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Old 09-22-2013, 10:28 AM   #1
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Medium Rare Burgers?

My favorite Food Network show is Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Guy Fieri just kills me.

Anyway, he goes to a lot of burger places and I just cringe when I see him chomping down on a medium rare burger. I mean, what are trying to do?? Kill him??

Medium rare burgers are a rare sight in Canada because it has been ingrained in us that they can kill you.....plus it's illegal for restaurants to serve them.

It would seem that a few Canadian foodies are pushing for the medium rare burger to be allowed here north of the 49th. I just can't get my head wrapped around that.

Medium-rare burgers are taboo in Canada but may not be as perilous as thought | National Post

Cooking Hamburger - Practical Temperature Measurements

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Old 09-22-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
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I like my burgers rare to med rare. If you like them that way the meat must be ground fresh from a solid pice of meat.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #3
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NC used to ban the sale of undercooked burgers but they backed off of it last year.
Given that it is legal to buy a number of potentially dangerous things, such as raw oysters, and cigarettes, among other things....I feel it was a rare display of common sense to allow customers to order burgers to their liking.
Of course restaurants are required to display a warning that consumption of undercooked food may have health risks.
I, personally, enjoy my burgers rare. My advice is to take note of the sanitation grade when ordering burgers in such a manner.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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I n the US we are allowed to request our burgers MR, they have warnings on the menus about ordering this along with the health hazards. I don't eat med-rare in any restaurant, only at home from fresh ground.
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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I like mine med rare too. There's a burger joint near me which serves them med-rare by default. But their burgers are $10, ala carte, and they grind their own meat.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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Are they (grocery stores) doing something different when they grind burger these days? Why was it OK to eat a rare burger as a kid, but not now?
If it's just a "don't eat red meat, least of all rare" thing OK, those people and groups live among us, but is there something that actually makes today's hamburger less healthy that the burger of yesteryear?
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
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Well, there is beef tartare, which I think has a raw egg topped or mixed in. I love medium rare steaks, I prefer my burgers medium. I am pretty happy the food police got over telling us we could only have well done burgers. At restaurants, if I am unfamiliar, I order med-well.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:48 AM   #8
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I forgot, there is one place I will order med-rare...Nap's Grill I know the owner personally.
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Old 09-22-2013, 12:57 PM   #9
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I would think it depends on the hamburger joint whether a med. rare burger is trustworthy. Where I live, some places don't ask and plan to cook all burgers done even tho' they sometimes come out pink. Other places, usually not the chains, ask how customers want their burgers cooked and people order them med rare. No me tho'.
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Old 09-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacanis View Post
...is there something that actually makes today's hamburger less healthy that the burger of yesteryear?

A greater awareness of the potential dangers and the changes in meat processing that could make those dangers more likely.

In yesteryear, local butchers and meat markets/supermarkets ground their own ground beef from scraps and cuts right in the shop. You could get ground sirloin, round, chuck, etc. Not so much anymore. Slaughterhouses grind and package ground beef in vacuum packed plastic tubes that are repackaged at the local level.

BTW, I haven't heard the term 'yesteryear' in a long time. Since yesterday means the day before today, why doesn't yesteryear mean 2012?
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:22 PM   #11
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Rare to medium rare for me and I just love steak tartare
Nigel Slater's classic steak tartare | Life and style | The Observer

I eat more fish these days but when I have beef (unless pot roast or stew) it's just gotta be rare.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
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A greater awareness of the potential dangers and the changes in meat processing that could make those dangers more likely...
Thanks, that's how I interpreted it. It's more peoples' *awareness* than it is the actual meat being unsafe. Or should I say, more unsafe than it was twenty years ago (for instance )
I like to believe that safety standards and food handling techniques have improved over the years, so if a rare burger didn't upset my system back then it shouldn't today either. All things being equal that is. That the meat was good to begin with.
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Old 09-22-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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I hear you but there are altogether too many ground beef recalls to make me feel comfortable. Don't think of it as 'upsetting your system'. What happens is violent illness or death.

...OK, I guess that qualifies as upsetting.
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Old 09-22-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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I haven't heard of any recalls lately. I can't remember the last time I heard of a burger recall that wasn't in a chain restaurant, but I'm not saying they aren't happening. Just not that I've heard of or noticed.
And the new Giant Eagle I shop grinds their own burger right out in front where everyone can see. As a matter of fact, when I got that top round roast cut a week ago the butcher threw the trimmings into the hopper as it was running.
But all that being said/discussed, I like my burgers thinner than I used to and cook them more medium as a result of going for a darker exterior. As long as they're juicy I don't really care how they are cooked anymore.
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Old 09-22-2013, 04:56 PM   #15
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I haven't heard of any recalls lately. I can't remember the last time I heard of a burger recall that wasn't in a chain restaurant, but I'm not saying they aren't happening. Just not that I've heard of or noticed.
And the new Giant Eagle I shop grinds their own burger right out in front where everyone can see. As a matter of fact, when I got that top round roast cut a week ago the butcher threw the trimmings into the hopper as it was running.
But all that being said/discussed, I like my burgers thinner than I used to and cook them more medium as a result of going for a darker exterior. As long as they're juicy I don't really care how they are cooked anymore.
Juicy is my first criterion as well. But I do like to see pink in the middle.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:01 PM   #16
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I did a Google search on the recipe Taxy just posted, the one with the burger, onions and pickled beets, and those are commonly served rare. At least in a lot of the recipes I saw. I'm going for it. Mind you my idea of rare is pink, not red.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:41 PM   #17
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I know I'll get slammed but I can only eat burgers well done.

Any pink in a burger totally skeeves me.

And I prefer my steak medium and will eat mid-rare.

Also prefer slightly pinkish pork chops.

And I'll eat steak tartare once in awhile too.

But a juicy, mushy burger ... Can't do it.

My favorite burgers are cast iron skillet with a thin slice of onion smashed into o e side and cooked into it.
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Old 09-22-2013, 05:46 PM   #18
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Why it is that rare steaks are not a concern, but rare ground beef is:

The surface of any meat, be it pork, poultry, or beef can have contaminants from normal processing procedures. Beef is normally washed with a disinfecting agent before it is cut from the carcass. but that doesn't always remove all contaminants. With beef, the nasty little critters are only on the meat surface. When you cook a steak, or roast, the surface is heated sufficiently to kill and pathogens. The inside of the meat is still pristine, and so is safe to eat.

With ground beef, those pathogens are mixed throughout the meat, and if let sit on a shelf for a few days, multiply all through the meat. Generally, if the meat is ground the same day, and comes from a reputable butcher, and kept below 40' F., it can be eaten rare, or medium rare with no problems.

Steak tartar is made from beef that is ground just before serving. It is especially popular in Europe.

I have eaten raw beef with no ill effects many times. I've even eaten raw ground beef when I knew it was ground just before I purchased it.

I have never had food poisoning, and I'm hitting 58 years of age in a about a week.

Also, in years past, most beef came from local sources, and you knew your butcher. The butchers took great pride in their work, and took great pains not to sever the intestinal tract of the animals. The meat was clean from standing on the hoof, to the shelf in the meat market, unless you lived in urban areas, where meat often came from large slaughterhouses. Chicago was infamous for poor meat handling procedures, hence the famous book that single-handedly brought such practices to the public eye. Chicago meat packers were forced to clean up their industry by law.

The best burger I ever ate was in Olimpia Washington, and was served medium rare. It tasted like a really great steak. I was hugely impressed. I still haven't been able to re-create it. But that's ok, 'cause I make a pretty good steak.

With both pork and chicken, nasty microbes and parasites live in the muscle tissue. This why they have to be cooked to sufficient internal temperatures to kill the critters.

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Old 09-22-2013, 11:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
...

With ground beef, those pathogens are mixed throughout the meat, and if let sit on a shelf for a few days, multiply all through the meat. Generally, if the meat is ground the same day, and comes from a reputable butcher, and kept below 40' F., it can be eaten rare, or medium rare with no problems.

Steak tartar is made from beef that is ground just before serving. It is especially popular in Europe.

I have eaten raw beef with no ill effects many times. I've even eaten raw ground beef when I knew it was ground just before I purchased it.

I have never had food poisoning, and I'm hitting 58 years of age in a about a week.

Also, in years past, most beef came from local sources, and you knew your butcher. The butchers took great pride in their work, and took great pains not to sever the intestinal tract of the animals. The meat was clean from standing on the hoof, to the shelf in the meat market, unless you lived in urban areas, where meat often came from large slaughterhouses. Chicago was infamous for poor meat handling procedures, hence the famous book that single-handedly brought such practices to the public eye. Chicago meat packers were forced to clean up their industry by law.

...

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Yup, I agree.

Nowadays, meat is often chilled in a water bath. That means that one critter with a severed intestine will contaminate the water that is used to chill other critters, spreading the e coli to the previous clean carcasses.

I have noticed that one can now buy "air chilled" chicken. The risk of contamination with pathogens should be much lower.
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Old 09-22-2013, 11:30 PM   #20
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From the article to which Rocket_J_Dawg linked,

“I believe I should be able to treat my hamburger like food, not like infectious f—ing medical waste,” U.S. food writer Anthony Bourdain wrote in response in his 2010 book Medium Raw. “Is it too much to feel that it should be a basic right that one can cook and eat a hamburger without fear? To stand proud in my backyard … grilling a nice medium-rare f—ing hamburger for my kid-without worrying that maybe I’m feeding her a s— sandwich?”

That is exactly how I feel.

It reminds me of something I read in a discussion of irradiating food. One of the posters wrote that he wasn't opposed to irradiating food because he was concerned that the food would be radioactive, he wasn't. He was concerned that once the food processors knew that all the microorganisms would be killed, they would leave even more poop in our food.
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