5 Steps to Burger Brilliance: Excerpt from Weber's Big Book of Burgers by J Purviance

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
5 STEPS TO BURGER BRILLIANCE

1. MEAT MATTERS
Prepackaged “hamburger” often means you get ground scraps of questionable quality. Once that meat has been compressed in a tray, it will never have the loose, tender texture of a great burger. You are much better off with “ground beef” (by law, it can’t include fat scraps), or, if perfection is your goal, buy freshly ground beef from a butcher you trust.





2. THOROUGH SEASONING
Burgers taste significantly better with seasonings dispersed throughout the meat, not just on the surface. Use salt and pepper at a minimum. Wet ingredients like minced onion, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce improve not only the taste but also the juiciness. Mix in the seasonings as gently possible with your fingertips so you don’t compress the texture too much.





3. PORTION CONTROL
Inside the bowl, divide the meat into equal portions so that you don’t end up with mismatched sizes. Form each portion into a loose, round ball, then gently flatten it until it’s ¾ to 1 inch thick. This is your ideal thickness for giving the surface a nicely charred crust just as the center is reaching a juicy medium doneness.





4. DIMPLING
Most burgers tend to puff up in the middle as they cook, making the tops rounded and awkward for piling on toppings. To avoid this trouble, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to press a shallow indentation in the center of each raw patty. As each patty cooks, that well will fill in and flatten out, giving you a nice level surface instead of a big fat meatball.





5. HANDLING THE HEAT
The grill has to be hot (400° to 500°F) and clean. You have to be cool and patient. Close the lid as soon as the patties hit the grate. Give them 8 to 10 minutes total to reach a medium doneness, turning them only once—any more and you run the risk of ripping the surface before it has turned into a tasty crust. Oh, and don’t ever smash burgers with a spatula! The juices will run out quickly and cause a flare-up.



©2014 Weber-Stephen Products LLC. Recipe from Weber’s Big Book of Burgers™ by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.



http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0376020326/tvwb-20
 

~Mark~

TVWBB Pro
I ordered it from Amazon and not only is it a great cookbook, it's a good read.
Anyhow I couldn't wait to get out there and make me some burgers.

Simple burgers on the Smokey Joe.
Now I'm going to do a different burger recipe from the book until I do them all.
 

Eric A

TVWBB Super Fan
Burgers are awesome, quick and tasty. A great platform for all kinds of tastes and tweaks. Good luck on your burger journey Mark
 

Jan Smith

TVWBB Member
The grill has to be hot (400° to 500°F) and clean.

My question is where is the temp measured? Grill surface, top of hood, ???? Probably being a bit geeky here, but, hey, I'm an engineer.
 

Joan

TVWBB Pro
Hi Chris, have had this book for 3 months now, don't know where to start. Any recommendations?
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Joan, I've used some of the techniques shown in this book, like dimpling, but I've not followed any of the recipes. Perhaps other members can provide some recommendations.
 

Joan

TVWBB Pro
Joan, I've used some of the techniques shown in this book, like dimpling, but I've not followed any of the recipes. Perhaps other members can provide some recommendations.
Chris, thanks for replying. Hope I hear from some of the other members. There are just so many good recipes.
 

Anne M.

TVWBB Super Fan
Joan, just start at the first good sounding recipe and work your way through them all ;)

Just on Chris's first point:
My mum always ordered meat to go through the grinder once (coarse ground) and she would point at the beef she wanted
This way she made sure she got good quality meat. It was ground in front of her. It was a bit more expensive though
 

Joan

TVWBB Pro
Joan, just start at the first good sounding recipe and work your way through them all ;)

Just on Chris's first point:
My mum always ordered meat to go through the grinder once (coarse ground) and she would point at the beef she wanted
This way she made sure she got good quality meat. It was ground in front of her. It was a bit more expensive though
Hi Anne, thanks.

Last week DH ground up a pork tenderloin and on my suggestion added some bacon to grind with the pork. Then he made burgers on the grill. Sorry to say, I couldn't taste the bacon. Oh well, better luck next time. lol
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Anne, thanks.

Last week DH ground up a pork tenderloin and on my suggestion added some bacon to grind with the pork. Then he made burgers on the grill. Sorry to say, I couldn't taste the bacon. Oh well, better luck next time. lol
Yes, I've had bacon burgers using a combo of ground beef and ground bacon and I'm sorry, I enjoy bacon more when it's fried in a skillet than lost in a burger. :(
 

Joan

TVWBB Pro
Thanks guys, your both right. Next time will use bacon with a little beef thrown in. lol
 
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Len Dennis

TVWBB Diamond Member
Like Chris says, bacon is lost. I'll mix a lb of bacon in with my 4 lb of sausage for the extra fat to get up to 5 lb. NO idea that smoked bacon is in there. Yes, it's got the fat but the "bacon" is lost.
 
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Joan

TVWBB Pro
Chris, this is a great informative thread. How about giving it a "sticky"? Hate to see it get lost in the crowd. lol
 

Lynn Dollar

TVWBB All-Star
My burger game went up a notch, when I started going to a butcher and getting ground chuck and ground sirloin, mixing 3 part chuck to one part sirloin.

That makes a great burger, the fatty chuck mixing with the lean sirloin, works well.
 

Joan

TVWBB Pro
My burger game went up a notch, when I started going to a butcher and getting ground chuck and ground sirloin, mixing 3 part chuck to one part sirloin.

That makes a great burger, the fatty chuck mixing with the lean sirloin, works well.
Good idea Lynn, at least until the doctor says otherwise. lol I'm so sick of all these recipes saying to use lean beef, and please, please, please farmers, start fattening up your pigs again. Pork is sooo tasteless now, at least to me. Wow, thanks for letting me vent here.
 

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