make a perfect hamburger
continued from page 2
play with your food
Burger-making technique is one
instance where putting in less effort is actually a good thing -- you
actually need to use a light touch to avoid squashing the meat too much.
Basically, you want to mix the ingredients until just well-combined to
avoid a heavy, dense burger. And when it comes to shaping the patties,
do it gently. There’s really no need to squeeze and mold and squash
the meat until you get a perfectly round disk of meat – as long as the
patty holds together, it’s good.
Now, patties should be thick. Really thick. And bear in mind that
these babies will shrink quite a lot once they’re cooked, so you
should make your patties a bit larger than the size of your buns.
saving them for later
Burgers are great to serve up for
a crowd because most of the work of making them can be done well in
advance. After you’ve made your patties, stack them individually
between sheets of wax paper, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate
for a day or so. Alternatively, toss them in the freezer and have good,
gourmet burgers ready for an instant meal at any time -- just spread
them out on a baking sheet and freeze till solid, then transfer to a
freezer-friendly ziplock baggie.
grilling it up
Preheat your grill until it’s
quite hot (you should barely be able to hold your hand 4 inches above
the rack). Gently slide the patties onto the grill and cook for 3-4
minutes or so on each side. Don’t try to move the patties for the
first couple of minutes of cooking – they’ll have a tendency to
stick to the rack until they’ve firmed up a bit. Cook for another
minute or two on each side, until the burgers are done to your liking
(no more than 10 minutes). If you’re planning to make cheeseburgers,
place the cheese on the patty in the final minute or so of cooking.
Serve them up on good quality buns (sesame seed rolls, poppy seed
rolls, kaiser rolls all work well -- good bread really does make a
difference), along with an assortment of lettuce, tomatoes, pickles,
ketchup, and whatever other condiments and fixings suit your fancy.
Breathe in that good grill smell as you bring that burger masterpiece to
your lips: take a big bite, and enjoy.
Sun is the
editor of DigsMagazine.com.
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