Log In or Sign Up

The Perfect Easy Hamburger. Bren’s Burgers.

by bkhoury on July 03, 2014

The Perfect Hamburger. Bren's BurgersI wouldn’t want to suggest growing up on a cattle ranch in Nebraska has made me an expert on burgers, but since I was 12 years old it was my job to “throw the burgers on the grill” for many a hungry boy.  I have had quite a lot of time to perfect my technique!

Many people try to make burgers something more complex than they should be.  Like most of my favorite foods, I like to keep it very simple.  But here are a few of my effortless techniques if you really crave a mouth-watering burger.

1. The beef:  As a child, my family never purchased beef from the grocery store.  So when I first went shopping on my own to purchase ground beef, I was mortified at the pale red worm-like concoction that is store-bought beef.  I only knew dark red chopped meat that smelled delicious. I cannot express to you how different ground beef looks when you purchase it from a “Farm to Table” butcher.  I’m not talking about some fancy butcher that purchases their beef from a huge processing plant.  I’m talking about the butcher with the cows in the pen out back.  For those of you who are sensitive to such things, meat comes from cows… or more accurately steers (young male calves). 

The next best thing to ordering a side of beef, is asking for freshly ground sirloin at your butcher or meat counter. If sirloin isn’t in your budget, don’t worry.  Following my tips will yield delicious burgers from even cheapo ground beef.  Sorry, I don’t care how easy it is, if you want to make a really good burger please don’t purchase the pre-made frozen patties.  Remember it only takes a few minutes to shape some delicious fresh patties that will make all the difference. 

2. The patties:  The trick is to not make them too thick, so the juices make your bun mushy.  It is often popular at some restaurants to make the burgers so thick you can’t even get your mouth around them. I think a good burger is all about the right ratio of bun to meat.  When shaping the meat into a patty, don’t over-work it.  Like making a piecrust, just loosely shape it into the size you like.  Remember, the patty will shrink depending on how much fat is in your meat.  I like to make mine about ½” thick and the perfect circumference so it doesn’t spill outside the bun but doesn’t leave a single bite of bun without meat. Pieces of parchment paper cut into squares serve as your canvas for shaping the patty and for stacking the uncooked patties.  When it’s time to put them on the grill you simply flip them over and your burger won’t fall apart!

3. The seasoning:  After experimenting with many different complex seasonings, I always come back to sprinkling a little Worcestershire Sauce on the meat.  Add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper and that is it.  Make sure you liberally season with the salt and pepper, as ground beef tends to be very bland.

4. The cooking:  Many grill experts advise you to turn up the grill as high as you can to sear the outside.  I personally like to set the grill on medium heat and let the juices distribute evenly throughout the meat while it cooks more slowly.  Also when grilling for small kids, most can’t stand the black, hard grill marks cooking at high temperatures yields. 

The meat will “tell you” when it’s time to flip the patty.  If you try to flip the burger and it doesn’t release from the grill, it’s not cooked enough to be turned yet.  Don’t force the process or you’ll have burger pieces everywhere.  And don’t make the rookie mistake of using your spatula to press on the burgers… all the yummy juices will be wasted. The burgers are done when they are no longer pink in the middle.  For me just past pink is just right so the burger won’t be dried out.

5. The eating: Serve your delicious burgers with any condiments you enjoy.  My kids love tomatoes, avocados, pickles or fresh cucumbers… and of course ketchup.  I try to buy the kind with no high fructose corn syrup.  My husband and I like all of the above plus red onions and tangy mustard.  Kid-sized sliders are so appealing to kids. Make extra because they will go fast!  I even use small tomatoes to fit the buns perfectly. 

Enjoy your delicious burgers this weekend! No one will need to know how easy they were to make! 

Be the first to leave a comment.

  • Remember my personal information
  • Notify me of follow-up comments?

Get Social!

  • twitter
  • facebook
  • rss