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05/24/2007

The Perfect Burger

Do you really need a recipe to do a good hamburger? No, but to make the perfect burger you need this article by Tony Rosenfeld contributing editor at Fine Cooking - The Washington Post and author of "150 Things to Make With Roast Chicken"

Here is the recipe for the burger but you really need to read the article for all of the other recipes (homemade buns, 30 minute relish, onions, Chipotle Ketchup and Peppercorn Shallot Mustard) and tips. I think you will enjoy it as I did and so the link is below. For those in a rush however, here is the meat of the issue, the recipe for Rosenfeld's Best Burgers

Summary:
Be gentle when forming these burgers into patties, so they maintain a light texture. Tony Rosenfeld prefers thin patties, as they cook quickly and are easier to eat. If you prefer thicker burgers, just add a minute or two to the cooking times.

To add cheese, cook the burgers to a lesser doneness, set a slice on top, transfer to a cooler part of the fire (or reduce the heat to low on a gas grill), cover the grill and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the cheese just melts.

The burgers can be formed, then covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours before they are cooked. Serve them hot on hamburger buns with your preferred toppings.
burgers_on_the_grill.jpg
8 servings

Ingredients:
3 pounds ground beef (chuck), preferably 85 percent lean
Olive oil, for forming the patties
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Directions:
If using a gas grill, preheat to medium. If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or wood briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them evenly under the cooking area for direct heat. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand about 6 inches above the coals for about 4 to 5 seconds.

Divide the beef into 6-ounce portions. Lightly spritz some oil on your hands (this helps mold smooth patties). Form the beef into patties about 1/2-inch thick and 4 1/2 inches wide, gently pressing and spreading the beef while rotating it in your hands. Sprinkle each burger with a total 1/4 teaspoon salt on both sides. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours before grilling (you may need to reshape the burgers a bit after refrigeration).

When ready to grill, clean the grate well with a wire brush. Using an old dish towel, lightly oil the grate. On the gas grill, cook the burgers about 3 minutes, covered, without touching them, until the sides of the burgers start to darken and some juices rise to the top; the burgers should show good grill marks if you peek underneath. Flip the burgers and cook about 3 minutes without touching them, until they start to become firm to the touch.

To check doneness, pull one of the thicker burgers to a cooler side of the grill and make a slit in the center; it should be light pink for medium. Keep cooking, flipping one or two more times, to the desired degree of doneness, allowing a couple more minutes for well-done. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: The Washington Post - food writer Tony Rosenfeld.
Article: The Washington Post - A Perfect Burger, Top to Bottom

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