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Improving burger flavor on the Egg

After many cookouts this summer and swmbo leaning towards burgers from the cast iron skillet vs direct on the Egg, she's straight up told me my burgers on the grill don't taste as good as they used to ( I was a kettle griller the past 8 years). Me being a completely diehard egghead these days felt a little stunned. How could burgers on the egg be anything but the holy grail? but after a little thinking I realized the difference - cooking burgers over lump vs briquettes and gas. I love the maillard effect from the red hot lump but could it be the fat dripping onto the coals is causing that semi nasty flavor swmbo's tasting? I hate to consider getting Grill Grates but could it be worth it?

Comments

  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 16,625
    Grill your burgers right over the coals for a sear, then farther away from the heat to finish, or use CI on the egg.  Both are delicious.
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 17,051
    As alluded to by @bgebrent,  eggsperiment with your cooking style (change only one variable at a time) and see where you land.  Lump or briquettes-much better than a gasser right out of the gate.  FWIW-
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,682
    Don't know what size egg you have but if you light charcoal on side and create an indirect space it may help eliminate some of the smoke coming off the burger drippings. 

    And to check a couple bases- what kind of charcoal are you using?  Could it be too heavy a smoke profile for her tastes? Are you sure you are letting all the VOC's burn off prior to putting food on? 
    Greensboro, NC
  • TeefusTeefus Posts: 630
    I do burgers on my Weber kettle. The BGE is a great choice for many things. It's  tough to beat a kettle for a burger cook. 
    Michiana, South of the border.
  • PowakPowak Posts: 617
    Wolfpack said:
    Don't know what size egg you have but if you light charcoal on side and create an indirect space it may help eliminate some of the smoke coming off the burger drippings. 

    And to check a couple bases- what kind of charcoal are you using?  Could it be too heavy a smoke profile for her tastes? Are you sure you are letting all the VOC's burn off prior to putting food on? 
    That's a good idea. I've got a large. Maybe I could do burgers like steaks, sear and then indirectly roast or vice versa. Yup I usually wait till the smoke clears before putting the burgers on. I've noticed they do tend to have more of that   Burnt grease flavor when doing a large amount of burgers at a time.
  • PowakPowak Posts: 617
    Teefus said:
    I do burgers on my Weber kettle. The BGE is a great choice for many things. It's  tough to beat a kettle for a burger cook. 
    Burgers and chicken for sure. 
  • PowakPowak Posts: 617
    Eventhough they sometimes get that off taste, burgers in the egg always come out super moist. Even when well done.
  • Hamburgers for me on Blackstone..... SWMBO only likes them that way now... I agree...
    Charlotte, NC - Large BGE 2014, Maverick ET 733, Thermopen, Nest, Platesetter, Woo2 and Extender w/Grid, Kick Ash Basket, Pizza Stone, SS Smokeware Cap, Blackstone 36"
  • PowakPowak Posts: 617
    Hamburgers for me on Blackstone..... SWMBO only likes them that way now... I agree...
    Can nail smash burgers on a Blackstone or skillet. Hard to beat!
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,567
    So, she likes the "gasoline" taste?  Make sure you put seasoning IN the meat, not just on it. If done properly, you should only need S&P.  Fat content should be 80:20 (most fast food places use ~72-74)  k
  • PowakPowak Posts: 617
    onedbguru said:
    So, she likes the "gasoline" taste?  Make sure you put seasoning IN the meat, not just on it. If done properly, you should only need S&P.  Fat content should be 80:20 (most fast food places use ~72-74)  k
    When it comes to grilled burgers, unfortunately she does. Although we both agree that flat surface cooked burgers taste the best I prefer burgers over coal than over gas flame. 
  • GregWGregW Posts: 1,734
    I've got a set of grill grates. I think they do a good job doing burgers on the egg.
    I do think the grates reduces some of the fat dripping and burning on the coals.
    You can, and I sometimes do, flip the grill grates over where I'm cooking the burgers on a flat surface. This does promote more of a Blackstone style crust formation on the burger.
    Birmingham, AL
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 12,170
    Try 85/15 Ground Round next time. It's noticeably better than 80/20 chuck in my opinion. 
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,212
    Powak said:
    ... she's straight up told me my burgers on the grill don't taste as good as they used to ... could it be the fat dripping onto the coals is causing that semi nasty flavor swmbo's tasting? I hate to consider getting Grill Grates but could it be worth it?
    GregW said:
    I've got a set of grill grates. I think they do a good job doing burgers on the egg.
    I do think the grates reduces some of the fat dripping and burning on the coals....
    I like burgers cooked on a metal surface, notably including smash burgers, but I don't like them as well as burgers grilled over charcoal.  Two kinda opposite things about that:
    1. I, also, have felt like burgers on the Egg get more of a burnt-fat flavor and fragrance than they used to on other grills, and it's made me less happy about burgers on the Egg than anything else.  I LOVE everything I cook on my BGEs except burgers.  So I tried grill grates, hoping they'd cut back on the dripping fat burning back up into the meat, and I think they do help, and I'm using them for burgers, now.
    2. But... when I've cooked steaks on them, they made really cool looking grill marks, but I wound up deciding that the meat between the grill marks was LESS seared than on a plain grid, so overall, I really think I'm getting a better edge-to-edge sear on a plain grid, even though the grill marks aren't very noticeable or pretty.  So I can't help wondering whether burgers might be similar.  I get less of that burnt-fat taste with grill grates, and really nice looking grill marks, but I wonder whether, like the steaks, I'm getting less overall sear edge to edge with the grill grates.  I won't use them for steaks, for example, because I think I get a better sear without them.
    So I have mixed feelings.  For me, the grill grates were kind of expensive, but I definitely like burgers better cooked on them than a regular grid.  There's still some fat dripping down on the fire, but I think it must cut back on that enough that I don't really get that burnt-fat taste.

  • GrillSgtGrillSgt Posts: 1,855
    I still use my Weber kettle for a lot of cooks. 
    Woodford & Barren Co. KY

    LBGE, XLBGE, 2 Weber Genesis, Weber 22" kettle

    I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 23,127
    big but thin burgers partially frozen on the egg 450 plus direct, limit the flipping to one as it dumps less grease. if youre feeding burgers to a crowd the blackstone hands down
  • johnnypjohnnyp Posts: 2,997
    edited September 2017

    I'll share what works for me on the egg. 

    1) thinner patties.  If you want more meat, stack 'em.  But the additional surface area for browning and shorter cook yields a better tasting patty IMO.

    2) Fish sauce.  Awesome way to add some Umami to the burger.  Having a hard time getting the correct link to load on this computer, but this should get you there.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=griffins+grub+umami+burgers&sa=X&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&tbm=isch&imgil=U8im6jHiz6cKZM%3A%3BOf3iilsX3wVeZM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fgriffinsgrub.wordpress.com%252F2014%252F05%252F29%252Felevate-your-burger-this-summer%252F&source=iu&pf=m&fir=U8im6jHiz6cKZM%3A%2COf3iilsX3wVeZM%2C_&usg=__N3VazspMH12_gBtXLftW1SlnhHw=&biw=1680&bih=915#imgrc=U8im6jHiz6cKZM:&spf=1505135194311

    XL & MM BGE, 36" Blackstone - Newport News, VA
  • SWMBO buys the groceries- really have no idea what the level of meat she buys they are usually pre-made patties either sliders or patties.  Sometimes if she buys the patties from costco we pull about 1/4 off reform and remake.

    Seasoning- varies but usually we use Jane’s Mixed-Up Salt sprinkled on top both sides ~10 min before grilling.

    Cook- 400 degrees raised direct- PS Woo, Original Grate.  I dont care about grill marks and I generally dont put cheese on until I pull them off.

    Results- my 11 yo spent the night w a friend over the weekend.  When picking her up and asking about breakfast she noted the night before she had burgers and they were terrible compared to the ones you make.  "I mean I forced myself to eat it because I was hungry but I like yours way better"
    LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Weber Kettle Premium, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Yeti 20 oz Rambler, Yeti Colster, RTIC Lowball

    Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits
  • Agreed with 400 degrees raised direct. Also make your own ground beef 50/50 chuck/sirloin.
    Somewhere in Colorado
    LBGE, PGS A40 Gasser
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