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We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend and is excited for more warm weather grilling! This week, we’ll be making these two burgers: Stuffed Portobello Mushroom and Caribbean Chicken, and also eating lots of these Ice Cream Sandwiches in honor of National Ice Cream Month! It's time to think about getting out to one of the many #EGGfests around the country - see a list here

Hamburger Helper needed

NotabuttDaveNotabuttDave Posts: 181
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I've made 80/20 1/3lb hamburgers several times on the Egg. (Large facing North with Wicked Good at 650*)

They taste great. Juicy etc.

I use a press to shape the patty. I'm looking to make uniform burgers.

They seem tought.

I've read they get tough if they are handled too much and I've read they get mushy if they are handled too much.

What's up?

Comments

  • Gator Bait Gator Bait Posts: 5,244
     
    Hi Dave

    My experiences has shown me that over handling will make burgers tough. I tend to doubt that you are over handling your burgers if you are using a press to shape them. When I worked in restaurants we weighted the meat and pressed them and there was very little handling compared to shaping them by hand. You may try another source for your ground beef. I don't think there is any law that states what has to go into ground beef. The source you are using now may be using cheaper cuts than you might find it made from elsewhere. If you think your ground beef is OK then try adding bread crumbs to it. You might have to experiment with the quantity and whether fresh or dry to get the texture you want but again, be careful not to over handle the meat in the process. If you want to add anything else do it at the same time to reduce the handling as much as possible.

    Good luck.

    Blair

     
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    overhandling makes it dense and tough, sometimes i want that in meatloaf :) i dont want those grinding noodles that come from the grinding plate in a burger, so you do have to work it just a little for burgers, i part freeze them before grilling because they will be too soft to flip without getting the crust to build up on the bottom of the burger. if you really overwork the burger you can make deli sliced meatloaf its so dense

    http://www.eggheadforum.com/index.php?option=com_simpleboard&Itemid=55&func=view&catid=1&id=712411
  • MattMatt Posts: 143
    fishlessman --

    I just read your meatloaf post -- very interesting. I think I'll give it a try. Since that thread is a year old, you may already have everything figured out, but it made me think of Alton Brown's gyro recipe. I have made it several times (in the oven) and the meat comes out very dense, but tender. I am easily able to slice it quite thin (1/16") using a sharp chef's knife.

    I think you would want to modify the recipe a bit for the Egg (e.g., no bain-marie), but it seems to me that the trick is processing the ground meat to make it a bit pasty and then weighing with a brick after you pull it to let it finish cooking.

    All of that said, if you have already perfected it via another method, could you post the recipe?

    Thanks. Sorry for the threadjack, NotabuttDave.

    Matt
  • MattMatt Posts: 143
    Oh, I forgot to mention -- those super-thin slices I got were while the meat was still warm. My goal was to make gyros and eat them immediately. If your goal is more "deli meat", then I think that after cooling it overnight under the brick you would have no problems shaving it with the meat slicer.

    A couple of more points:

    1. Ground lamb is typically pretty fatty, so you may need to use high-fat ground beef to make this work.

    2. The diced peppers and onions might be working against you w.r.t. thin slicing because the veggies are larger than the slices are thick. Could you grind them in the food processor before adding them? If you really want them sauteed, you could saute first, then puree.

    This sounds like a fun experiment. I might fire up the Egg tonight after CW comes by to help me align the top.

    Matt
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    its meatloaf, so for me it will always be different so no i dont have a recipe. here are some guides to firm it up for thin slicing though. use fatty burger, the grease hardens up when you chill it before slicing to help hold it together. really work the burger to make it dense. a little bread crumbs goes along ways, too much and it gets crumbly. onion flakes work in place of or mixed in with the crumbs, adds flavor, dry roast all the veggies first, condenses the flavors and removes moisture, excess moisture separates the meat when cooking. add more spice than you would think if your striving for thin deli type slices, your eating less so more flavor is bettah. chilling it before grilling lets the outside hold up better on the grill, i cook these direct. its not a meatloaf i would serve for dinner, its a cold sandwich meatloaf, i have a weeks worth in the shop fridge right now for morning break, some good white bread, some ketchup, and some slicing maters.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    by the way, thanks for the link, greek place near me closed shop and there are no places close by to get that gyro fix, im going to have to start making those to get my fix.
  • MattMatt Posts: 143
    I've been really happy with them. Be sure to make the tzatziki, too -- it's top notch. My wife makes it all the time just to use as a dip for veggies and chips. As an added bonus, we think we get the best texture using Choban nonfat Greek yogurt (available at BJ's). The texture and flavor with this type of yogurt are awesome, the fat-free is just the cherry on top.

    We made pizzas last weekend and I dipped my crust into this tzatziki.

    Matt
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    i cant read if its fat free, the lebanese make a very similar yogurt called lebne, seems to go with everything. very tangy

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  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Dave,

    As Gator said, try a different source for your ground beef. I use dehydrated onion flakes as a binder and they absorb a lot of the juice and hold it in the burger. I use the baseball mitt method for making the burgers and have never had them tough. Don't press them on the grill though.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Thanks for the info.

    I think I'm working the meat to death. I'm trying to get the shape perfect.

    What is the baseball mit method?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 15,654
    no pressing on the grill like little steven mentioned. i only flip once. 650 may be to high for thinner pressed burgers, try some at 450. thermapens ruin a good burger and cooking to 160 like the safety police say just kills them. i cook on the first side til i like the char, then flip and wait for some liquid to pool up on the second side, then off the grill shooting for a med/rare. i leave the thermapen in the house, i dont want to know the temp of a hamburger ;)
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    Dave,

    you make the meat into a ball and throw it from one hand to the other like you were breaking in a new glove. Then press the ball into a burger. It kind of homogenises the meat and you get fewer cracks.

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • lakemeadlakemead Posts: 76
    try this web site i have it on facebook ahambugertoday
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