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Old 05-25-2011, 01:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Hyperion View Post
maybe I'm wrong , but I believe mixing salt inside the burger makes it lose its juice during cooking. it's like sausages, except sausages has a casing to keep the juice inside while burger doesn't. so only season the outside the burger with kosher salt will keep the inside moist.

It won't dry them out. It will make them taste better.

And you don't have to use kosher salt.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:13 PM   #12
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When they are talking lean muscle tissue to fat ratio, they are measuring by weight. Lean tissue contains a lot of water, while fat consists of solidified oil. The fat is significantly lighter per unit volume. The is a lot of fat in pre-ground burger that you purchase. Your well marbled beef isn't even close. You have to use either a binder, such as egg, or careful cooking technique to get your burger to hold together.

1 large egg, added to 1 pound of the ground meat will not alter the flavor. It will help it hold together better. If you don't want to add any other ingredients, then cook your burger using indirect heat and relatively low temperatures on a covered grill until you get an internal temperature in the meat of about 145 degrees. Then move the meat over the fire and salt and brown it. Your burger will be juicier, and have a more pronounced beef flavor with this technique as well.

Your burger doesn't bulge because it has less fat than the ground beef you purchase from a grocer. It is also drier in texture for the same reason. The slow cooking method helps the meat retain its water content, and cooks it from both sides with radiant and convective heat underneath, and convective heat above. This allows the meat particles to stick together better.

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Old 05-26-2011, 01:18 AM   #13
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I guess I just like doing it like my Mom used to, and I still add bread crumbs and egg to the mixture, along with black pepper and garlic salt, and maybe a few chili peppers. I think the bread crumbs actually do serve a purpose in smoothing out the texture of the cooked product.

I wish I had used that press Sir_Loin when I owed my restaurant, because I did hand-form them, but I was meticulous in designing perfectly flat, over-sized burgers so they would cook more quickly on the broiler.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
Before you grind the meat stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. You aren't looking for frozen, you are looking for really really cold. This help considerably getting the meat through the grinding plate without tearing it to shreds.
What Frank said.

Also, Alton Brown did make an episode on hamburgers, it is called "A Grind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste". I'm sure you can find the episode online.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:42 AM   #15
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I wonder if it has anything to do with keeping the fat cold? when make sausage the grinder will heat up the fat and melt it if it wasn't cold to start with, maybe that's why your ground meat doesn't stick together? maybe you can try treating the burger like sausage and keep it cold at all times from meat chunks to right before the grill
What happens if the fat melts?

I keep hearing people warn against the melting of fat.

I just don't understand why this would be a necessary concern, considering the fat isn't going anywhere... if it melts, it'll redistribute itself throughout the ground meat.
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Goodweed of the North View Post
When they are talking lean muscle tissue to fat ratio, they are measuring by weight. Lean tissue contains a lot of water, while fat consists of solidified oil. The fat is significantly lighter per unit volume. The is a lot of fat in pre-ground burger that you purchase. Your well marbled beef isn't even close. You have to use either a binder, such as egg, or careful cooking technique to get your burger to hold together.

1 large egg, added to 1 pound of the ground meat will not alter the flavor. It will help it hold together better. If you don't want to add any other ingredients, then cook your burger using indirect heat and relatively low temperatures on a covered grill until you get an internal temperature in the meat of about 145 degrees. Then move the meat over the fire and salt and brown it. Your burger will be juicier, and have a more pronounced beef flavor with this technique as well.

Your burger doesn't bulge because it has less fat than the ground beef you purchase from a grocer. It is also drier in texture for the same reason. The slow cooking method helps the meat retain its water content, and cooks it from both sides with radiant and convective heat underneath, and convective heat above. This allows the meat particles to stick together better.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Thanks, but if Bobby Flay and plenty of other people in the world are cooking up rocksteady burger patties without egg/breadcrumbs, I believe there's a technique, and that's why I came here for answers.

And I'm pretty sure adding an egg to ground meat is gonna change the flavor...

As for my ground meat not bulging, I think it has to do with the height of the patty, not the fat...
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by GB View Post
Actually salt on the inside of a burger will hold onto the moisture resulting in a juicier end product.
Is there a scientific reasoning to why salt holds the moisture?

And if yes, why does a burger master like Flay warn against it?
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:54 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Constance View Post
Chuck roast makes the best hamburgers. You don't want to mush the meat to death, but you have to work it sufficiently to get it to stay together.
The most important thing is not to turn the patty more than once, and don't smash it with the spatula (except at the last...see below). Let it brown on one side, then turn and put lid part way on skillet and let it finish cooking. You can tell when it's done if you press on it with the spatula and no red juice comes out.

I sprinkle the patties with S&P on one side after I put them in the skillets, then season the other side when I turn them.

Since you are grinding your own meat, you could wrap each patty with a strip of bacon, which would help hold it together and also add a little flavoring. Don't try to cook your burger till the bacon is crisp, though, or it will be hard as a hockey puck.
My patty is nowhere thick enough to wrap a bacon strip around it. Also, doing so would probably crumble the burger...

It's like a bridge that's about to collapse. Nothing that you wrap around the bridge, is gonna stop the inevitable. It needs support from below...
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Sir_Loin_of_Beef View Post
Try using a burger press instead of hand forming the burgers.

That doesn't seem like a bad idea, actually.

Worth considering.
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Old 05-26-2011, 08:01 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
Before you grind the meat stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. You aren't looking for frozen, you are looking for really really cold. This help considerably getting the meat through the grinding plate without tearing it to shreds.
Eh, it has nothing to do with the temperature of the meat.

I have a cheap Norpro grinder that I got for something like $30. The blade design is comparable to a fan. It's gonna shred up the meat, regardless, when you have a fan spinning.

I don't know how the expensive grinders work, as they churn out thick noodles... I guess the grinding is done before it's shaped into noodles...

My grinder just grinds, period. No noodle-shaping...
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