Burger Basics: Tips to Create Perfect Patties
Guest blog post by
Michelle Baumhover, Director of Consumer Marketing Iowa Beef Industry Council
Burgers sizzling on the grill is a classic sign of summer. By following a few simple steps, it will be easy to enjoy juicy, flavorful burgers this summer.
Selecting the beef:
- Select an 80/20 lean to fat ratio for optimum flavor and juiciness.
- If fat is of concern keep in mind excess fat drips away during grilling. You can also blot cooked burgers with a paper towel to remove any excess fat.
- Lightly shape burgers to ¾ inch thickness. Overworking ground beef will result in a compact firm textured burger that could be dry.
- Gently indent or form a well in the center of the burger to keep the burger from swelling in the middle during cooking. The burger will flatten during cooking.
- Cook patties over medium heat for even cooking. Burgers grilled over too high of heat could overcook or char on the exterior before the center reaches the desired doneness.
- Use a spatula or tongs to turn burgers. Don’t press or pierce patties during cooking as that will cause flavorful juices to escape!
- Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160°F. The most accurate way to determine doneness is by using an instant-read thermometer.
Get good, quality ground beef from a local locker or from a retail shop you trust, advises Sutter Homes Chef Starr. “Make sure it’s cold and fresh. We like to use an 80/20 mix with 20 percent fat. Fat is flavor!”
To make a juicy burger, Chef Starr cautions cooks to avoid over-handling the ground beef. Try your hand at grilling this weekend and put a new twist on the classic American burger! More recipes are available from www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon hot chili sauce *Hot chili sauce, an Asian condiment made from red chilies, garlic and vinegar, imparts a tangy, spicy heat to dishes. Hot chili sauce is available in Asian markets and the Asian section of most supermarkets.
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 whole wheat or white hamburger buns, split
- Combine cabbage and 1 tablespoon lime juice in medium bowl; set aside.
- Combine ground beef, green onion, ground ginger and hot sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.
- Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place patties in skillet; cook 10 to 12 minutes until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. *Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.
- Meanwhile, combine peanut butter, hoisin sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice and sesame oil in small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Place 1 burger on bottom half of each bun; top evenly with peanut butter mixture cabbage mixture. Close sandwiches.
Photo & Recipe Source: Beef It's What's for Dinner
Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Serving Size: 4