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Old 01-05-2013, 10:43 AM   #31
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I swear I had some of the best burgers of my life last October, but someone else made and grilled them and I was at an outdoor event in bad weather. Anything would have tasted fantastic.
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:24 AM   #32
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Sorry to totally get off topic and not answer the original posters question but, I have to tell you this. My son has been working at a burger place in Toronto while he is pursuing his chosen career. They are wildly successful with a line up every day for hours. I know because I had to wait in it one time. He stands in front of the flat grill and fries the burgers all day. I am surprised how much an hour he makes. I didn't think a fast food place could afford to pay their cooks that much. He makes about 1000 patties a day and has had a few 2000 patty days. The burgers are very basic and that is their angle.

The burger has been abused over the years by people and franchises trying to create something different, special and have created some abominations. Back to basics, is what I say. Since then I have been frying my burgers on the stove in a cast iron pan, flipping them once with a sharp paint scraper. and loving them more than the bbq. Very moist and beefy. He says they are told to let the burger sit and create a good crust and make sure you get all of it when you flip it. That caramalization of the meat protien is the flavor.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:09 PM   #33
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I hear you, Rock. However, pan/griddle fried burgers have a very different taste from grilled burgers. I actually prefer burgers cooked on the ridged plates of my Cuisinart Griddler to pan fried.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:15 PM   #34
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When cooking stove top indoors I also prefer cooking burgers on ridged cast iron.

As for burger joints In-N-Out Burger is my favorite. No fancy dressing or sauces. They're so simple I can almost duplicate it at home.
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:24 PM   #35
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Rock and Andy; you guys impress me every time you speak. I want to add this to what you say. Some beef cuts have a more pronounced "beef" flavor than do others. Chuck, sirloin, and round have good flavor. Shank has even more flavor. That flavor comes from muscles that are well exercised. Ever eat beef heart? If you have, then you know what I'm talking about.

On the charcoal grill, fat is important for its ability to melt, and drip onto the hot coals and make smoke that flavors the meat. It also has a flavor of its own. But that flavor is very mild. In a pan fried burger, it contributes more to texture and how juicy the burger is.

For a pan fried burger, I prefer an 80/20 mixture for the richer beef flavor it has. The best burger, IMHO, comes when you choose a suitable cut, and smell it. You can tell by the odor of the raw meat how much beef flavor it will have. Then, you have the butcher grind it with the proper amount of fat. If you can't do that, take a whiff of the pre-ground beef that you are purchasing. Check the ground beef quality of different stores. See if you can find a store that will grind it for you.

I once had an amazing burger in this little corner restaurant, located in Olympia Wa. It was cooked medium rare, and tasted more like a really great flavored steak than it did a burger, just not as expensive.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that "great burger" means something different to everyone. For me, that traditional pan-fried, or grill-mark burger flavor is a combination of good tasting meat, with the flavor imparted by the browned meat and salt, and the textural and flavor qualities of the contained fat. Charcoal grilled traditional for me is that great flavor, in the proper amount, provided by quality meat, juicy texture, and smoke from burning fat.

My ideal burger, which I have yet to be able to duplicate, is that fire-grilled, steak-tasting burger that I had in that restaurant.

As with all food, it's important to understand the role of different ingredients in the food we make, as well as how the techniques we use react with those ingredients. I think of ground beef as an amalgamation of lean beef, fat, and seasonings. I then use different techniques to cook it for the purpose I'm using the ground beef for. Pan fried, or pan-grilled, broiled, flame grilled, barbecued, browned for use in a sauce, as an ingredient in meat loaf, or soup, or tacos, or whatever, understanding ground beef by its ingredients, and how to choose the correct technique for the recipe you are making, is key to success.

Andy & Rock, you guys are among the most knowledgeable cooks I know. And I'm still learning from both of you, and hope I am contributing to that pool of knowledge that we all can draw from.

I'm an analytical cook. It helps me understand, and engineer foods to be what I want them to be. And to the OP, I hope you are able to glean something useful from these posts. Good luck in your quest for the perfect burger.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:06 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
I hear you, Rock. However, pan/griddle fried burgers have a very different taste from grilled burgers. I actually prefer burgers cooked on the ridged plates of my Cuisinart Griddler to pan fried.
True, it's a very diffferent burger. And while I prefer grilled, I also like a pan fried burger because I can use the oil and drippings for gravy, especially if I'm making a loco moco.

I've always wanted to try that place in Boston (I think) that cooks the burgers vertically in those small toaster looking burners.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:57 PM   #37
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Try toasting the bun on a flat grill as in burger joint, then wrap the burger in sandwich paper to serve. If a sandwich gets made in our kitchen, including grilled cheese and hamburgers, it gets wrapped. Sandwiches seem to like being swaddled even for a few seconds.
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Old 01-05-2013, 05:53 PM   #38
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I never really enjoyed a grilled burger made at home until i got a charcoal grill with cast iron grates.. but im a ground chuck guy.. salt and pepper on it.. then add a big chunk of hickory to the lump charcoal..
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:16 PM   #39
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I bet if you grilled burgers while camping they would taste great! Everything taste better when You are camping.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:24 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
True, it's a very diffferent burger. And while I prefer grilled, I also like a pan fried burger because I can use the oil and drippings for gravy, especially if I'm making a loco moco.

I've always wanted to try that place in Boston (I think) that cooks the burgers vertically in those small toaster looking burners.

Actually that place is in New Haven. Louis' Lunch - The Birthplace of the Hamburger Sandwich

All burgers served on white bread and don't ask for ketchup, it's not allowed.
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