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Best Burgers - Grilled or Griddled? [moved from Manhattan board]

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AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 03:09 PM

I know there is constantly discussions on who has the best burgers. As I continually search for my favorite burger, it struck me that the 2 most important things in a burger is the quality/type of meat and how it is cooked. I love both shake shack (griddle cooked) and burger joint (grilled), but as a result of their different cooking methods, they are very different burgers. I also realized most of my favorite places use a griddle (PJ Clarks, JG Melon). As a kid, we had a barbecue and my childhood memories of good burgers are thus grilled and I can remember that smoky taste you would get with every bite. But now that I live in an apartment, I find myself using a very hot pan to cook my burgers and I am really digging the crispiness I get on the outsidee. So chowhounds, what do you think - is a burger better on the grill or on the griddle?

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    dude RE: AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 06:27 PM

    grill, and if you've got cast-iron grates and a really hot fire you can get your crust too.

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      Bostonbob3 RE: AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 06:43 PM

      Overall, grilled. But griddled can also be quite good as long as the line cook doesn't insist on pressing the burgers to death.

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        Kelli2006 RE: AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 07:09 PM

        Grilled over a insanely hot charcoal fire imparts the best taste. I start with a 80% chuck burger that is approx 3/4 of a inch thick and 5" in dia. The meat is best brought to room temp before, and them grilled for 1 minute per side. It should result in a medium cooked burger with a nice crust.

        A cast iron grill pan is the best bet in the winter, or when you aren't willing to mess with a grill.

        1. jfood RE: AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 07:14 PM

          Grilled for sure. I make my patties thick (at least 1") and place a dimple in the middle of both side. That way when the poof while cooking the revert back to a more round shape.

          Whether grilled or griddled, for jimminee sakes, leave them alone. Why the heck do people insist on pressing them. Do they like dried out meat? Think, spongue.

          Likewise I start with 80% meat. Hey, we're talking burger here, nor grilled chicken. Some good cheese, tomato, lettuce, with hellman's mayo on the side with the tom/let and heinz ketchup on the other. :-)))))

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            ESNY RE: AndyNYC Jan 5, 2007 07:22 PM

            Since I moved into an apartment in NYC years ago and had to forgo a grill, I've become a huge convert to the griddled burger. You get such a nice crusty burger. Long live the super hot cast iron skillet.

            1. Will Owen RE: AndyNYC Jan 6, 2007 04:19 AM

              Very much disagree with the "char-grilled is best" faction. To me, the most important part of a good burger's flavor is the cooking of those juices between the meat's surface and the hot greased griddle. Over a flame they just fall through; on a flat pan they're trapped, and they scorch and fry and encrust the meat.

              I have grilled my share of burgers, and a few - very few - of my favorites have been flame-grilled (Kirk's in Palo Alto - glory!), but I still reach for the pan when I want a special one, or go to a place that makes them like that.

              A ribbed grill pan, I must say, does an awfully decent job, and is probably a good compromise: enough interaction between pan, meat and juices, while avoiding the bathed-in-fat effect (which some people seem to regard as a bad thing).

              1. toodie jane RE: AndyNYC Jan 8, 2007 03:02 PM

                I'll go with griddled, too.

                Grilled ground beef can sometimes get a bitter aftertaste or low note, while the griddled ground beef seems to get salty/sweet. At home I use a flat-bottomed cast rion skillet.

                Best griddled burger I've ever had (and possibly the best overall) was a year or so ago at Al's in Locke on the Sacramento river. Crusty and dee-vine. Rich beef aroma and flavor. (I-5 travelers take the Twin Cities exit west to the river. Follow signs to Locke. One block down from the river road.)

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