Work and family needs have conspired to keep me away from my Eggs for far too long lately. In fact the last two timesI I have eaten food cooked on the Egg, it was cooed by others. First at my Egg dealer's Customer Appreciation Day 2 weeks ago and last Saturday's NewEGGlandfest in Brentwood, NH. Now before I start feeling too sorry for myself, both times some of that food was cooked by Eric Mitchell, author of the new Smoke It LIKE A PRO (on the Big Green Egg) cookbook. My personal drought was due to end Saturday night when I got back. I had a recipe called Korean Burgers that I planned to make for supper.
I had been telling the folks at my butcher shop about the Big Green Egg and NewEGGlandfest, plus they had seen some pictures of the food I made using their meat. Well they evidently listened and 3 of them were there and I bumped into them. This chance meeting resulted in a conversation about Wagyu beef. I found out they carried Wagyu beef and where this was sort of a Bucket List item for me, I decided to switch plans and make a burger with Wagyu beef. After all if I was going to do a hamburger, why not do THE hamburger. I decided to keep things simple and use only salt & pepper for seasonings and some good American cheese for the only topping. Onto the pictures:This first picture is out at the Egg which has been pre-heated to 425. The bowl contains the salt & pepper I was using for seasoning, pre-mixed together. Notice the color of the patties: They are almost salmon pink, rather than the typical red of regular ground beef. This is due to the high amount of marbling present in the Wagyu beef. The other difference was the texture of the meat, which was softer and smoother and didn't feel like the typical ground beef mixture.
Step 1 was to toast the buns. At 425 the first one was ready to come off as soon as the last one went on.
The three 1/3pound Wagyu patties are on the grill. They were prone to flareups due to all of the fat, but the flames went out as soon as the lid went down.
After 4 minutes it was time to flip the burgers. i had oiled the grill grate well, fearing the worst from this soft, delicate meat and I had very little stickage.
The patties were topped with cheese for their last 90 seconds on the grill.
The burgers were rested for 10 minutes and it was time to eat.
mmmmm. Comments below.
Cutting to the chase: These burgers were Excellent! There were several surprises though, because they certainly didn't turn out to be what I was expecting. This wasn't a bad thing, just different.
- These were the most moist burgers I have ever had, this surprised me a bit though. The recipe I used for cooking Wagyu burgers called for you to take the burgers up to 160 degrees, which is higher than I sometimes do. Every bite was juicy almost out to the edges.
- The consistency was different than any ground beef I have ever had. It was smooth and creamy and didn't seem like a typical burger made of strands of meat pressed together. It was like an extremely soft and creamy single piece of meat. I wasn't expecting this but noticed it at the first bite.
- The meat had an intense flavor, but it was not what I was expecting. I expected a more intense flavor of grilled ground beef. This is a bit hard to put into words that make sense: This was an intense flavor, but it didn't taste like typical grilled ground beef flavor. I can't describe what it reminded me of.
- These three items combined add up to this: If you had blindfolded me and gave me a piece of this burger I never would have guessed ground beef. Grilled meat, grilled beef perhaps, but certainly not ground beef of any kind.
Grilling some Wagyu beef was a bit of a Bucket List item for me. It was certainly a fun experiment, resulting in some tasty food. Fortunately while it was very good, Fortunately, I am not feeling now that I have tried it, I must have it going forward. I will probably make it again from time to time for a true burger lover for some special occasion.