kind of patty. Fresh ground goodness. Those days are long gone for the fast food joints.
One of my favorite attachment to my mixer is the meat grinder. WonderMix has a great meat grinder and they also sell an amazing one for the kitchen aide and other mixers. You can look at chefbrad.com or click here for the attachment. I love owning a meat grinder. It has actually changed how I eat burgers at home. I love to grind up a lot of them at once and freeze them. That way I have great burgers anytime I bake buns.
Grinding your own burgers can really be an adventure. So much flavor and endless possibilities await those who grind their own. Just a note, I use my grinder for many things other then burgers, from protein bars to meatloaf, the grinder is amazing.
For me I love using different meats when I grind. I use red meat for the base and add to that. Pork is great added to burgers. I love to add lamb on occasion and deer and elk are great additions to add.
One thing I have learned is to season the meat before grinding. This can even mean adding the chopped onion or peppers to the meat before the grind. This allows the flavors to blend well with all the meat and gives you flavor in every bite.
I advocate using some fat in the burger. Sometimes I grind bacon up with the meat. A dry burger is not a good thing. The bacon adds flavor and a small amount of needed fat.
1- Do not use really really lean meat.
2- Cut meats and season them before grinding
3-Adding herbs and onions before grinding enhances the flavor 100%
4-Don’t forget the Salt and Pepper
5- Soaking the burgers for 30 seconds in ice water before grilling keeps them moist
6-If you are going to grind, make sure you bake your own bun for the ultimate burger
Eating gourmet burgers seems to have become a lost art in America, with so many burger places. However, I assure you that the effort is worth it when you take the time to mix, grind, shape, and grill your own burgers at home.
Enjoy the Experience,
Chef Brad America’s Grain Guy
2 lbs beef
1 lb pork
1 lb bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large onion
2 tablespoons seasoning *I love to use a great Chicago or Montreal Burger Blend, Kind of smoky and full of flavor*
Cut meat in 1 to 2 inch cubes and place in large bowl. Add oil, vinegar, seasonings, and chopped onion. Run through your grinder and form into burgers. Grill or pan fry and enjoy. Remember that placing the burger in ice water 30 seconds minimum creates a juicer burger.