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burger research

PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
edited 10:42AM in EggHead Forum
I've been doing some research looking for the perfect burger (almost as hard as the holy grail). I've gone into the best cut or mixture of cuts of meat, grind die, times, grind temperature, handling, etc...

What I'm interested in now is more on the side of the ingredients that go in... I'm looking for the meatier, earthiest, most umami-packed burger you can make... I have added sardines, chipotle, jalapeño, raw onion, caramelized onion, raw bacon, dehydrated/roasted bacon, bonito flakes, black truffle, white truffle, white and black truffle oil, different types of salt, duck fat, beef tallow, pork lard, MSG, sesame oil, tequila, dijon mustard, maple syrup, honey, among other things....

I'm interested into any input you guys can give?



  • gee, no offense, but i like my burger to taste like .. ..well . ....BURGER!!! . ...i use either an 80/20 grind of ground beef, or i buy a simple brisket flat and have my butcher double grind it for me (and yes, even your average safeway butcher will happily grind up a brisket flat for you if you smile and ask him nicely)....and then all i usually do is maybe add a little worschteshire sauce (and i do mean a little), and a nice sprinkle of s/p or something like dizzy cow lick, or red eye express.....DATS IT!!!!...more important i think is grilling technique ....rather than a hot and fast grilling, i like to roast my burgers....a high grid . ..either a small low fire, or i use my grid on top of my adjustable rig, and then a dome temp in the 350 - 400 degree range so that my large (1/2 pound range) burger roast for 20 minutes or so till done in the medium to medium well range (unlike my rare steaks i do like my burgers more done)....but i only flip them once ...and never, NEVER press on them!! don't want to press the juices out of them ....
  • AuntieEggerAuntieEgger Posts: 258
    Have you tried cut up mushrooms in the burgers their ohhh sooo good! Give it a try
  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    no argument about the importance of the technique all from the grinding (I prefer to do it myself), handling and grilling, I too, grill them over a medium fire trying not to move them so much, see the less handling I find turns out a burger with more bite to it...

    And of course I like them-meaty burgery-tasting as well... I didn't mean I added ALL of that at once... Most of those ingredients are umami-inducing (some more than others)... and what I meant is I have done many many batches in which I have used those ingredients on their own or mixed in small quantities to add to the burger taste... haven't been able to find the right proportions or selection of extras for what I would consider the best burger for myself...

  • i hear you pato....i wasn't trying to sound overly critical of you....i was just trying to convey what i thought made for the best burger in my own mind....i find when i do up a burger just right, i end up eating it on the plate with nothing on it, no bun, no cheese, no ketchup, nothing!!, , ,i call them 'big old honking naked burgers' ...sometimes, i'll make one about 1 full pound in size. ...and with red eye express for the rub, its got a great peppery tone to it and it just doesn't require anything else on it....maybe a big slab of ripe avacado on the side to give it a sweet buttery balance. ...but thats it ...
  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    yes! I have as well, I love the earthiness that previously sauteed-in-brown-butter criminis or portobellos, even shiitakes give the burger...

    I know maybe less is better (as is the case for many recipes) but I just want to be sure hehehe

  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    I know! don't worry... this is the point of the thread precisely hehe... I normally eat the burger with just a bun and some good cheese... I just don't fit in my mind how you can actually taste a "thing" that is packed between to buns that might or might not be that good even, with more ketchup,mayo,mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, chili, cheese, onions, etc... I like to taste the meat and consider the bun a medium to take into your mouth hehe...

    as per the red eye express... I hadn't thought about it... I'm imagining the coffee kick should add an interesting flavour profile... I will try it later! heheh :woohoo:
  • EggsakleyEggsakley Posts: 1,016
    I'm pretty well in teh Mad Max school of thought on this one. I will however sometimes mix some ground pork sausage in with the beef, just for variety. but that's about it if my goal is a burger and not some exotic concoction. :)
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,238
    add some elk ;) one of the best burgers ive eaten was elk and it was friggin done on a griddle to boot :laugh:
  • Michael BMichael B Posts: 986
    Are we talking burgers? Or small meatloaf?
    Burgers - Double grind a brisket, make patties, 350* - 400*, one flip. Sautéed onions and mushrooms on the side for those who want them.

    edit - Sorry fishlessman, trying to respond to the thread, not your post.
    Haven't had it, but I bet elk is good. Moose and venison are good.
  • Boilermaker BenBoilermaker Ben Posts: 1,956
    Have you tried fish sauce or soy sauce to up the umami?

    I worked one summer as a cook in a walk-up burger stand. People used to rave about our burgers...simply 100% beef burgers that we drizzled soy sauce over, once we flipped them.

    Lately, I've just been giving my burgers a good sprinkling of DP's Raising the Steaks, but I've been known to supplement with fish sauce from time to time.
  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    Hey Ben!

    Fish sauce I haven't tried! I will next time...

  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    Pato, I like to get my flavor from the cut of beef I'm in the mood for. For instance if I'm craving a ribeye I'll grind up a cheap ribeye steak, sometimes I'll go 1/2 chuck and 1/2 sirloin. -RP
  • Boilermaker Ben wrote:

    That sir, is genius! Thanks!
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,505
    Here's a link to something I came across this week, and am meaning to try:

    Essentially the guy sears one small burger, and squeezes out the drippings and fat. He semi-freezes the mix, and makes it the filling for another burger. So he gets double Maillard reaction, and all the juice one could want.

    I'm thinking a good reduced neck bone stock and some browned butter might make a comparable filing.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,742

    Stuff with foie gras maybe ;)



    Caledon, ON


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,238
    i like the fish and soy sauce idea for burgers, might make some up crying tiger style like this next week, real good on tritip and ribeye so why not a burger :)
  • UKMattUKMatt Posts: 113
    I recently made what I consider to be one of the better burgers I've done...

    None of it sounds like it would make a difference but the end result was a juicy, beefy burger.

    I used 2 lbs of 80/20 ground chuck and I added:
    - one yellow onion grated fairly finely
    - A squirt each of ketchup and dijon mustard
    - A tablespoon of anchovy paste
    - A tablespoon of worcestershire sauce
    - 2 slices of wheat bread ground into crumbs and toasted
    - Salt
    - Fresh ground black pepper

    Mix all that together until just incorporated.

    Grill to your preference. I grill over a 500 degree fire and turn 3 times.

    They were seriously good - very beefy and extremely juicy. I only ever cook burgers to well done (or as my neighbor puts it "I don't care what doneness you call it, cook them until the e-coli is dead") for safety reasons.

  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    I have done them with foie-gras sandwiched inside... it's amazing but not for everyday since it's expensive haha.... you've seen the photos I think, kobe-foie-gras-truffle burgers "en brioche"

  • SantanaSantana Posts: 58
    I think you're only asking for additives to be cooked inside the meat, but I'm compelled to mention green chile burgers, that are popular in Southern New Mexico. They put a sauce on top of the burgers that are essentially chopped Hatch green chiles.

    The Owl Bar in San Antonio, New Mexico has them waiting outside the door to get in and order their Green Chile Cheeseburgers.
  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173

  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
  • PWisePWise Posts: 1,173
    I did some with minced anchovies yesterday... they were good but something was missing...

  • I am so going to try this this weekend on my two days home. That and the french fry recipe on that same blog. Thanks for posting.

  • AzScottAzScott Posts: 309
    A hamburger today is a great site. Do a search for Umami burger. They are based out of LA and are all about umami. Also search burger lab on that site for some other really informative articles about what temp to cook for perfect m/r, what cuts to use, etc.

    By the way, fish sauce is freaking awesome! I started using it about a year ago and it's transformed great dishes into phenomenal dishes.
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Pato & I for sure would like your input on burgers.... ;)
  • Lawn RangerLawn Ranger Posts: 5,466
    The "KISS" method always works for me....just meat and seasoning. The add on's are the icing. Hard to beat the natural taste of beef.


  • GrumpsGrumps Posts: 182
    e. coli is dead at temp of 160 degrees. My bugers taste better when they are not overcooked, so I cook to 160.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Let me know when it is safe to break out the Onion Burger. :woohoo: :woohoo:

  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511

    I think I can actually help you. :woohoo:

    Last fall a fawn Whitetail dear was harvested and I ended up with all the meat. Basically the backstraps and the tenderloin turned into steaks and the rest was 'trim'. I took all the trim (30-35#'s) and ground it up twice through the 'fine' plate with +/-10% beef fat.

    I fed this to all my big game hunter buddies and wouldn't tell them what it was. Every single damn one of them said "this is the best burger I've ever had, but I have no idea what it is." Then they all said "It sure isn't Venison though" :laugh:

    The combination of the egg, and a perfect meat like young deer.......priceless :)

    I can hook ya up this fall. ;) :evil:
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