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Mem Day 1 - All-American Double Bison Burgers

For Saturday's supper I cooked up another batch of burgers from Wicked Good Burgers. This is going to be my favorite cookbook from the Summer of 2013. Besides using buffalo meat, something I hadn't done before, this recipe appealed to me for another reason. It was cooked on the flattop griddle or a CI frying pan and violated one of the gospels of grilling. Specifically: you never press down on the meat with the spatula once it is on the grill. Everyone knows that squeezes out all of the juices in the meat and is a no no. This recipe acknowledged that , but mentioned this is how burgers are cooked in lots of diners & the technique does give you a very crispy & tasty outer crust.

I purposely didn't tell my guests that they were having buffalo, I wanted to see if anyone noticed a difference. I didn't have to wait long, when I finally came in with the 4 patties for my wife & I's burgers, my dad came right \ out and said: "So what is the mystery meat?" Everyone but my wife noticed. Several said the meat seemed a bit "sweeter" than ground beef. Several others noticed a finer texture. I noticed both, but I was in on the secret. I was worried about the flavor because the meat was very lean. I was going to grind up my own meat, but the pre-ground stuff at the supermarket seemed to have more fat than the bison steaks, The burgers were only seasoned with Kosher salt, but everyone loved these burgers and ranked them well up on their list of best burgers.

I will move onto the pictures, let me avoid confusion and mention I was feeding 8 people double burgers, so I made 3 batches of 6,6 & 4 patties and people ate 'em while they were hot. Some of the pictures come from a batch of 6 and some from the batch of 4.

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The ground bison seemed to have more marbling than the bison steaks, so I bought that instead & saved $1.00/pound too. Another advantage to the ground bison is it was in rectangular-shaped portions. The uniform shape allowed me to skip using the Kitchen scale and simply cut the meat into 4 equal-sized 1/4 pound, 1/4 rectangular portions. 




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The 1/4 pound portions of bison were rolled into meatball sized & shaped portions & were seasoned on top with Kosher salt. The buns are buttered, & the slices of American cheese are set out. Time to head out to the Egg.



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The Egg has been preheated to 350 degrees & I have two half moon CI griddle grates installed. I actually used my infra red thermometer to shoot the griddle grate temps. I was able to aim it into the Egg through the open chimney. Interestingly enough a 525 degree temp on the dome thermo represented a 525 degree temp at the griddle grate. This was the temp I was looking for & when I lifted the lid to start cooking I closed the lower draft door to 50 percent of the setting I had been using. The temps held pretty steady throughout the cook doing this, even though the lid was now up.



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At 525 degrees the buns toasted up pretty fast, about 15 seconds. Essentially when the last bun went down, it was time to pull the first.



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The patties went on salted side down. They were pressed down slightly with the spatula. They cooked like this for a minute.



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After that first minute passed, the patties were whacked hard with the spatula to flatten them down to 1/4" thickness. The burgers were seasoned with Kosher salt & cooked for two more minutes.



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The well-seared patties were flipped, topped with american cheese & cooked for 2 minutes on the second side.



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The burgers were not put on a platter. In order to avoid loosing the nice crispy outer crust, the burgers were landed onto a cooling rack set into a half sheet pan which my wife brought in and served our guests off of. Meanwhile I started another round of burgers.



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Some assembly required, your condiments may vary. This is how I did my burger: The first patty went on the lower bun...



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...and got topped with some relish...



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...followed by the second patty...



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...which I topped with Dijon mustard....



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....& capped with the upper bun.



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Tender & tasty!!

So far I have made 4 burgers from Wicked Good Burgers & they have all been excellent. If you like burgers, I can't recommend this book highly enough. 

Jim

Website: www.grillinsmokin.net
3 LBGE & More Eggcessories than I care to think about.

Comments

  • EddieK76EddieK76 Posts: 415
    Jim,

    As usual everything looks great!   Was it the instructions that told you not to cook them over grates or was this personal preference?


  • I have that exact same brand of meat available locally and love it; you're burgers have looked amazing and this is no exception!
  • hapsterhapster Posts: 7,163
    I have a pack or two of this stuff sitting in the freezer... now I might have to thaw it out and give these a shot.

    Great as always!
  • Egghead_DaronEgghead_Daron Posts: 838
    Amazing. Nuff said.
    LBGE 2013, SBGE 2014, Mini 2015
    Columbus IN
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 1,089
    Very nice cook, congrats. Did you think these were missing anything? They look great but I'd just about have to throw a think slice of onion on there. Not sure why but that seems like it would compliment things incredibly well.

    Cheers -
    B_B
    Finally back in the Badger State!

    Middleton, WI
  • chris123stockchris123stock Posts: 664
    Very nice, those look great.
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 968
    edited May 2013
    Thanks for looking and commenting. 

    @EddieK76 - that recipe was written for you to use a griddle or CI pan and smash the burgers. They mentioned it being contrary to conventional wisdom. Actually one of the authors likes his burgers better on a CI griddle and most of the recipes mention you can grill it or griddle cook it. This is one of the few recipes where they say should be cooked specifically on the griddle (or a CI frying pan).

    @Black_Badger that is funny you should ask that. I made a test run the day before where I wanted to experiment with the smashing of the burgers and cooking things on a high temperature griddle. With 8 mouth to feed on Saturday I figured it would be confusing enough. Anyway I had picked up some tomatoes & onions for the burgers on Saturday. After trying my test burger on Friday I decided no onions or tomatoes were needed. I was surprised by the amount of flavor the burgers had. This all despite the fact buffalo is lean. Plus those being double burgers the condiments make things even thicker and harder to handle.

    Jim
    Website: www.grillinsmokin.net
    3 LBGE & More Eggcessories than I care to think about.
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 692
    I did a gorgonzola stuff burger the other night... one the best burger ever... Q: where did you get those griddles?  and what size are they?
  • jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 968
    onedbguru said:
    I did a gorgonzola stuff burger the other night... one the best burger ever... Q: where did you get those griddles?  and what size are they?
    They are the BGE Half Moon Cast Iron Grilles. Available through BGE dealers or the mother ship. They also have a fluted back side to them as well for things like bacon you might want to drain. I bought 2 because the half moon shape isn't the most space efficient. Plus sometimes I use the flat side of  one and the fluted side of the other at the same time.

    Jim
    Website: www.grillinsmokin.net
    3 LBGE & More Eggcessories than I care to think about.
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,295
    trying out this SMASH burger on satruday night.  I think it is appropriate because also on saturday night, the ohio state buckeyes will be SMASHING the wisconsin badgers - cant wait for both!  

    @jfm0830  love your step-by-step presentations! 
    Columbus, Ohio
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,618
    Good presentation of your cook. I too think bison tastes sweeter on average than beef. I've also noticed that bison seems to be ground finer than beef. I suppose that is to mechanically work around the greater toughness that bison can have.

    I've never seared them on a griddle. Makes sense, because the metal will brown the outside so rapidly, but leave the inside nice and pink. Bison's low fat content makes dryness a hazard.

    The trick I've learned is to mix the ground bison with a packet of gelatin liquified in sweet onion juice. After chilling, the burgers hold their shape, and finish nice and plump.
  • NDGNDG Posts: 1,295
    interesting . . . sweet onion juice?  do you make that or buy it?
    Columbus, Ohio
  • Seeing these pics just made me hungry.
    Albion, PA
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,618
    NDG said:
    interesting . . . sweet onion juice?  do you make that or buy it?
    Tossed a good size Vidalia into my blender, and ran it to puree. Dumped the puree into a strainer, and got the cup of juice the recipe called for. Saved the pulp to add to mashed taters, but forgot, and it had gone dry and rather brown by the time I dug it out of the fridge.
  • HotchHotch Posts: 1,526

    Thank for the great pictures. I have cooked the pre packaged Bison patties from Costco and was not impressed with the taste or texture.

    These look very impressive. Nice job on the double stack.

    Next time I will be sure to source better and fresher Bison.

     "You’re not a real Texan till you’ve been kicked out of every decent state in America." - Joe Bob Briggs

    LBGE, Mini BGE and R&V Fryer

    Prosper TX

    And your are correct, Texas Red has no Beans



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