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Jun 8, 2008 05:36 PM

So what makes the purrfect burger for you?

One that just gets you purring with delight? This is a homemade burger only, not one from a restaurant.

I just had a "perfect burger". Perhaps it was the weather (hot and sticky but I'm inside in the cool A/C). Perhaps it was the "right time" for a burger. I don't know. But as I ate it, I was thinking "this has got to be one of the best burgers I've ever made for myself."

It was more simple than loaded with a lot of stuff it didn't need, IMO. An 80/20 mix of ground beef, which is my usual ground beef mixture. It was probably about a third of a pound - probably more than I needed, but it's the size I made.

I let it soak in about 2 Tbsp. of Kikkoman's teriyaki sauce, and sprinkled it with granulated dried garlic. Since I am sans grill, which is where I'd usually grill a burger, I used a ridged nonstick Calphalon pan on the stovetop.

I heated the pan for several minutes on medium to medium-high heat on the stove, and then slid the beef patty onto the grill pan. I covered it with a 3-quart pot lid and let it cook for 3 minutes, then flipped it for another 2 minutes or so, adding some thinly sliced sharp cheddar cheese (I also often use mozzarella cheese) to melt "just right". Slid the burger onto the bottom half of the bun. Usually I top the melted cheese with several slices of crispy-chewy applewood-smoked bacon which gives me the salty flavor I like (without adding salt), but tonight I chose to go just cheeseburger and not bacon-cheeseburger. Either way - a bacon-cheeseburger or just cheeseburger, it's the way I like it. No onions, no nothing else. Just a simple burger with one or two toppings.

The "bun" was a toasted "burger-sized" English muffin - my bun of choice. Spread with a slight schmear of good butter after toasting, just the way I'd eat a normal English muffin. Then a healthy squirt of Muir Glen's organic tomato ketchup on the bottom half ONLY, upon which the burger went.

If I'm not using bacon, I usually top the cheese with several large ridged potato chips before putting the top bun on the entire concoction, but since I had some homemade roasted potato salad alongside (along with some carrot-raisin salad) I didn't go that route tonight.

The Burger was perfect medium-rare with the lovely, fatty juices oozing out as I bit into the first bite. It was also crispy with the English muffin, tangy with the cheddar cheese, and just so DAMN GOOD!

So - what's your purrfect burger?

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    1. Didja come up with the english muffin on your own, or did you have it at the Blue Onion in Lowell a few years back? (That cook's long gone but it used to be my favorite restaurant burger.)

      I start by grinding my own chuck - a nice fatty piece, like a 7-bone or a blade. I mix this with the 80% from Costco, about 50/50 so the final product is probably closer to 70% lean. But grinding your own also creates a somewhat different texture.

      Like you, I mix in soy sauce and some dry spices, then patty up with as little handling as I can. This time of year, the weber with real wood charcoal is mandatory.

      I cook everyone's to different specs - some with cheddar, some rare, etc... I usually don't like cheese and like it medium rare. LTP,a little mayo and a touch of yellow mustard.

      If the juices do not run down my beard, it wasn't a real burger. (Somehow, I doubt you share this particular criteria...)

      3 Replies
      1. re: applehome

        My perfect burger drips with juice and has a very distinct flame-broiled flavor that negates any need for condiments other than cheese. I also prefer a burger that you can take a bite of rather than some over sized pounder...

        1. re: Sean

          I guess I don't care about the meat, as long as it's not a companion animal.

          My favorite burger has blue cheese inside and cheddar on top, a slice as thick as is humanly possible. A good bun is important, tomato and lettuce are nice, and the condiments are key -- mayo, mustard and ketchup, as much as I want, with no one giving me the stink eye.

          Oh yes, and the burger has to be 30 seconds past raw.

          Ah, the purrrfect burger. That and a good hot dog and some alcohol are what summer is all about.

        2. re: applehome

          I've been doing the English muffin as a bun for years. I think I might have had it at a restaurant a LONG time ago in NJ, where I grew up, and after that, I went with it if Mom had them in the house. And no - I don't have to worry about juices running into my beard. ;-)

        3. Depends on my mood, but here is my favorite. Weather permitting, I do my cooking outdoors on a propane burner. I like a 1/2 lb. ground sirloin burger, blackened in butter and Pruhomme's redfish seasoning in an iron skillet to a juicy medium rare. Put it on a toasted onion roll with a slice of Vidalia onion, ketchup and red pepper sweet-hot relish.

          1. Although I LOVE a great beef burger, I think Bison may be my ground meat of choice these days. It is sooooooooo moist and yummy!

            This is what makes up my perfect burger:
            Bison patty- MUST be no more done than medium rare, lots of S&P crusted on the outside
            bun- toasted, maybe even a little butter spread
            toppings- sharp cheddar cheese melted to perfection, cold tomato slices and grilled onions
            condiments- in leiu of the traditional ketchup and mustard, I prefer some homemade guac that has a little heat

            mmmmmmmmm..... delightful

            1. Pretty simple for me. Fresh onion roll, halved, good quality lean ground beef cooked to medium rare, topped with a processed cheddar slice when the burger is flipped, 2 or 3 sautéed halved jalapenos on top of the cheese and meat, et viola!

              Or ...

              Same bun, meat and cheese as above but topped with tasty tomato slices, sliced Vidalia onion and sliced garlic dill pickle.