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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The patties went on salted side down. They were pressed down slightly with the spatula. They cooked like this for a minute.
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.
The well-seared patties were flipped, topped with american cheese & cooked for 2 minutes on the second side.
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.
Some assembly required, your condiments may vary. This is how I did my burger: The first patty went on the lower bun...
...and got topped with some relish...
...followed by the second patty...
...which I topped with Dijon mustard....
....& capped with the upper bun.
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.