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Old 05-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #11
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:10 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by PattY1 View Post
I make them simpler then you. I just use Ground Beef. Everyone can add the condiments of choice. If I waned Meat Loaf, I would make Meat Loaf.
My sentiments, exactly.

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Old 05-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #13
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If the ground beef is too lean, it will fall apart while cooking. If it's too fat, the burger will shrink like crazy. Look for 70/30, or up to 80/20 ratios. Any less fat than 20% will be too lean.

That said, however, leaner ground beef has a more pronounced beef flavor. The fat tends to dilute the flavor. But the resulting patties are dry in texture and mouth feel. This is where the egg comes in. To keep hamburger from shrinking, add 1 large egg per pound of hamburger. You won't be able to taste any difference, and the pattie will be juicer. This is for fatty ground beef.

But, that same egg will bind together ground beef that is too lean, and make it juicier as well, and again will add no flavor to the beef.

A little trick to making patties. Try to make the pattie round, and with smooth edges. Make the center thinner than the outer rim. The burger will always shrink a little toward the center, making it bulge if the initial pattie is the same thickness all the way across. That bulge can make it so the hamburger is undercooked in the middle, and overcooked on the outside. By making the center thinner, you insure that the pattie will be cooked evenly everywhere.

If you add flour, or breadcrumbs, or chopped veggies, then you are creating a Salisbury Steak, instead of a burger. It can still taste great, especially with gravy. It doesn't stay together well though, and is very hard to grill as it easily falls apart.

After I'm through with the properties of flour and fat in my blog, I'll go into the subject of meats more thoroughly. Don't be afraid to try different things with your burgers. You might find a seasoning that your really love. me, the close it tastes to steak, the better I like it. A little salt and pepper, and cooking over charcoal makes me the burger that I crave.

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Old 05-03-2011, 05:29 PM   #14
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Old 05-03-2011, 05:33 PM   #15
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meat, garlic powder, paprika and lots of pepper. i buy fairly lean and have no problem with them falling apart. but like the others said do what you like.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:46 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by betterthanabox View Post
I have put eggs and bread crumbs to them, I really just prefer to keep the meat plain with a little salt and pepper. I don't have a lot of trouble with them falling apart. I have found that happens when you move them around too much.
The eggs and breadcrumbs also help to keep the burgers moist, but is more frequently done with meatballs or meat loaf.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:40 PM   #17
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I use lean beef and don't add anything and have no trouble at all with them falling apart of being dry. I think it is all in how you cook them.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:06 PM   #18
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just salt and pepper on the meat but toppings is where you can get creative.
Check out what I made for dinner tonight:
Peikes' Cookbook: Burger of the week

I will start from the bottom and work my way up:
Bottom half of a toasted bun, soft crumb but a little harder crust so it does not fall apart
Mayo mixed with spicy brown mustard spread thinly. This provides a "waterproof" layer as well as some richness and a little bit of sharpness
Fresh raw spinach for some earthiness and crunch
Sauteed mushrooms for some more savory earth flavor
1/2 lb all beef patty seasoned with just fresh ground black pepper. I do not add salt as kosher meat is pre-salted
Sauteed onions for sweetness
Ketchup because I love ketchup because it is sweet and tangy all at the same time
Top half of the toasted bun
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:45 AM   #19
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my mom used to make something called an irish hamburger.
yes, for seriously anal folks, it was closer to a small, indidual sized meatloaf. but if you tell me my mom is wrong, we're gonna have a problem.

anywho, she used to saute some minced green peppers and minced onions in butter, let it cool, then mix them into to ground 80/20 chuck along with hand torn pieces of really dense white bread. they were pan fried and served the usual way, on a bun with/without cheese, lettuce, and tomato.

they were something really special. i've tried it and i haven't been able to figure out how she was able to keep the bread and veggies from disintegrating into the meat. you could see bits of onion, pepper, and chunks of bread in every burger. both the texture and extra taste were what was so special about them. tasty and really tender.

my guess is that she didn't compress the ground meat very much so as to make the burger compacted and tough, also mashing the extra ingredients.

it seems, as andy mentioned, you need a good technique for cooking them so they don't fall apart, but it's even more important to cook them well especially with extra ingredients.
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Old 05-04-2011, 03:06 AM   #20
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Tom mate I have a cheap burger press, because I'm cheap I save up all the little bits of left over soap and when I have enough I dip them quickly in hot water and "burger press" them, the bits stick together a treat. I hope this helps.
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