Best Burger Recipe

alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
11,076
12,622
113
I tried this recipe last night. It was good, but nothing earth shattering.

  • 2 lbs. Organic Ground Beef
  • 1 Large Organic Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons Organic Whole Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Cloves Organic Garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper
  • ¾ Cup Breadcrumbs
 

Nole Lou

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2002
4,551
9,887
113
I don’t have any problem with the general principle of the simpler the better. Because I’ve never loved the truly ridiculous burgers with 800 things on them, usually I’m a one to six toppings max kind of person. So the “busiest” burgers I like are something like a San Fran Sourdough Patty Melt with four extra ingredients (Swiss and American cheese and thousand island dressing mixed with worcestershire) or the Hatch Green Chili Burger with six ingredients (chilis, onion, garlic, spicy ketchup, Mayo and Monterey Jack cheese) and some spices. And I’m a big fan of both Dyer’s Burgers in Memphis (deep fried burger with pickles and mustard and that’s it) and the cheese burger sliders from Krystal or White Castle (just pickles, grated onion and mustard on the steamed bun). I haven’t had the Louis Lunch burger yet but I’m guessing I would love its simplicity of tomato, onion and cheese spread.

What I’m skeptical about is the preformed Patties. Not only are we talking about poor quality meat but they’re usually packed hard. I too used to pack my meat hard……….pauses for laughs……and would try to mix seasonings that I thought would help with the flavor into the patty and would overmix it. Now I try to do the opposite and will barely and very loosely mix the ground meat if there’s multiple grinds (and if I’m feeling fancy I will go with a mix of Chuck, short rib, and heart). But those unseasoned loose Smashburgers turn out SOOO much better than any formed patties especially frozen one, I couldn’t go back.

Yeah, I hear you on the pack. When I do make my own, which is less frequently than I used to, I also pack them pretty loose. That's a 100% true thing. And what you're saying is more true about the frozen bubba burgers and their imitators, which are 1/3 of a pound and a little thicker.

I'm looking for frozen, 1/4 pound and thinner, like this:
httpss3.amazonaws.comfoodservicedirect.comlargeoriginalimages00079821120402.jpg

The packing issue might still be a thing, but it's way mitigated by the thinness. I think that stretching a 1/4 lb to a proper bun size keeps them from being packed super dense. And obviously, they're machine created with perfect consistency and frozen, unlike the ones I make at home, where it's pretty hard to do a loose packed, thin but wide burger and not have it falling apart.

Making a 1/4lb smash burger probably works ok too, but I've really come to appreciate the frozen ones. Maybe it's because I spent pretty much all my teenage years working the grill at hot dog stands, and I made many thousands of these, but they are basically foolproof to me. You can put them directly on a very hot grill, and because they are frozen, you can cook them until they have a little flame-kissed char especially on the edges, and be perfectly cooked on the inside, in a matter of minutes. That's not impossible with a thin fresh burger, but its a lot less foolproof.

I've also come off over the years trying to get a bright pink, medium rare burger. If I want blood, I'll have a steak. Besides the food safety issues, it's just to narrow a target given the gross mouth feel if you pull it a nanosecond too early. I want a juicy burger, but I want it juicy from the grease of it, not the blood. You have to be careful not to dry these out, for sure. But because they're pretty hard to undercook being so thin, and they start frozen, I actually find myself more likely to overcook a fresh 8oz burger, because I'm so concerned about it being too raw in the middle.

The biggest issue is finding these in a decent quality. They're out of fashion now with the elevation of burgers, and if you find frozen 1/4 lbers they can be basically cheap garbage burgers by design, with soy addititives or lots of gristle, or freezer burned. I've found I'm very happy with the Kroger brand 80/20 that are restaurant quality caliber.

I'm not saying a bigger, fresher burger isn't be delicious. I just find that more and more often when I find myself in the mood for a burger, I want to crush a couple of these sweet bastards, and it maybe takes 25 minutes, most of which is waiting for the charcoal to be ready.
 
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Nole Lou

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2002
4,551
9,887
113
I don’t have any problem with the general principle of the simpler the better. Because I’ve never loved the truly ridiculous burgers with 800 things on them, usually I’m a one to six toppings max kind of person. So the “busiest” burgers I like are something like a San Fran Sourdough Patty Melt with four extra ingredients (Swiss and American cheese and thousand island dressing mixed with worcestershire) or the Hatch Green Chili Burger with six ingredients (chilis, onion, garlic, spicy ketchup, Mayo and Monterey Jack cheese) and some spices. And I’m a big fan of both Dyer’s Burgers in Memphis (deep fried burger with pickles and mustard and that’s it) and the cheese burger sliders from Krystal or White Castle (just pickles, grated onion and mustard on the steamed bun). I haven’t had the Louis Lunch burger yet but I’m guessing I would love its simplicity of tomato, onion and cheese spread.

What I’m skeptical about is the preformed Patties. Not only are we talking about poor quality meat but they’re usually packed hard. I too used to pack my meat hard……….pauses for laughs……and would try to mix seasonings that I thought would help with the flavor into the patty and would overmix it. Now I try to do the opposite and will barely and very loosely mix the ground meat if there’s multiple grinds (and if I’m feeling fancy I will go with a mix of Chuck, short rib, and heart). But those unseasoned loose Smashburgers turn out SOOO much better than any formed patties especially frozen one, I couldn’t go back.

When it comes to simple/cheap burgers, honestly Waffle House is is pretty solid considering how accessible it is. Sometimes they don't melt the cheese that much, but it's usually good quality ground beef and suitably greasy. They taste pretty damn good, and if you want lettuce, tomatoes, etc, for some reason I've always found that to be super fresh and good at Waffle House, especially compared to a fast food burger.

I know a lot of people love Steak and Shake, and I kind of get the charm, but ultimately I think they're awfully dry. I'd take a Waffle House double cheeseburger over Steak and Shake 100x out of 100.

double_burger_and_hash_browns_vjerpr.jpg
 

bagdropper

HR Legend
Gold Member
Oct 17, 2002
27,659
10,961
113
My burger tastes has simplified greatly in recent years.

80/20, big and thin patty, with salt and pepper. Grill or cast iron, doesn't matter - both are good, just get either of them as hot as you can. Then cook it up fast.

Then a brioche bun.

Zero toppings otherwise. If you cook the burger exactly the way you like it, no toppings should be necessary.
 

FSUTribe76

HR Heisman
Jan 23, 2008
7,653
12,079
113
Yeah, I hear you on the pack. When I do make my own, which is less frequently than I used to, I also pack them pretty loose. That's a 100% true thing. And what you're saying is more true about the frozen bubba burgers and their imitators, which are 1/3 of a pound and a little thicker.

I'm looking for frozen, 1/4 pound and thinner, like this:
httpss3.amazonaws.comfoodservicedirect.comlargeoriginalimages00079821120402.jpg

The packing issue might still be a thing, but it's way mitigated by the thinness. I think that stretching a 1/4 lb to a proper bun size keeps them from being packed super dense. And obviously, they're machine created with perfect consistency and frozen, unlike the ones I make at home, where it's pretty hard to do a loose packed, thin but wide burger and not have it falling apart.

Making a 1/4lb smash burger probably works ok too, but I've really come to appreciate the frozen ones. Maybe it's because I spent pretty much all my teenage years working the grill at hot dog stands, and I made many thousands of these, but they are basically foolproof to me. You can put them directly on a very hot grill, and because they are frozen, you can cook them until they have a little flame-kissed char especially on the edges, and be perfectly cooked on the inside, in a matter of minutes. That's not impossible with a thin fresh burger, but its a lot less foolproof.

I've also come off over the years trying to get a bright pink, medium rare burger. If I want blood, I'll have a steak. Besides the food safety issues, it's just to narrow a target given the gross mouth feel if you pull it a nanosecond too early. I want a juicy burger, but I want it juicy from the grease of it, not the blood. You have to be careful not to dry these out, for sure. But because they're pretty hard to undercook being so thin, and they start frozen, I actually find myself more likely to overcook a fresh 8oz burger, because I'm so concerned about it being too raw in the middle.

The biggest issue is finding these in a decent quality. They're out of fashion now with the elevation of burgers, and if you find frozen 1/4 lbers they can be basically cheap garbage burgers by design, with soy addititives or lots of gristle, or freezer burned. I've found I'm very happy with the Kroger brand 80/20 that are restaurant quality caliber.

I'm not saying a bigger, fresher burger isn't be delicious. I just find that more and more often when I find myself in the mood for a burger, I want to crush a couple of these sweet bastards, and it maybe takes 25 minutes, most of which is waiting for the charcoal to be ready.

Ok, you’ve convinced me that you’re not making terrible burgers. I was picturing the typical Bubba Burger size patty and I’ve been to Many a party or tailgate where they’re used and they always end up hard and terrible due to the denseness. But I could see little burger Patties turning out ok.

Nothing will beat a loosemeat Smashburger done on a screaming hot grill though. The high heat allows the fat to drip between the loose meat where it carmelizes against the hot metal to keep everything together. And I much prefer a thin well cooked Smashburger to a big giant two inch thick burger.

With sushi I usually prefer raw, with lean cuts of beef and game I usually prefer it Pittsburg blue while doing medium rare for fatty cuts, and even for pork I prefer it medium with a thin line of pink, but with burgers I do demand at least medium well. Because I’m with you, I don’t trust uncooked burger meat. I do trust a few (mostly Ethiopian restaurants) to handle raw meat appropriately and will order raw dishes like tartare, kitfo or goredgored. And I’ll make them at home as well although rather than completely raw I will set my grill to the highest possible setting and then quickly sear all sides for a couple of seconds. On intact meat a high heat sear for even a second is all that is necessary to kill the unsavory bacteria.
 
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Nole-4-Life

HR Heisman
Jun 7, 2005
9,440
994
113
I usually do the smashburger thing on my blackstone. I always put powdered ranch dressing mix in my burger before cooking.
 
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Nole Lou

HR All-American
Apr 5, 2002
4,551
9,887
113
Ok, you’ve convinced me that you’re not making terrible burgers. I was picturing the typical Bubba Burger size patty and I’ve been to Many a party or tailgate where they’re used and they always end up hard and terrible due to the denseness. But I could see little burger Patties turning out ok.

Nothing will beat a loosemeat Smashburger done on a screaming hot grill though. The high heat allows the fat to drip between the loose meat where it carmelizes against the hot metal to keep everything together. And I much prefer a thin well cooked Smashburger to a big giant two inch thick burger.

With sushi I usually prefer raw, with lean cuts of beef and game I usually prefer it Pittsburg blue while doing medium rare for fatty cuts, and even for pork I prefer it medium with a thin line of pink, but with burgers I do demand at least medium well. Because I’m with you, I don’t trust uncooked burger meat. I do trust a few (mostly Ethiopian restaurants) to handle raw meat appropriately and will order raw dishes like tartare, kitfo or goredgored. And I’ll make them at home as well although rather than completely raw I will set my grill to the highest possible setting and then quickly sear all sides for a couple of seconds. On intact meat a high heat sear for even a second is all that is necessary to kill the unsavory bacteria.

Yeah, Bubba Burgers are not good. I messed around with them a few times before deciding it's not me, it's them. The beef is fine, the design sucks. They're actually pretty hard to not overcook from frozen, and unlike a thin burger that's usually still ok if it's slightly overcooked, Bubba Burgers are chewy and bad. I didn't think about it being the density, but yeah that's got to be it.
 
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BubsFinn

HR Legend
Nov 20, 2004
27,613
21,360
113
Last month we got some Wagyu strip loins. After cutting the steaks, we ground up the meatier trimmings and made burgers out of them. Just salt and black pepper. We couldn’t cook them over an open flame because of all the fat dripping out. Served them on a toasted brioche roll with two-year aged white cheddar. Best burgers ever.
 
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