From Blah to Bomb: A Guide to Making A Better Burger

Step by step how-to for
improving your burger

Written by Salvatore Marashi

Every guy should know how to
make a burger. A damn good burger at that. There’s a lot of information out
there but most of it doesn’t make the cut. Through research, experimenting and
eating a lot of burgers, here are the best tips for making a better burger.

Get Grinding

Grinding meat for a better burger
That prepackaged ground beef
isn’t good enough. Burger making is an art and you can’t be an artist without
understanding your ingredients. Prepackaged ground beef is a mysterious mix of
beef parts. Instead, choose to grind your own meat. Doing so allows you to
incorporate superior cuts like short rib and chuck into your patties.
Understanding your beef will serve you well.
If you’re like most people and
don’t have a grinder, there are two things you can do. First, you can go out
and buy one. There are some cheap options and for my foodies, they are
absolutely worth it. Alternatively, and definitely easier, you can have your
butcher do the grunt work for you. Just make sure that either way you’re using
a blend of cuts that have a good fat to meat ratio. Aim for 80/20.
Don’t Preseason Your Burger

Building a better burger: Don't preseason your meat
Whether you have a crowd of
guests or just trying to cut down on prep time, preseasoning probably sounds
like a good idea. It’s not. In fact, it’s a surefire way to ruin the integrity
of your burger. Seriously, DON’T PRESEASON YOUR MEAT!
Doing so will start to break
down the fibers in the meat and leaves you with something more akin to a
sausage patty than a thick, juicy burger.
Form is Function

How to form a hamburger
Ever wonder why your patties
keep turning out more like meatballs than burgers? It has to do with how you’re
shaping them. After balling up your patty, dimple the center with your thumb.
This prevents it from ballooning during cooking and flattens the patty so
there’s a greater surface area for searing.
Skip the Grill

Making a better burger with a cast iron skillet
Burgers may seem like the
ideal grilling food, but they are not. Let’s take a second to undo decades of
men’s cooking tradition. The cast iron pan is the far better choice. When
grilling, he juices from the meat are wasted as they fall between the grill. In
a cast iron pan, all that goodness stays right where it should be.
To cook, place a high heat oil
like canola (not olive oil) in a ripping hot cast iron pan. Once the oil is
smoking, throw the meat in. Let a crust develop before flipping. Only flip
Cook Your Burger Right

How to cook your burger medium rare
FDA be damned, one hundred and
sixty-degree internal temperature is way too high for a burger. I’m sorry to
all my well-done friends out there but medium to medium-rare is the only way a
burger should be eaten. Pink, juicy perfection takes about a combined total of
seven minutes.

Get Cheesy

Making a better burger: Which cheese is best for a burger
All cheese is delicious. Not
all cheeses are good on a burger. You want something that’ll melt quickly and
uniformly. As much as the food snob in me hates to say it, American cheese will
always be the best cheese for a burger.

Nice Buns

Which bread is best for a burger-How to make a better burger
Much like cheese, bread is
delicious. However, fancy breads like brioche and challah that thirty-dollar
burgers use, are not going to yield the best results. Yeah I know those are
fighting words to chefs everywhere. Bread like those take away from the burger
itself. Squishy buns like those white-sesame-studded buns you grew up with are
go-to hamburger buns for a reason.
Sauce it Up

Making a better burger: What sauce to put on a burger
Ketchup is America’s favorite
condiment so what I’m going to say next might offend a lot of people. Mayo is
better on burgers. There, I said it. Ketchup’s sweet, acidity is out of place
with seared, fatty ground beef and luscious cheese. Mayo brings that creamy
element without overpowering any of the other flavors. It’s also just tangy
enough to cut through the fat.
If you must have your ketchup,
mix it in with a secret sauce (i.e mayo, ketchup, and relish).

Food for Thought

If you truly want to up your
burger game, these tips will get you cooking like a pro.
What makes your burger better
than the rest? Talk to us below!

Salvatore Marashi

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.