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Jan 6, 2011 08:13 AM

how do you make your burgers?

what's your signature burger and how do you make it juicy beside using 80/20 mix. I love beef burgers but also interested in your tried and true ways to make turkey, chicken or veggies burgers flavorful and juicy. Thanks. I don't really have a signature burger but I always like a slice of raw onion on my burgers. :)

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  1. Yes, 80/20 to start, salt pepper and Worcestershire.
    I form the burger, not to big not too small, and then press down with my thumb in the middle.
    Then dip it in cold water right before you cook it.

    I dont like a lot of cooked toppings like grilled onions, bacon or mushrooms on my burgers (except as noted below).

    A slice of cheddar, red leaf or bibb lettuce, some diced red onion, pickles, ketchup and a nice country style mustard. Sometimes, I will skip the ketchup/mustard/pickle and make a thousand island/remoulade dressing. If I am make a bleu cheese burger, I skip all the condiments and the onion. I like to make a BBQ burger by basting with BBQ sauce and using pepper jack cheese-served with no condiments/onion other than a little extra sauce.

    I dont eat raw tomato, but you could add a thin slice as well.

    As for the roll, I prefer a soft potato roll, lightly toasted. But sometimes I will go with a kaiser style as they stand up a bit better to larger, thicker burgers.

    1. Very lean burgers really benefit from very finely chopped raw mushrooms mixed in -- as the burger cooks they'll release their moisture and keep the patties deliciously moist and tasty.
      Saw this tip posted here a few months ago in reference to chicken burgers, tried it and was blown away. Best chicken burgers ever.

      As far as beef goes, chuck, though I'd love to try throwing some shank meat in sometime. I had some bison shortribs once and made burgers out of the trim -- they were really tasty, but the meat didn't hold together as well as burgers from another cut -- I believe it's the different texture of the muscle fibres (long, thick strands) that made the difference.

      1. I start by grinding my beef... mix of cuts for a good fat and flavor profile. For the actual patty, I make two sizes, 4oz for me, 6 oz for him [yup we are just getting older], season with kosher salt on the surfaces, and let rest at room temperature on a paper towel. Grill over a medium charcoal fire to a perfect medium rare, serve on homemade sesame buns. Serve with ketchup, dill pickles, and he has a slice of aged cheddar cheese.

        Very simple, and all about the beef.

        1 Reply
        1. re: smtucker

          Oh, girl, you make your own buns? Would you share your recipe?

          I think a 6oz burger is a dang big burger. That's what we make and I wouldn't want it any bigger.

          But, my dear, ixnay on ketchup :( Bob's educated me. It's mayo and horseradish. Usually grill onions and a slice of sharp Cheddar.

        2. For beef burgers, I spent most of the summer playing around with beef cuts and fats. To be honest, making super exotic grinds with chuck/brisket/short rib/ribeye fat, etc. really didn't do a tremendous amount to the flavor. Was it better? Sure. Was it so much better that I will do it on a regular basis? Probably not, unless I can find a cheap source for brisket and boneless short ribs.

          For turkey burgers, I usually add shredded cheese, scallions, and various other things. More importantly, cook them at a lower heat. There isn't much wiggle room between done and dry as a hockey puck, so I try to get properly cooked over nicely charred.

          Lamb burgers, I haven't tried anything aside from ground shoulder and I don't add anything to the grind. Advice on that front would be appreciated.

          Geez, this thread is making me wish my grill wasn't covered in snow right now.

          3 Replies
          1. re: BigE

            Lamburgers! - I love 'em. I add nothing to the grind which should be more red than pink, but I pat in a generous dusting of garlic powder and ground rosemary to the formed burger, plus coarse black pepper, and grill over charcoal with mesquite chips. I add havarti cheese shortly after the flip and cover the Weber until done, serve on a nest of Boston lettuce on a good bun, with mint sauce. Lamburgers cook slightly more slowly than beef burgers, and they plump up a lot more, so one works these variables into the equation.

            1. re: Veggo

              I like my lamb burgers with a thin slice of feta cheese.

              1. re: Veggo

                That sounds great! I haven't ground lamb yet but keep meaning to. No mint sauce for me, probably some mustard.

            2. Equal parts sirloin, brisket and trimmed oxtail.

              Grind your own meat.

              Loosely hand-form your own patties. Never squeeze the meat into a hocky puck. Bad bad bad move.

              Season with salt and pepper right before cooking (and not a moment before)

              Sear, then cook to a medium rare

              Serve on brioche bun.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit

                you had me till brioche. sub out a potato roll and i'm game! I do no condiments or greenery. Just bun, burger and melted cheese (cheddar or american).

                1. re: ESNY

                  Yup, same here.

                  I'm easy on the bread. If it's potato roll you want, then it's potato roll you shall have!

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    The only problem with potato rolls is that they match well with a thinner burger. If you are making a thick burger, or a burger with a higher fat content (i.e. juicy) they sometimes fall apart. You need a stronger bread to hold a 1/2 lb patty plus condiments.