Author Topic: May is National Hamburger Month  (Read 6463 times)

Offline Beer Monger

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #30 on: May 05, 2011, 09:48:58 AM »
First rule for me is good meat. But for the love of pete don't buy wagyu or kobe or prime rib or filet mignon or some such crazy thing and GRIND IT.

My blend is: 50% well-marbled chuck, 23% oxtail, 25% sirloin, 2% pork belly (raw, uncured). If I can't get pork belly I use hickory or maple-smoked slab bacon (thick cut, meaning ~1/2" sections, one slice typically).


Didn't want to fill the page quoting you back, but wow.  You really get into it. 

Do you prefer an electric or hand-crank grinder?  I have a couple of old hand-crank ones.  I have never ground my own meat for a burger, but you've inspired me.  I will before this summer is out.  Preferably before this month is out!  ;) 
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Offline johnf

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #31 on: May 05, 2011, 10:19:41 AM »
OK, so... suggestions for eating out.  Who's got the best burger in your area?

Around Seattle?

-Red Mill Burger
-Blue Moon Burgers
-Dick's

Any others I forgot/I don't know about? 

In PDX I liked both Higgins and Concordia. Higgins serves the burger in the bar (and they don't call it a burger, the description is obvious enough but I went there a few times without noticing that there was a burger on the menu). Both happen to have a lot of good beer, so hashtag winning and all that.

KC has a lot of "burger and beer" type places now, I don't know if this is a national trend. I don't like any of them as well as the two above but they are fine. Blanc is the best.

Five Guys to me is just a fast food burger. It might be a good fast food burger but it is still dry and brown in the middle. No better than In-and-Out and more expensive. People rave about it, maybe the one by my office is just crap.

Offline johnf

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #32 on: May 05, 2011, 10:24:04 AM »
Burger Lab did a piece where they tried to come up with the best mixture for grinding your own, I remember it also had oxtail in it.  They said if just go with one cut (best compromise), use chuck.  That sous vide part is pretty hardcore...the things we'll do for that 'perfect' burger!

Never tried oxtail, I have tried a lot of different things and the fat ratio is way more important than what cuts you use, IMO.

I'm pretty much a Ruhlman disciple so rather than describing in phillamb168 detail what I do, I will link to the source.

http://ruhlman.com/2009/08/hamburger-technique.html

The key technique from Ruhlman's post, IMO, is grinding twice with the large die. The burgers hold together well and the texture is great.  

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2011, 12:48:04 PM »
If your burgers look like ovals in cross-section, then make a little depression in the center of the patties.  When it cooks, it will tend to flatten out.

Don't every press down hard on the burger with a spatula, unless you like dry burgers.

Resting them a few minutes before serving helps as well.  Tent with foil.

I like blue cheese (and bacon as well), but they can also stomp on the flavor of the meat if you use too much.  I know, I just implied there's such as thing as too much bacon...

I assumed you were suggesting too much blue cheese.  You can never have too much bacon.  I had the Blue Cheese Burger at Rock Bottom one day and learned that you can have too much blue cheese.  IHMO a 3/4" thick burger with a 1/2" full slice of blue cheese was a little over powering.  8^)

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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2011, 01:00:49 PM »
Five Guys to me is just a fast food burger. It might be a good fast food burger but it is still dry and brown in the middle. No better than In-and-Out and more expensive. People rave about it, maybe the one by my office is just crap.

It's better than the generic fast food places, but not a lot. I can't stand their fries. Greasy and limp, but they try to make up for that by giving you five pounds of them. Decent tasting burger but agreed that it's too dry.  Nice char, ok to eat as long as you don't put 27 ingredients on top of it.

Looking forward to having an In-and-out double double in San Diego.  It's been years.  If you think of it as a fast food burger, then it's good.  If you think of it as gourmet, then you're disappointed. 

I'll be up in Seattle at the end of the year; I'll save that list of places.  Or I'll just have Tom make me one.   ;)

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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2011, 01:03:29 PM »
As for the best burger in this area?  BeeBop's has been voted Best Burger in Des Moines for many years and agree.  

They only have a drive through lane and one walk up window with outdoor seating all year round.  The burger is a wide, thin patty.  Chain broiled and set on a soft bun with lettuce, tomato, onion, catsup and mayo dressing mixture that's to die for.  It's messy as all get out and you can't eat it while driving.

The perfect food on the way to my daughter's softball games.

Paul
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Offline blatz

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2011, 01:18:50 PM »
hey what size (pre cook) do you guys make your patties?  I've been doing 1/3, but its hard to keep from over cooking at that size - 1/2 lb maybe?
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Offline gordonstrong

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2011, 01:28:34 PM »
Size?  Something that fits on the buns you are going to use.  I don't weigh them.  Just do it by hand until it looks right.  But I'm not making them for sale, so it doesn't matter much to me.  My daughter complains if they're too thick, so I make hers thinner.

I'd guess 6 oz, maybe.  Half pound seems like a big burger.  I guess I'd rather have two smaller burgers than one bronto burger.

Overcooking using what method?  I think it's hard to overcook in a cast-iron pan.  On a grill you might have to have two heat zones, depending on your flames. 
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Offline blatz

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2011, 01:38:13 PM »

Overcooking using what method? 

I've been overcooking lately on both methods (grill and skillet)

For cast iron, do you use high or medium flame? I've been using high, but I seem to wait too long for that perfect crust and wind up overdoing it - closer to well done than medium which is what I'm targeting.

For grilling, I've been trying to hit it with a high flame for ~1 min to get a nice char and then move to the low flame side to finish cooking, but again I seem to wait too long.

This thread has prompted me to make burgers tomorrow night - I might make one using each method.

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Offline Beer Monger

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #39 on: May 05, 2011, 02:19:25 PM »
I have an early 1900's hand-crank grinder that's in excellent condition.  I think I'm going meat shopping on my way home this Saturday and until then I'll be chilling the grinder & the grind attachements in the freezer.  :)  

I have a 12:30 - 2:00 appointment on Saturday and I'm brewing Saturday afternoon, so I guess that makes Sunday burger day!  
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 02:21:05 PM by Beer Monger »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2011, 02:37:39 PM »
I'll be up in Seattle at the end of the year; I'll save that list of places.  Or I'll just have Tom make me one.   ;)
I'll do my best, but I'll have to practice.  I just can't take the texture of ground beef if it's undercooked. :-\  A good steak - lightly charred on the outside, somewhere between vary rare and medium rare on the inside.  As soon as you grind up that good steak - medium well.  I want to like a bleeding burger, I just can't do it.
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Offline johnf

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2011, 02:52:14 PM »
I'll be up in Seattle at the end of the year; I'll save that list of places.  Or I'll just have Tom make me one.   ;)
I'll do my best, but I'll have to practice.  I just can't take the texture of ground beef if it's undercooked. :-\  A good steak - lightly charred on the outside, somewhere between vary rare and medium rare on the inside.  As soon as you grind up that good steak - medium well.  I want to like a bleeding burger, I just can't do it.

So no tartar/mett for you then? I love that stuff, especially mett. Hackepter and Wöllnitzer Weißbier at Gasthausbrauerei Talschänke in Jena is one of the more memorable meals I've had.

I do 5 ounces patties maybe? Smaller than a restaurant bun so similar thickness to a bigger restaurant burger. Medium rarish.I do like my raw minced beef but it needs a bit of a cooked texture to stand up to the bun and the other stuff on it.


Offline tschmidlin

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2011, 03:09:04 PM »
So no tartar/mett for you then? I love that stuff, especially mett. Hackepter and Wöllnitzer Weißbier at Gasthausbrauerei Talschänke in Jena is one of the more memorable meals I've had.
I can do tartare if it is the sliced kind but not the minced kind.  I've never heard of mett, but based on descriptions I just read I'm going to say no thanks :)
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2011, 11:22:23 PM »
First rule for me is good meat. But for the love of pete don't buy wagyu or kobe or prime rib or filet mignon or some such crazy thing and GRIND IT.

My blend is: 50% well-marbled chuck, 23% oxtail, 25% sirloin, 2% pork belly (raw, uncured). If I can't get pork belly I use hickory or maple-smoked slab bacon (thick cut, meaning ~1/2" sections, one slice typically).


Didn't want to fill the page quoting you back, but wow.  You really get into it. 

Do you prefer an electric or hand-crank grinder?  I have a couple of old hand-crank ones.  I have never ground my own meat for a burger, but you've inspired me.  I will before this summer is out.  Preferably before this month is out!  ;) 

I am totally OCD when it comes to cooking, and especially burgers. I could probably stage at El Bulli or something, although I take FOREVER to get things done...

I use a hand-cranked one. It takes more time, but there's no motor to wear out, unless my arm breaks or something. Garage sales or craigslist are the way to go. Mine was new, but it's the same cast iron model as the ones in thousands of grandmothers' kitchens.

Also a worthy electricity-free investment: manual sausage stuffer. It takes more work, but it's nice to know you can still make sausage when the world ends.
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Offline phillamb168

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Re: May is National Hamburger Month
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2011, 11:44:44 PM »
So no tartar/mett for you then? I love that stuff, especially mett. Hackepter and Wöllnitzer Weißbier at Gasthausbrauerei Talschänke in Jena is one of the more memorable meals I've had.
I can do tartare if it is the sliced kind but not the minced kind.  I've never heard of mett, but based on descriptions I just read I'm going to say no thanks :)

sliced raw beef = carpaccio ;-)

As long as we're talking tartare, I think my favorite tartare is TUNA tartare. Deeeelicious. Next to that, there's a place near the Hôtel de Ville which does amazing tartare, quail egg on top, capers, onion, parsley on the side. Fries on a separate plate. Nom nom.
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