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I need a better home-cooked burger taste!

I want my burger patty to taste like a Hardee's/Carl Jr. patty!

And believe me.. so far straight ground chuck has NOT been the answer!
Anyone else experiment around with different beef cuts for their burger?:
http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

Pure Ground chuck burger is SO unsatisfactory. The taste... bleh!

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  1. I don't know exactly what you should do, but I will say that Carl's Jr Patty gets a lot of its taste because of how they cook it in the charbroiler. How are you cooking your burgers? I think if you did a charcoal grill you could get a similar flavor to Carl's, but not so much on a gas grill or indoors on the stove.

    5 Replies
    1. re: juliejulez

      Thanks for the response. I've tried this and just about any method of cooking or seasoning-- and have ruled out that it must be the cut of beef going in.

      Wendy's has a very similar taste to Carl Jr./Hardees and I don't believe they charbroil it.

      1. re: SmallSteps3000

        Could also do with the fat content of the meat.... they probably use 70% at least.

      2. re: juliejulez

        and that they probably use a lot more salt than most home cooks would consider. Possibly even msg...?

        1. re: splatgirl

          I think you may have a point on the msg for a mcdonald's burger-- but for some reason I can't imagine it being on a Carl Jr one.

          & Salt doesn't seem to do anything except ruin a good patty. All of the best burgers I've had, hardly have any salt on or in the patty.

      3. Something rather interesting that I've read. more than once online.

        Apparently it is believed in smaller circles that the cut of beef in the fast food industry for their hamburgers indeed is of a different kind than the regular old ground chuck purchased in grocery stores.

        I must say that this seems pretty true, as I can tell immediately the difference when i either go over a friend's house or cook on my own and bite into a homemade burger as opposed to say a SteakNShake or InNOut Burger.

        And no- I am not talking about bun, or condiment here.

        1 Reply
        1. re: SmallSteps3000

          pink slime, perhaps? Or more specifically, I doubt it's because it's better quality.

        2. 2 parts ribeye
          2 parts short rib
          1 part flank

          Is the best burger mix Ive tried.

          3 Replies
          1. re: twyst

            Holy crap. this looks good!

            Did you ever have a problem of the meat not staying together? as I understand flank isn't the most fatty cut of meat around.

            1. re: SmallSteps3000

              Add a small amount of really cold water to your meat when you mix it up and it really helps it to emulsify. Also, flank isnt very fatty, but the shortrib and ribeye bring a ton of fat to the party.

          2. BTW I just googled "carls jr hamburger patty ingredients" and this came up: http://www.carlsjr.com/system/pdf_men...

            But unfortunately it just says "100% ground beef" for the patty ingredients.

            Now I want some Carl's Jr though... thanks a lot! :)

            1. The Super Target sells 16oz. packages of 'grass-fed' ground beef from proper beef cattle... $6.49... When I'm shooting for 'good' burgers I'll grab up a pack, form it into two Brontosaurus Burgers, generous salt (outsides only) and a splash of Worcestershire, heat up the 12" cast iron skillet, 5 minutes per side and a 5 minute rest....

              But this is for a pure beefy taste, and medum-rare... I don't go there often, but I think I detected some seasonings added to Hardee's burger patties---like onion powder... I remember thinking they were a little meatloafy...

               
              2 Replies
              1. re: Mild Bill

                Hmmm... this is interesting. I have never had grass-fed ANYTHING before in my life. At least not to my knowledge.

                How different would you say the difference in taste is compared to grain-fed?

                On a sidenote: I wonder if the term "ground beef" includes more than just chuck?

                1. re: SmallSteps3000

                  Big difference. Grass fed may taste "gamey" to those not used to it.

              2. You really ought to find a butcher who is willing to add extra beef fat Also where that fat comes off the animal makes a big difference. Tell him you are prepared to pay basically whatever it takes so you can get really really excellent grounded beef. We get what we pay for.
                I do know a n excellent butcher who will prepare this type of ground beef. He never has any trouble selling it to people who are willing to pay about what they pay for three week hung air dried rib eye.
                It's not for every day but if you are having a special event your guests will never stop talking about the burgers you served.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Puffin3

                  I'm with Puffin3, but even in the supermarket you can get them to give you some beef fat trimmings. In fact they will probably load you down with too much. I have some waiting in the freezer for the next time I grind some chuck/ribeye/flank (my favorite mix.) Oh, and i like to grind it rough. If you wet your hands before you gently shape the patties, everything will hold together nicely.

                2. What is unsatisfactory about it? The two most likely culprits are fat content and seasoning.

                  1. Bear in mind that many food companies rely on a corporation called International Fragrances and Flavors to give a distinctive taste (eg. charbroiled burger) to their products. You may not be able to duplicate it.