Thursday, March 3, 2011

How to make the perfect cheeseburger

I love cheeseburgers.  The people around me know this because I eat them.... often.
I don't think there is anything wrong with eating them as long as it isn't 100% of your diet.
For the Paleo people in my audience, feel free to eliminate the cheese... and the bun.... and just create the ulimate burger. 
I'm a firm believer that your body needs high quality protien to function properly.  If you want to grow, get faster, or kick ass the importance grows exponentially.

Ok so here it is... the magical recipe for the perfect cheeseburger.

It all starts with the meat.
We could get into the whole dry aged vs. grass fed vs. the stuff in the supermarket that is actually dyed red.

If we are gonna talk ultimate, we are gonna go with grass fed.  That means that Mr. Cow was able to roam around and experience a little American countryside before meeting his demise.  Kobe beef???? Don't give me that crap.  There is no such thing.  It is all BS when it comes to burger.  They don't grind any of that stuff up.  By the way, if you have the chance to have a Kobe beef steak, just realize it is pretty much a pile of fat.  I'll take a quality Ribeye or Delmonico any day of the week.

Sorry, let's get back on track.
You want to use a combination of round, chuck, and sirloin in equal proportions.  Look, nobody said it was going to be easy to make perfection.  Make sure it comes from a reliable source because some of the best burgers are served Rare, meaning they have a cool red center.  The meat should end up around 85% lean.

Next, let the meat reach room temperature.  This is important, so think ahead.

Hand form a patty that is about 3/4" thick by 5" across.  When I say hand form I really mean to massage the meat into a beautiful form like a talented artist. 

Next you will need a grill, and it can't be some wimpy grill either.  Charcoal or gas doesn't really matter.  What is important is temperature.  You have to get over 500 degrees, preferably 700.  For those without a temperature gauge this means that you can't hold your hand 4" above the grill for any length of time.  Don't worry about it being too hot.  Just turn it to high and let it get really hot.

Next, put the patty on the grill and don't screw with it, just let it sit there and sear.  Maybe 2 minutes depending on the temperature.  Then flip it and again don't screw with it.  When done it will still be soft like the pad on the palm of your hand. 

There are two important points during the cooking of the patty.
1. the outside needs some black marks
2. the inside needs to be red

The bun can be whatever you like.  Some people like sesame seeds, others like Ciabata, others like onion buns, others like potato rolls.  It doesn't matter to me.  But it must be toasted.  That means coating the bun with salted butter and giving it some grill marks and brown toasty goodness.

The cheese can change based on your taste.  If you want to make me happy it should be a nice aged cheddar cheese slice thick.

Toppings.... the best is just salt and pepper.  But, carmelized onions are good, or crispy smoked bacon, or sauted mushrooms.  Keep it simple to not overpower the flavor of the burger.  Mayo is tasty too.  Ketchup and BBQ sauce should be used only when your beef is sub par and needs to be covered up.

You put all these things together and you will have a beautiful creation.  Trust me, I know.