NashvilleNinja

Top chefs say you shouldn't grill burgers

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2 hours ago, titanruss said:

I mean.. unless it’s flavored charcoal or wood-chips or something.... what good is putting it on the grill in a pan that never touches the flames? You’re just making it smell like propane. 

1.  If your grille is worth a shit, there's no propane odor or taste.  If it's old and/or dirty, well, that's on you.

 

2.  If you'll re-read my post,  I mentioned "outdoor entertaining ".  No one wants to sit around on the patio while I cook steaks or burgers on the stove.

 

Feel free to do it your way.

 

 

 

 

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On 7/17/2019 at 12:12 PM, Opus74 said:

I've got a Lodge cast iron griddle that was intended to go across two stove burners but works perfectly on the gas grille 

It takes about 20 minutes to get up to 550 - 575 and then cooks steaks or burgers to perfection.  One side is flat and the other ribbed.  Either works for steaks but burgers are a little better on the flat top

Hard to beat for outdoor entertaining. 

I think I'll grab one of those for the next time I grill. The one thing that I always hate about grilling is the clean up, which is why I started putting aluminum foil down. A griddle would be perfect because I wouldn't have to bother with the foil. What kind of oil/butter do you use or do you just use some non-stick grill spray like PAM or whatever?

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On 7/4/2019 at 3:55 PM, chef said:

And how they are shaped and handled, including the pizza dough style softening step before cooking to keep them from balling up as well as to make them more tender, those are parts not addressed nearly enough.

What would you do to make them more tender? Just keep kneading/working the meat out?

 

Like this?

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, NashvilleNinja said:

What would you do to make them more tender? Just keep kneading/working the meat out?

 

Like this?

 

 

 

Oh hell no.  That's a form of kneading. Would make a tough ass burger.

 

Usually when prepping on a commercial but let's call it bistro level (small, hands on), you scale out the meat - an 8 oz burger is the norm.  Work them into form to hold, shaping and sometimes pitching from one hand into another so it compresses a bit...makes them hold together.  By the time you've finished the last one, the first one has rested a bit so it's not so tight, tense.  

 

Take that and shape it.  Popular way is to use the lid from one of those really big spice jars.  Just perfect for a burger. Then they are stored chilled ready to go, usually layered in a pan with parchment or PVC between them.  You don't want the meat exposed to the air very much.  Makes them turn gray, lose the nice red color.

 

When about to fire one, it's common to gently stretch the meat outward a bit on one or both sides by dimpling it all the way around evenly. That way when it constricts from the heat it returns to the desired shape.  The opposite version of this is the dreaded Baseball burger, all balled up and round. 

 

That's how I learned it from a guy in SF who learned it from Judy at Zuni Cafe.  A place well known for their burgers.

 

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zuni-burgers

 

"We believe chef Judy Rodgers's juicy, meaty burger, served at Zuni Café in San Francisco, is the best burger in America."

 

When I was running a place in SF around that time that did have a burger on the menu, we got in meat ground each morning fresh, 6 days a week.  (sorry Sunday)  Really does make a massive difference.

 

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8 minutes ago, chef said:

Oh hell no.  That's a form of kneading. Would make a tough ass burger.

 

Usually when prepping on a commercial but let's call it bistro level (small, hands on), you scale out the meat - an 8 oz burger is the norm.  Work them into form to hold, shaping and sometimes pitching from one hand into another so it compresses a bit...makes them hold together.  By the time you've finished the last one, the first one has rested a bit so it's not so tight, tense.  

 

Take that and shape it.  Popular way is to use the lid from one of those really big spice jars.  Just perfect for a burger. Then they are stored chilled ready to go, usually layered in a pan with parchment or PVC between them.  You don't want the meat exposed to the air very much.  Makes them turn gray, lose the nice red color.

 

When about to fire one, it's common to gently stretch the meat outward a bit on one or both sides by dimpling it all the way around evenly. That way when it constricts from the heat it returns to the desired shape.  The opposite version of this is the dreaded Baseball burger, all balled up and round

 

That's how I learned it from a guy in SF who learned it from Judy at Zuni Cafe.  A place well known for their burgers.

 

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zuni-burgers

 

"We believe chef Judy Rodgers's juicy, meaty burger, served at Zuni Café in San Francisco, is the best burger in America."

 

When I was running a place in SF around that time that did have a burger on the menu, we got in meat ground each morning fresh, 6 days a week.  (sorry Sunday)  Really does make a massive difference.

 

The bane of my existence. You have to hold onto the burger at all times to keep the top bun and all the toppings from falling off the damn burger, unless you just mash the thing into the ground when you put it together.

Thank you, good sir. I shall put this knowledge to good work soon.

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On 7/19/2019 at 6:46 PM, NashvilleNinja said:

I think I'll grab one of those for the next time I grill. The one thing that I always hate about grilling is the clean up, which is why I started putting aluminum foil down. A griddle would be perfect because I wouldn't have to bother with the foil. What kind of oil/butter do you use or do you just use some non-stick grill spray like PAM or whatever?

Nothing fancy.  Just a little canola oil spread evenly.  If you want to get really purist you can trim some extra fat from a steak and use that for your lube.

All this assumes that your griddle or pan is properly seasoned.   Lodge claims their stuff is seasoned from the factory but I find they still need a little work. 

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:07 PM, chef said:

Oh hell no.  That's a form of kneading. Would make a tough ass burger.

 

Usually when prepping on a commercial but let's call it bistro level (small, hands on), you scale out the meat - an 8 oz burger is the norm.  Work them into form to hold, shaping and sometimes pitching from one hand into another so it compresses a bit...makes them hold together.  By the time you've finished the last one, the first one has rested a bit so it's not so tight, tense.  

 

Take that and shape it.  Popular way is to use the lid from one of those really big spice jars.  Just perfect for a burger. Then they are stored chilled ready to go, usually layered in a pan with parchment or PVC between them.  You don't want the meat exposed to the air very much.  Makes them turn gray, lose the nice red color.

 

When about to fire one, it's common to gently stretch the meat outward a bit on one or both sides by dimpling it all the way around evenly. That way when it constricts from the heat it returns to the desired shape.  The opposite version of this is the dreaded Baseball burger, all balled up and round. 

 

That's how I learned it from a guy in SF who learned it from Judy at Zuni Cafe.  A place well known for their burgers.

 

https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/zuni-burgers

 

"We believe chef Judy Rodgers's juicy, meaty burger, served at Zuni Café in San Francisco, is the best burger in America."

 

When I was running a place in SF around that time that did have a burger on the menu, we got in meat ground each morning fresh, 6 days a week.  (sorry Sunday)  Really does make a massive difference.

 

We keep sour cream lids to press our patties but I like thin double patties 2.8 oz each pressed as thin as possible with still having some shape 

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So the folks at Mcdonalds have been right for over 60 years. A flat griddle or pan is the best way to cook them. 

 

Still if you like the burgers you cook at home keep doing it that way. You are the top chef in your own home. 

 

Then there are these guys who sure seem top know how to cook a burger. 

 

 

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Nothing better than a good burger. Especially with some bacon on it or in it. 

 

 

Edited by Rolltide

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:07 PM, chef said:

When I was running a place in SF around that time that did have a burger on the menu, we got in meat ground each morning fresh, 6 days a week.  (sorry Sunday)  Really does make a massive difference.

I second this.  If you don't already have one in your arsenal, find a good local butcher shop that grinds its own beef fresh.  It really does make a massive difference over the sh*t you find at costco and the local supermarkets.

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I've had the Lodge griddle/grill that Opus has and can confirm it does a nice job searing meats but, then, that's my experience with all Lodge cast iron.  I have one of their smaller pans that is perfect for a single burger, does a really nice job.

 

Season them with suet (if you can find it), a mess of bacon, or pork fat if you have a grocery that carries it.  Once it's properly seasoned just a bit of oil or spray works fine.

 

I'll take my burger from my small Lodge over just about anything I can get at a restaurant.  Only downside is that it's messy, 'cuz I only have a stove, no outdoor grill.

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5 hours ago, CharrdWood said:

 

 

I'll take my burger from my small Lodge over just about anything I can get at a restaurant.  Only downside is that it's messy, 'cuz I only have a stove, no outdoor grill.

Do you have an oven with a broiler?

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On 7/28/2019 at 1:26 AM, abenjami said:

Do you have an oven with a broiler?

Of course, but isn't a broiler too hot for cast iron?  I'd swear I've read in the past that a broiler is too much heat.

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10 minutes ago, CharrdWood said:

Of course, but isn't a broiler too hot for cast iron?  I'd swear I've read in the past that a broiler is too much heat.

I've never heard that and I use my cast iron in there all the time.

 

I will say the pan gets so hot it burns through the oven mitt pretty quickly.  I can only hold it for 2-3 seconds before having to put it down.

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12 minutes ago, abenjami said:

I've never heard that and I use my cast iron in there all the time.

 

I will say the pan gets so hot it burns through the oven mitt pretty quickly.  I can only hold it for 2-3 seconds before having to put it down.

Interesting.  You crank the heat all the way up?  And do you put the pan on the bottom or you put something underneath so it's closer to the flame?  When the pan is cold do you put it in the broiler while the broiler is heating up?

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