Most of us have made our burgers the same way our whole lives, and there’s no shame in that. But chefs and food scientists are always experimenting with better ways of doing things, and sometimes, it’s worth trying out some new ideas. Here are our tips for the best burgers ever:
- (Optional) Consider mixing your meats. By combining two meats together, you get all the flavour of both of them. While your meat is still as cold as possible, lightly mix together equal parts of ground beef and ground pork. Make sure to keep the mix fluffy, and avoid smearing the meat — if it starts to get sticky, throw it in the freezer for 10 minutes to cool it down more. For a leaner alternative, mix ground chicken and ground pork instead, or for a more intense flavour, try mixing ground beef and lamb.
- Form your patties with as little pressure as possible. The more air pockets you keep in your burgers, the more tender they will be, and the more juices they’ll retain. Again, try to keep the meat as cold as possible, and handle it as little as possible, with just enough pressure to get the meat to hold together.
- Season your patties after forming. If you add salt into the meat while mixing, it will cross-link the proteins and toughen your burgers. Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper only on the patty surface to keep them as tender as possible.
- Grill them hot. Whether on your barbeque, or in a cast iron or stainless skillet, you want to apply the most heat you can to get the sides of the burger nice and crispy, with a deep mahogany colour, without overcooking the middle.
- Use a thermometer to get perfect doneness. The best chefs don’t rely on feel, they measure the internal temperature to get it just right. A good instant-read thermometer is a great tool to have in the kitchen. 130°F gives you medium rare; 140°F is medium. We recommend keeping your burgers to 130-135°F.
Try out those tips, and let us know how you like the results!
P.S. Whispering Meadows is Ontario’s leading supplier of naturally-raised and organic family-farm meats, delivered to your door. If you’d like to keep a supply of premium meats in your freezer, now is a great time to order a BBQ Select box or a side of beef, a quarter hog, a box of lamb, and stock up on chicken.
We look forward to seeing you at the next drop-off or delivery!