Simple food today, Hamburgers for Man Food Monday. This is not a cop out post, I have been looking around the internet and gathering information for a post I want to do a little later in the year. It’s going to be about different cuts of meat and the different methods to cook them. I ran across a few posts about hamburgers and was intrigued with the different ideas about the plain ole hamburger. I decided to do a little comparison experiment and this post is the result. For the most part this is not a recipe, though I will write out what I did and the ingredients used. It’s more about which seems better.
To start, I learned how to make hamburgers from Mom. Given Mom was from Germany, these were not the just form into a patty and cook hamburgers. They were…creative at best. Michelle is somewhat like Mom in this respect, she can’t leave normal recipes alone she is compelled to modify them :). So one of the things I have been working on recently is how to add flavor while not over whelming the natural flavor of the meat I cook. This leads to learning what cuts of meat are best to use with which method of cooking to bring out the most natural flavor. Hamburger is the first trial.
I have read a number of blog posts about the “best hamburger” each blogger had tasted. These usually called for custom blended ground meat. I usually head to to local chain grocery store to buy beef, so custom cuts and blends are harder to do. I figure most of us shop that way, so this is the process I used. In my meat department there were 4 types of ground meat available: ground sirloin, ground round, ground chuck plus some ground pork. I bought 1.5 lbs of the ground sirloin and 1.5 lbs of the ground round. At home I mixed the 2 together, my thought is I wanted the flavor of the sirloin and the fat from the round. I added about 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of ground pepper when I mixed the 2 together. In mixing the 2 together, I wanted to handle the meat as little as possible, not squeeze the meat together but kind of toss it so that I would get close to an equal balance of the 2 meats. I had read on a couple of blogs about not over handling the meat, not unlike making biscuits from scratch. I pressed out patties that were 8oz (1/2lb) so that I would get similar cook times and set about grilling them. Three of these patties were hamburger meat with salt and pepper mixed in, and that was all. The other 3 patties were like Mom would make them – 1 egg, one piece of white loaf bread turned to bread crumbs and the salt and pepper. The mixed egg batch was over mixed then pressed into 8oz(1/2lb) patties. All of these were then cooked on the grill at 400° for about 3 minutes per side for medium well.
Hamburgers for Man Food Monday
- 1.5 lbs ground sirloin
- 1.5 lbs ground round
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg
- Bread crumbs
- In a non reactive bowl, mix the ground sirloin and the ground round together. Add in 2 teaspoons salt and 1 tablespoon pepper. Do not over mix. This will be all that is needed if you are making the non egg and bread crumb hamburger.
- If you are making hamburgers with the egg and bread crumbs mix those in.
- Form into 8oz patties and grill at 400° for 3minutes per side.
Don’t get confused with this recipe, it’s only there for you to understand what I did. Now, I will tell you the why I did it. Michelle does not like ground beef or hamburgers, so having her as my taste person was interesting.
So, 3 hamburgers were “mixed” and 3 were not “mixed”.
I have noticed that when I am out at a high end burger joint there is a texture to their hamburgers that I liked. This was that they had a kind of crumbliness that mine did not have at home. What I discovered was this is due to that over mixing I was talking about. When the egg and bread crumbs are added, I needed to make sure they were thoroughly mixed into the ground meat. This lead to these mixed (egg & bread crumbs) hamburgers not having the crumbliness I was missing. The egg and bread acts as a glue to hold the meat together. These also were lighter in color when they came off the grill, they did not have the grill marks that I like to see on grilled meat. This does not mean they did not have good flavor, they were very tasty.
The not mixed hamburgers had the texture I was looking for These tasted more like they were grilled than the mixed burgers and they were darker with more distinct grill marks. To my surprise Michelle liked these best as did I.
My conclusion is, I will work with the not mixed recipe and see if I can up the flavor a bit and most likely save the egg and bread crumbs for that smoked meatloaf I like to make.
Let me know what you think, in the meantime take care and stay safe.
Great post. One thing you mike try is a bit of umami. Umami is basically the fifth taste. Its found naturally in many ingredients such as Parmesan. Many other foods have umami as well. I feel that umami is the biggest flavor enhancer.
Thanks Marlene. We might try Parmesan next time. I have read a good bit about umami, but I have never really consciously tried to incorporate it.