Ladies and gentlemen, we present one of the most famous snacks in the entire world … the hamburger! Nobody can resist its succulent meat, soft rolls, and the wide variety of fillings – which, nowadays, vary a lot, from the most classic to the most gourmet. But what would be more important when assembling a hamburger? What is the secret to a perfect hamburger? How to prepare meat to make hamburgers? Do the cuts of meat used in the hamburger make a difference?
Types of meat for hamburgers
Although beef is the most popular in the hamburger preparation gourmet burger and craft, there is a wide variety of options ranging from red meat to white meat, through the fish. This diversity of hamburger recipes is interesting to meet the different demands or dietary requirements of people, in addition to allowing the preparation of exotic hamburgers that stand out on the menu and allow us to discover new flavors and textures.
In addition to choosing the animal that will make our hamburger, it is also important to choose the right cut of meat to ensure maximum flavor and juiciness.
Advice: always remember that the quality of the meat is the most important factor when it comes to getting a perfect hamburger! That’s why always give preference to noble meats and of certified origin (certified meat).
How to prepare hamburger meat
Once the meat is chosen, preparing a homemade hamburger is as simple as processing the meat or asking the butcher to do it when you buy the meat. Afterward, it is advisable to add ingredients to make hamburgers and seasonings that enhance the flavor of the meat and help to obtain the necessary bond to shape the hamburgers. Some of these burger ingredients and seasonings can be:
- aromatic herbs (parsley, chives, oregano…)
- raw egg
- breadcrumbs, bread, oatmeal
- vegetables (finely chopped)
- peppers (ground or fresh and finely chopped)
- sausage, bacon, ham
These are just a few options for what to mix in the ground beef according to your preference and resource availability. On the other hand, when it comes to knowing how to make hamburger meat, it is important to emphasize that we can mix different types of meat, such as beef and pork (to achieve a perfect blend of texture and flavor), or prepare the hamburger with just one type of protein or a type of meat (beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc).
How to season ground beef burger
Even though meat is the star product of the hamburger, to achieve a successful recipe it is not enough to buy excellent meat and process it correctly, it is also important to season it in the right way, enhancing its flavor or adding new flavors to proportionate it. an incredible taste experience! In this sense, the most important thing when seasoning ground beef hamburgers is to keep it simple, as the ideal is that the original flavor of the meat is preserved, but enhanced. Check out our suggestions for seasonings and marinades for hamburger meat:
1. Burger with soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce
- Ingredients: ½ cup soy sauce (soy sauce, 100 ml), ½ cup Worcestershire sauce or Worcestershire sauce (100 ml), 3 drops liquid smoke (optional), 3 to 5 drops sesame oil, 2 tbsp minced or dried garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
- Method of preparation: Put all these ingredients in a bowl, mix and reserve this sauce. Shape the minced meat into balls with 100 to 200 g each, add 2 tablespoons of the prepared sauce to each one and shape again to impregnate the seasoning. Shape the meatballs into the shape of hamburgers, place them on a tray or tray, and pour the rest of the sauce over them. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 1 hour before cooking.
2. Burger with mustard
- Ingredients: 1/2 chopped white onion, 4 tbsp tomato sauce, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp white pepper, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 egg yolk, chopped parsley, oregano, or chopped parsley (to taste), salt and pepper (to taste).
- Preparation: In a large bowl, beat the egg yolk with salt and pepper (the egg yolk gives the hamburger meat a creamy consistency) and add the other ingredients, mixing well. Add 500 g of ground beef to the bowl and mix very well until all these spices are incorporated into it. Model the hamburgers and cook then, without letting the meat rest to get the taste. Now you can prepare the burgers and then cook them in the pan, in the oven, or on the grill.
3. Mexican-style hamburger
- Ingredients: 1 chopped Roma tomato, seeded, 1/4 chopped onion, 1 chopped jalapeño pepper, 6 teaspoons mustard, 1 pinch of garlic, and salt to taste.
- Preparation: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, add 500 g of ground beef and mix very well, until completely incorporated. If you want, adjust the flavor by adding, for example, more jalapeño, pepper, or salt. If this seasoned hamburger meat mixture is too soft, adjust the consistency by adding a few breadcrumbs. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes before shaping and cooking the burgers.
Advice: to better enhance the flavor of the seasonings, we suggest roasting the hamburgers on the barbecue.
Tips and Tricks on How to Make Gourmet Burgers
After choosing the meat to make hamburger well and your favorite hamburger ingredients, it’s time to learn some tricks on how to prepare, shape, and cook hamburgers! Check out the following tips and tricks on how to make a gourmet burger:
- Shape all the hamburgers to the right size: to do this, divide the meat into equal portions, which may have from 100 to 200 grams or a little more; then shape into balls and flatten each portion into a disc shape (for professional results, use a hamburger curler);
- Prepare burgers about 1.5 cm thick: 1.3 to 1.5 cm is considered the right height or thickness to keep the meat juicy on the inside while the burger is cooking, even if it gets more golden on the outside;
- Prefer to model slightly larger hamburgers: this is because the meat always shrinks a little while it is cooking. Therefore, prefer to model hamburgers with a diameter a little larger than the bread you will use to assemble the snack;
- Poke a hole in the center of the burger: Using your thumb, index finger, or a spoon, make a hole in the center of the burger 1 to 2 cm deep. This is a handy trick to get the hamburger to cook without the meat puffing up in the center;
- Before cooking the hamburgers they should be cold but not frozen: if you refrigerate the hamburgers for a long time, leave them at room temperature for about 10 minutes before frying, grilling, or baking. Cooking the hamburgers when they are at an intermediate temperature (but still slightly cold) prevents the meat from shrinking and getting tough when it starts cooking;
- Preheat the griddle, grill, skillet, or some other support that you will use to cook the hamburgers. Even if it is non-stick, we advise you to lightly grease it with lard, oil or olive oil a few minutes before putting the hamburgers on to cook. If you want to bake hamburgers in the oven, preheat the oven to 180°C for 10 minutes. These tricks are necessary to seal the burgers before they cook, thus keeping the juices inside;
- Cook the hamburgers in turn: place a few hamburgers on the griddle, grill, or skillet at a time, without overlapping, so as not to compromise the temperature and ensure that they cook properly. It’s also important to keep them separate enough so that they don’t stick together and the edges are golden brown;
- Always handle the burgers with a spatula: this way you won’t compromise their texture and you’ll be able to flip the burgers without breaking. However, remember to…
- Turn the burgers as little as possible: let the meat cook over medium-high heat and turn it just once, so that it browns on both sides. Do not shape the hamburgers while they are cooking and do not flatten or press them together, as this will cause their juices to run out and the meat to be less tender.
- Do not overcook: the maximum cooking time for a hamburger of the size mentioned above is 5 minutes (meat medium) and 3 minutes (meat rare), and this time must be divided between both sides of the hamburger, that is, let the hamburger cook for 2.5 to 1.5 minutes on each side;
- If you want to add cheese, do so towards the end of the time when you finish cooking the hamburger (1 minute or a few seconds before). This way you will get the cheese to melt slightly, without running down the hamburger (remembering that the cheese will continue to melt until the time to serve the hamburger);
- If you are grilling the burger on the barbecue or charcoal grill, use small firewood (preferably black cherry wood) over the coals when they are ready to start grilling. This trick will give your homemade burgers an amazing smoky taste, gourmet style!
Advice: remember that, in order to maintain the juiciness of the meat, you should handle it as little as possible while it is raw and also while it is cooking.
hamburger cooking time
The final detail for your hamburger to be perfect is the cooking time, which can vary a little according to each person’s tastes. Cooking time is crucial for the preparation of hamburger meat, as it directly influences the hamburger’s presentation and even the final flavor and texture. So here are some very practical tips on cooking times and temperatures you need to enjoy perfect burgers:
- If you cook the burgers for about 3 minutes on the griddle, grill, or skillet, you will get a point of rare or medium-rare. The internal temperature of the meat, in this case, will be 55 to 57 °C (130 to 135 °F);
- If you prefer medium meat, cook your burgers for 4 minutes. The internal temperature of the meat will be 57 to 65 °C (135 to 150 °F);
- By cooking the meat for 5 minutes or more, you’ll get burgers to the point of being well-done or well-done. In this case, the internal temperature of the hamburger will range from 65 to 74 °C (150 to 165 °F).
Advice: it is worth remembering that the cooking time and temperature vary according to the heat source (electric stove, gas stove, or direct flame, as in the barbecue) and the utensil used for cooking (griddle plate, frying pan, grill). ..), so use a kitchen or meat thermometer to measure the temperature