Hamburger: 5 things you don’t know how to make perfectly

Anyone can make a good burger, whether it’s in the kitchen or on the grill. However, doing it well requires a little planning. Here we present some important steps in the preparation of this food, a symbol of the popular class, American imperialism and globalization.

Before we jump right in, a little history about the hamburger. The cruel Mongols hide a secret: pieces of minced meat under their saddles. Back in the 13th century, these Asian warriors had no time to waste as they tried to steal and conquer Eastern Europe.

Therefore, to feed themselves, they sit on the meat fillets to chop it and heat it with the friction of their horse’s body. When the Mongols invaded Moscow in 1238, the citizens discovered this recipe and called it “steak tartare”, a raw hamburger without bread.

In the mid-19th century, the German port of Hamburg was the gateway to the US for emigrants from all over Europe. There, perhaps influenced by the Russian chef, they started cooking “steak tartare”. And they gave it another local name: “Hamburg steak”.

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The map jumped to the New World and began to be prepared in places on the east coast, especially in New York, which received a continuous stream of European immigrants. land.

The reason for its success is obvious: it reminds them of the Old World. But, who decided to put the meat between the two cakes? We may not know: restaurants on the east coast have been vying for credit for decades.

What is clear is that at the beginning of the 20th century, there was already a place to sell what we know today as a hamburger. Half a century after his introduction, the European legend was on his way to becoming an American icon.

Burger grill fire
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Before you start

Prepare all your ingredients and add in advance. The cooking process moves quickly, and you’ll want to serve your burgers as quickly as possible.

Make sure you have a cooking pot, if you don’t have one. There’s nothing better to cook a hamburger for.

A solid spatula, rather than a slotted one, is ideal for flipping burgers.

The meat

When you say the word hamburger, most people think of beef. The quality of the meat is important, of course, but the most important is the fat. Burgers must contain at least 20 percent meat.

The most common ground beef mixture used for burgers is chuck. Specialty shops sometimes sell burger mixes, adding brisket or short-rib to the mix. You can experiment with the mixture. But the most important factor in the meat burger is the meat-to-fat ratio.

Look for a ratio of 80 percent meat to 20 percent fat. Avoid store-bought beef, which is often mixed with more meat than fat. This will make dry patties. On the contrary, do not have more than 20 percent fat. These result in burgers that are too loose and greasy.

The meat in the supermarket is finally ground, which can lead to a denser, less satisfying patty. Keep the meat in the refrigerator, no problem, until ready to cook.

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matter of style

Big burgers fall into two different categories. There is the traditional grilled burger like we all make at home and take out, a burger that is flattened thin with a grilled face. And there’s the pub or tavern-style burger, which is bigger, fatter, and juicier.

Tavern style:

The best taverns and bars make big, juicy burgers, cooked over a thick char that gives way to tender, medium-rare meat. Like all burgers, it is best cooked in a pot, although it also works well on the grill.

Burgers that follow this pattern have a weight of 6 to 8 ounces; two pounds of beef will make four hamburger patties. Do not make cookies that are larger than that, because they will be difficult to cook.

Using your hands, gently divide the ground beef into 4 batches of about 8 ounces each, then form each cake, about an inch thick and 3 ½ inches in diameter, into the pork. Be careful not to overhandle meat. Do not press on the meat; it must be held together. Use your thumb to create an indentation on the top of each patty, which will help it cook evenly. Don’t forget to season aggressively with salt and pepper.

Add oil or butter to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat. When you are ready to cook, turn the heat to high, put the patties in the pan with a distance between them and let them cook, without moving, for 3 minutes. Turn them over and, if using cheese, place the slices on top of the meat. A medium rare hamburger needs 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the pan and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

traditional style

This is the traditional grilled burger served by fast food restaurants and other coffee shops, which is squashed and crispy around the edges. This style of burger can only be cooked on a flat surface such as a skillet; don’t try it on the grill.

Based on these characteristics, each hamburger weighs about 3 to 4 ounces before cooking. Two pounds of ground beef will make eight patties, enough for four to eight servings.

Leave the ground beef in a pile in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it. Next, gently divide the meat into 8 small mounds, about 4 ounces each, about 2 inches high. Add oil or butter to a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium heat.

When you are ready to transfer the meat to the skillet, raise the heat to high. Place half of the cakes in the pan with enough distance between them. Quickly, with a stiff metal, press down on each patty, flattening to form a thin patty about 4 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. At this time, season with salt and pepper.

Cook without stirring until the meat has achieved a smooth, dark brown, about 90 minutes later. Slide the spatula under the patty, flip it over, add cheese if you’re using it, and cook for another minute.

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Beef burgers

Not all burgers are made from red meat. For a smaller variety, try a burger made from vegetables, chicken, or seafood.

Veggies: The enemy of the veggie burger is the soft dough, which stems from the high moisture content. To prevent that, try roasting watery ingredients (for example, beans, peas, and beets are good) to dehydrate a little and increase their flavor. You need a lot of different ingredients to make a good veggie burger, to develop texture and flavor. Bean and wheat burgers can be tough when cooking, so try mixing them with mashed potatoes. The difference in taste, and control, is amazing.

Chicken: When looking for ground chicken or turkey for burgers, be sure to get the highest fat for the meat, or go to the grocery store or specialty stores. Because chicken meat is leaner than red meat, you need to add fat and moisture, because the meat itself is usually not fat enough to hold the shape of the patty or fry properly. Moisten by adding tomato sauce and a little grated onion to the chicken, or mayonnaise and a little mustard.

Seafood: With a burger made from seafood (tuna, salmon, or shrimp), an important part of the joint, which helps prevent the burger from falling apart. Some recipes are based on breadcrumbs, others on eggs or mayonnaise. No matter what the recipe calls for, remember to keep the balance of wet and dry ingredients. Too much fluid, and you have stress; Too little, and you’ll have a lot of crumbs in the pan.

surface values

Get a cast iron skillet. There’s nothing better to cook a hamburger for. Fat from the meat gathers around the burger as it cooks, crisping the outside and adding more flavor. You can use a cast iron by placing it on top of the grill. It will be perfectly warm over the fire.

Some cooks add salt to the pan to cook the meat directly on the spice. Others use a little oil for the first burgers since these release a lot of oil that will help the patties below.

Of course, it is not necessary to cook burgers in a cast iron skillet. If you like to cook outdoors on the grill, you can build and cook directly on the flame.

Get the fire right and don’t make the burgers loose or too big. Carefully turn them over enough time, both to let them come out and cook the inside. Resist the urge to press on them with a spatula, which only throws the juices and oil into the fire, causing the flames to burn and the burger to lose its value. If you feel like your burger is cooking too quickly, use the cool air on the grill to remove it from the heat, and remember: lowering the grill will help the cheese melt.

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Another important step

Food: You can cook burgers on brioche buns, English muffins, sesame seed burger buns, and even toast. The most important factor in choosing a hamburger bun is the size. The bun to burger ratio should be close. The bun should not exceed the diameter of the hamburger.

Cheese: You can top a burger with almost any cheese, as long as it’s melted well. For homemade-style burgers, apply the cheese as soon as you get back the meat. For tavern-style burgers, do it a little later.

Good burger cheeses include American, Cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, Asiago, Emmentaler, mozzarella, blue cheese, and (if you remove the rind) soft cheeses like Brie and Camembert.

Ingredients: When you remove the burgers from the heat, put them on a bun and assemble them for yourself or serve them separately so that everyone can fix their burger. Put the ripe tomatoes; cool cold lettuce; radishes, pickles or onions pickled and sliced; jalapeños (seeded and sliced, or pickled)

You can serve caramelized onions as a topping for burgers or sauteed mushrooms. For a superior version, fry an egg and slide it over the finished patty.

Ingredients: Always have mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard on hand. Mayonnaise mix or special sauce is also good. Some put one part tomato sauce with two parts mayonnaise for a simple dressing. You can make a spicier version by adding sriracha sauce. If you have time, try making your own aioli; will elevate the burger to a new level.

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