Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Secret to a Perfect Hamburger

I used to like going to fast food places a little too much because of time constraints on cooking dinner, and well I just liked it a little too much.  After I started The Vintage Diet though the whole idea of fast food became repulsive to me.  I learned, I studied and soon discovered all the gross things that go into your standard fast food hamburger.  No thanks, I'm done.  Now a hamburger is a treat, something we have maybe once every 2 weeks and always made from scratch at home.  There is no all encompassing "secret" to the perfect burger, but there are a few things you can do to go from ordinary to nirvanic.

DO - Use ground chuck or sirloin. These meats are lower in fat so you have less loss upon cooking

DO NOT - Make a giant burger pattie.  1/4-1/3lb is a serving and is the perfect pattie size to ensure quick even  cooking.

DO - Use fresh baked rolls from a good bakery.  If you use Wal-Mart rolls you'll get a crappy result.

DO NOT - Use iceberg lettuce, it's watery, tasteless and nutritionally void.  Use romaine instead just cut out the hard stalks and use the green leafy part.

DO - Use good fresh tomatoes like Campari, even though they are smaller they pack a huge tomato taste unlike the store brand slicing tomatoes that have taken on the flavor of tofu.

I always buy my meat the day I'm going to use it so it's not frozen.  I use a butcher at The Fresh Market because I know they grind the meat fresh daily, never frozen and no doingies.  Form your patties by hand patting them out like grandma used to.  Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder or for a spicy kick dust  instead with konriko creole seasoning.  Grill over charcoal 3 minutes a side, after flipping the second time move burgers to side of grill and top with cheese of choice, cover grill 1-2 mins until cheese melts.  For the burger above I seasoned with konrico and used rolls from The Fresh Market.  Fixings were crispy Carolina Pride bacon, romaine, campari tomatoes, red onion and 2 year aged raw milk cheddar from New York.  The condiments were Duke's Mayonnaise and a few drops of hot sauce.  You can let your imagination go free and make what you want, just keep in mind, better ingredients make for a superior product and it's worth the extra few bucks in order to get a burger that would make Fuddrucker's hang their head in shame.  If you're looking for me I'll be on my hammock and stand, enjoying my hamburger.


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