Making A Beef Burger That Will Impress

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Mincing your own beef mince is a life changing experience if you have never done it before. The flavour you get from it makes you realise that there is no better way. Just ensure there is a good amount of visible fat in the mix. If you don’t like the fat, well maybe a perfect burger is not for you.

You can blend in your own choice of herbs and spices for the best burger taste in town.

I have a Kenwood with mincer attachment and use a 10mm plate for a course (ground) mince. I work to achieve a 20/80 ration of fat to beef. 30/70 is the ratio when I am making pork burgers.

Brisket and chuck are my two preferred options for beef burgers.

Once you have ground the beef and fat to your desired ratio, in a big bowl add your chosen seasoning and spices (flavours) and mix around with your hands to combine. If you’ve used different cuts make sure they are mixed through. Be gentle when you are combing and don’t over work the blending.

Note: When mincing in the seasoning I only add a small amount of salt at this stage, a quarter of the normal salt added. Salt at normal levels too early will cause the muscle proteins start to dissolve resulting in a dense, sausage like patty. I season with salt about 10 minutes before cooking.

Form the mince in to balls and weigh them adding or removing to get tour desired weight. I usually make 200g patty’s. I don’t go below 125g in size. Press down the balls with your hand to form the patty. Again, don’t overwork the meat or it will be too dense.

Cooking

For that perfect flavour in the patty I direct grill over charcoal. You can smoke them, reverse sear them, sear on a flat plate – but as this is about the perfect burger patty I love the flavour of the charcoal.

Cooking the patty’s in this way for me maximises that crunchy exterior formed by the maillard reaction while still extracting the extra flavours that come with charcoal and wood-fire based cooking.

Take your patties out of the fridge and season with salt and pepper.  I put the lightest smear of oil on the patties just to help the seasoning stick. Be liberal with your seasoning, especially the pepper, as this is what will form that delicious crust.  

Put your patties on the grill, flipping once a good crust has formed.  Make sure you have a solid scraper/spatula as you need to be confident when sliding it under the patty or else you’ll leave half of it on the grill.

Cook to your desired doneness. I like to cook to a “just becoming medium” around the 135-140f (57-60c).

If you opted for a thick patty, 200g or more you may find you need to pop the lid on your Que for a touch to help the patty cook through a little faster.

Apply cheese once you’re a couple of degrees off your desired doneness and pop the lid back on to melt and then rest a couple of minutes and build your creations and serve. More about this in another post.