Making diner-style thin burger patties
Man, this is something I never thought I'd be asking! Anyhow, yesterday I stumbled across a link a fellow CH'er provided called "McMenu: DIY McDonald's Restaurant Recipes" and quite against my nature, I became very intrigued. I don't like Mcd's and haven't been there, or to any FF place, in literally so long I can't remember. Like decades. But, for some reason, I feel a peculiar compulsion to try making some of this stuff. The first thing that I consider a real obstacle thought is, how do I get a thin, uniformly round burger patty? My burgers are always nice, fat, juicy. I've never had occasion to even want a thin frozen patty like you get at McD's. Any secret to it?
What instructions does the recipe give, and is it supposed to be a "copycat," or just technically representational? If it's the former, I'd head straight to Costco and purchase 1/4 lb. frozen patties with those funky little perforations. That's the ONLY way you'll get the Mickey's actual flava, or even come close to approximating it. If it's just ingredient driven, I'd buy 80/20 ground beef and use only 2 1/2 oz. to shape thin patties between waxed papar. I said the 1/4 lb. patties because I don't think you'll find anything smaller frozen, but the 2+ oz. weight is closer to the real deal except of course the quarter-pounder.
My dad used to work for a franchisor in the fast food business. The patties are generally formed at the meat processor using a press. I think that in the US most major chain "burger joints" use 8-to-the-pound patties for their regular burgers at a four inch diameter, but they may be larger around. You can order those patties from a meat supplier and specify the fat content (85/15 like at a grocery store or something else). I sometimes see them at Costco or the grocery. You can also press your own.
To press patties, get a press. Really. I have a Tupperware one. It is a plastic ring with a disc that fits inside it. The disk has a handle. Weigh the meat, put it in the ring, inser the disc and press hard to make a uniform patty. It may take a few tries to get it the way you want.
Some restaurants use 10/# burgers. "Quarter pound" patties are, of course, 4/#.
Wendy's got famous using square patties and round buns. The idea is to have meat hanging out of the bun making you believe you have more meat.
Great info - thanks! A patty press - I'll look into that. the 1/4" frozen patties are the first thing I thought of but too big for any but the Quarter Pounder, I think.
Mamachef - I think it's more technical, if I understand your question. It's a really cool read, surprisingly. For Example:
1 Pound ground chuck (80% lean)
10 Small hamburger buns
10 Hamburger dill slices
10 teaspoons dried, chopped onion
McDonald’s Hamburger Seasoning
Mustard, Ketchup… and… waxed paper
The Hamburger Seasoning
4 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Accent® (MSG)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Mix all ingredients well in a spice shaker with big enough holes to allow pepper to flow. Makes about 3
ounces. Use on ALL McDonald's hamburgers. (unless you're allergic to MSG, then just use salt and pepper)
The Beef Patties
Divide 1 lb of beef into 10 equal sized balls. Form a patty out of each ball about 4 inches in diameter and 1/4
inch thick. Do this on waxed paper.
Now freeze the patties for at least an hour. (this keeps them from falling apart when you grill them)
Obviously you'll do this in advance of "burger time". It is pretty tough to make patties this small, so if you come
up with 9 patties, I'll forgive you.
Put the dried onions in a container, oh.. like Tupperware… and add water. Water should be a few inches over
the top of the onions. (better to have too much water than not enough) Cover, and refrigerate about 1/2 hour.
Drain the liquid, and BAM… you have McDonald's little baby onions.
Cover again and refrigerate until 'burger time'.
McDonald’s pickle slices are unique in flavor, very sour dills. The only product I know of that comes close to
the distinctive flavor is HEINZ Genuine Dills. (original sour dill) But they don't come in slices, so slice your own
VERY thin. I can't do it very well with a knife, so I use a K-Tel "dial-a-slice" home vegetable slicer. ALSO…
Vlasic "original" dills have that tart flavor. Make sure they're not "kosher" dills. Wal-Mart® carries Vlasic
ORIGINAL dills, and you have to slice those too. (note, these pickles are pretty small, so slice at an angle…
you'll get bigger dill chips) USE THESE PICKLES ON ALL McDonald’s HAMBURGERS!