Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.


In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Upping my burger game

PowakPowak Posts: 923
I gotta up my burger game. It’s one area I lack knowledge in. I can make good smashed burgers on the cast iron griddle  but a burger on the grate over coals just doesn’t come out super... yet. I’ve used ground brisket, ground beef tenderloin, onion soup mix. Ground beef tenderloin’s made some damn good burgers but again swmbo’s not into it. I want to make one that’ll rock her socks. What do y’all do to make a good burger? Looking for both new techniques and ingredients.

Comments

  • Getting the ball rolling on ingredients....:

    avocado
    sriracha mayo
    fried egg

    pear
    caramelized onion
    blue cheese

    smoked cheese
    bacon 
    onion rings
  • SpaightlabsSpaightlabs Posts: 2,171
    edited June 13
    Secret ingredients - fish sauce (red boat - don't skimp) and worcestershire (if you can find it, Col Pabst is da bomb) mixed in with the ground meat before cooking.

    oooooo mommy, umami.
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,101
    Secret ingredients - fish sauce (red boat - don't skimp) and worcestershire mixed in with the ground meat before cooking.

    oooooo mommy, umami.
    True this.  I use about 1Tbsp per lb of ground beef 

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • Secret ingredients - fish sauce (red boat - don't skimp) and worcestershire mixed in with the ground meat before cooking.

    oooooo mommy, umami.
    True this.  I use about 1Tbsp per lb of ground beef 
    1tbsp of each?
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 13,383
    edited June 13
    I have the opposite problem. Been on a weight loss plan and have been missing my 80/20 grilled burgers. Tonight, I browned off some 93/7 ground beef with some Vidalia onion. I poured off most of the grease (which wasn’t much) and added to it some ketchup, mustard and diced dill pickle chips....and simmered. I ate it in lettuce cups. Now the point of this long winded response is this. You have plenty of room to improve on what has to be already good. You will get more suggestions, which is paining me already. Ok enough about my problems. 

    I do a couple of things. First I religiously use MONTREAL Steak Seasoning (not sides, about 15 min before cooking. Secondly....and it should have been first, you need to use 80/20. (Use 70/30 on smash).....Hand form but do not over work it. ...I cook mine raised direct on the Miniax. That gives me about 5- 6 inches from the coals. I rotate them once (not for lines but for even coking. When you see blood rising through the top of the meat, flip them and repeat. I grill/toast my buns (when not dieting - see above - so that they will hold up better to the juices. I’m a lettuce tomato an sautéed onion guy...ketchup, mustard and mayo. Doesn’t get better than that in my book. Now others will give you other toppings ideas....pimento cheese, an egg, bacon etc. you work with what you want....but it all starts with preparation and cooking in my opinion. Oh, and the reason you use the 80/20 is because you want the fat to drip into the coals for the smoke flavor. If I have missed the mark with my response.....never mind. 
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,101
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 13,383
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Me either. =)
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    “May the four winds blow you safely home.”
  • MikeeMikee Posts: 847
    I prefer thinner burgers. Want more beef; then put 2 burgers on the roll. The flavor of the burger comes on the outside. Cook on red hot coals and get a nice char. Open the dome carefully and wear a glove.
  • SpaightlabsSpaightlabs Posts: 2,171
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Me either. =)
    Try it - you might like it. =)
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,487
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Good move on the fish sauce, touch of Worcester takes it up a notch, IMO.

    For burgers I like a reverse sear, slow cook to get a touch of smoke let the rub, if used, work Somme magic. pull at about 130-140ºF depending on your ground source. Finish to crust them. 

    Must admit burgers are usually done on the Weber Ketle. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • Mattman3969Mattman3969 Posts: 9,101
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Good move on the fish sauce, touch of Worcester takes it up a notch, IMO.

    For burgers I like a reverse sear, slow cook to get a touch of smoke let the rub, if used, work Somme magic. pull at about 130-140ºF depending on your ground source. Finish to crust them. 

    Must admit burgers are usually done on the Weber Ketle. 
    I’ve started SV’n my burgers or totally slow indirect.  Really think it’s an improvement over direct grill.  

    I do have to say that I cooked burgers at my daughters house on her Weber and my wife and I both thought they were better than any direct cooked burger on the egg.  Does the briquettes make the difference or what ?

    -----------------------------------------


    2008 -Large BGE. 2013- Small BGE and 2015 - Mini. Henderson, Ky.
  • DoubleEggerDoubleEgger Posts: 15,608
    Try using 85/15 ground round. Cook at 500 raised direct. Don’t overwork the meat. I don’t add anything into the meat because you have to work the meat and the texture gets effed up. Form a round ball and press out with one hand while working the edges with the other hand ensuring that the edge of the burger is solid with no cracks. Cracked edges tend to release the juices more and leads to dry burgers from my experience. Season with SPOG or your preferred rub. 
  • johnkitchensjohnkitchens Posts: 5,222
    Powak said:
    I’ve used ground brisket, ground beef tenderloin, onion soup mix. Ground beef tenderloin’s made some damn good burgers but again swmbo’s not into it. I want to make one that’ll rock her socks. 
    It may not impress her, but I can promise you that would rock my socks! Way more effort than I have ever put forth for burgers! I want to see what you come up with. 

    Louisville, GA - 2 Large BGE's
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,487
    edited June 13
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Good move on the fish sauce, touch of Worcester takes it up a notch, IMO.

    For burgers I like a reverse sear, slow cook to get a touch of smoke let the rub, if used, work Somme magic. pull at about 130-140ºF depending on your ground source. Finish to crust them. 

    Must admit burgers are usually done on the Weber Ketle. 
    I’ve started SV’n my burgers or totally slow indirect.  Really think it’s an improvement over direct grill.  

    I do have to say that I cooked burgers at my daughters house on her Weber and my wife and I both thought they were better than any direct cooked burger on the egg.  Does the briquettes make the difference or what ?
    After an hour in the Trés Booblay, try dropping them in a deep fryer á la MCAH, that is a burger!

    Not sue about the briquettes but the Weber is a grilling machine for two zone cooks. The cool side is cool, while the warm side can be scorching. No need for smoke wood. 
    Delta B.C. - Whiskey and steak, because no good story ever started with someone having a salad!
  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,606
    edited June 13
    Different people have different tastes, obviously, so this depends on what your swmbo likes.  For example, I do like thin smash burgers, doubled up, and they're easy and safe, ... but they're not my favorite.  My favorite is a royal pain in the neck to try to make safely, so I hardly ever do it.  What I love the most is a thick burger, seared very dark, almost a little charred on the outside, and not raw, but very pink in the middle.  Pink juices dripping down your chin, man that's some kinda good!  But you can't do that safely unless you grind your own beef, and even then there can be a lot of bacteria on the outside before you grind it.  I'm an old guy, and food poisoning kills elderly people, and it ain't a good way to go!

    So next is the fixins.  For a really superb burger, salt and pepper might be enough for me, on a buttered, grilled bun.  Often I like to add a pretty thick slice of sweet visalia onion, and with a great burger, that's heaven!

    But for variety, or a less superb burger, LOTS of variations.  
    • I like Dizzy Pig Cow Lick on burgers -- I like it better than Montreal.
    • I don't usually like ketchup or mustard on burgers, but once in a while Meathead's "Burger Secret Sauce" (A.K.A. "Burger Glop") is really good.
    • What I think of as a "California burger": Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, bacon, lettuce, tomato, a little mayonnaise.  First had that in San Francisco, and I really love that combination.
    • "Michigan Olive Burger" is surprisingly good: Pretty normal American burger with American cheese, pickles, onion, lettuce and tomato, but with finely sliced green olives mixed into mayonnaise spread pretty thickly on one side.  Saw this on Triple-D, and Guy Fieri looked really dubious, but tried it and said it was delicious.  I've made them several times and I agree.  I think olives add an umami not so hugely different from fish sauce (which, actually, I wasn't crazy about the only time I tried it in burgers).
    • I've posted two lamb burger recipes on this forum that I think are absolutely wonderful, and much more knock-your-socks-off than most regular burgers: Charmoula Lamb Burgers and Lamb Burgers with Moroccan Aioli.  I think they're both amazing!  (Not taking credit -- I didn't invent the recipes.)
  • cookingdude555cookingdude555 Posts: 2,409
    @Powak, lets baseline, what type of burgers does she like?  Where has she had a burger that has rocked her socks?

    Lots of good suggestions here, but they may not be for her, if she is looking for something specific.  What type of steak does she like, and what doneness?  What is her favorite type of protein, and how does she like it cooked?  It could help the suggesters to know the flavor profiles she likes.  I am sure you can find something that works perfect for her.

    John - SLC, UT

    2XL, XL, 3 Larges (each kid gets one), Med, MM, 2 Minis

  • PowakPowak Posts: 923
    Sorry.  Tbsp of fish sauce.   I don’t use Worcestershire in my burgers.  
    Good move on the fish sauce, touch of Worcester takes it up a notch, IMO.

    For burgers I like a reverse sear, slow cook to get a touch of smoke let the rub, if used, work Somme magic. pull at about 130-140ºF depending on your ground source. Finish to crust them. 

    Must admit burgers are usually done on the Weber Ketle. 
    I’ve started SV’n my burgers or totally slow indirect.  Really think it’s an improvement over direct grill.  

    I do have to say that I cooked burgers at my daughters house on her Weber and my wife and I both thought they were better than any direct cooked burger on the egg.  Does the briquettes make the difference or what ?
    Well that’s what happened to me. Wife goes to my daughters friends house for kid’s birthday party and the dad grills burgers on a kettle over coals but started with wood first. She says they were the best burgers she’s ever had. I’ve got kettles to and since learning to cover the coal grate with the coals on 3/4’s of it I’m getting more scorching heat and making pretty dang good burgers there but there’s gotta be more to like the fish sauce and type of beef used.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,047
    make theopans Charmoula Lamb Burgers, use kalamata olives and anchovies in the tapenade.

    in the egg i cook them hotter like 450 direct and keep them medium rare at most. i really dont like the smoke on burgers so hot , fast, get them out of there and dont load the grill up with lots of burgers.

    much prefer the blackstone.  this one was duck eggs cooked in an onion ring, onions sauted with balsamic, cheddar cheese, and a balsamic glaze. not a fan of hamberger rolls on burgers either, bulkie rolls all the way



    for the simple burger, put the cheese on the lower bunn and top it with the burger, cheese on bottom, dont melt the cheese on the burger. not only does it taste better but it glues the bottom bunn to the burger and avoids the slip and slide when eating it

    back to the lamb, either  theopans Charmoula Lamb Burgers, or necessary indulgences kofta with tzatziki sauce

    httpsusv-cdnnet5017260uploadsFileUploadc032ddb3a358d968b9545adbb1c789cbjpg

    httpsusv-cdnnet5017260uploadsFileUpload4e12286428b35f5feea400083e7215afjpg



  • posterposter Posts: 649
    I like to add at least 25% ground pork to mine, but then again you gotta cook it a little longer
  • PowakPowak Posts: 923
    poster said:
    I like to add at least 25% ground pork to mine, but then again you gotta cook it a little longer
    And past pink interior too? 160°?
  • TEXASBGE2018TEXASBGE2018 Posts: 2,414
    My "technique" is to never cook them directly over coals directly on the grate. They are either cooked in Cast Iron on the grill or on my Blackstone. 20+ years of cooking them on the grill and they have never been worth a dang until I stopped trying to cook them on the grate and used a flat top griddle or pan.


    Rockwall, Tx    LBGE, Minimax, 22" Blackstone, Pizza Party Bollore. Cast Iron Hoarder.

  • PowakPowak Posts: 923
    Talking with swmbo tonight and asked her what I could to do to improve my burgers. She said mine are dry. “Make em more juicy and tasty”. I agree with @TEXASBGE2018 that a burger on flat surface is a quick knock out of the park, but I’d also like to nail doing a quick hot cook over direct fire with a good crust and juicy interior.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 25,047
    edited June 14
    if you are going for a quick cook over a hot fire, go thin and partially freeze the patties so the middle warms thru as the outside chars.  this also helps a lightly formed party stay together during the cook. watch the patty as it cooks, when liquid starts to form on top, flip. when you see liquid start to puddle on the other side, its done. worst thing to use on burgers is a thermapen, just trust the procedure, partially frozen thin, hot, watch the juice form, just one flip, get it off the egg.

    salt is added during the cook, not when making patties
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,496
    Powak said:
    Talking with swmbo tonight and asked her what I could to do to improve my burgers. She said mine are dry. “Make em more juicy and tasty”. ....
    For juicy, sous vide at 130-135º.  For tasty, sear over hot coals (or on hot cast iron). Use a mix of chuck, short rib, sirloin, and neck (add fat to get to 20%).
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • PowakPowak Posts: 923
    Cooked up some smash burgers on the egg today. Cast iron griddle on the grate, fire ring height originally about 400°. It went super until some grease dripped over the side and spread some fire up on the griddle a few times. Burgers still came out good though. I think next time I won’t fill the fire ring so high will coal so things won’t go outta control so easily. Just to see what the difference was I made a thick 1” or so patty on the kettle I had running beside the egg. That came out dang good. 
  • dannysdannys Posts: 83
    Powak said:
    poster said:
    I like to add at least 25% ground pork to mine, but then again you gotta cook it a little longer
    And past pink interior too? 160°?
    The recommendation for pork has been 145F for quite some time. If you don't want pick in you pork overcook it to 160F.
  • DondgcDondgc Posts: 468
    dannys said:
    Powak said:
    poster said:
    I like to add at least 25% ground pork to mine, but then again you gotta cook it a little longer
    And past pink interior too? 160°?
    The recommendation for pork has been 145F for quite some time. If you don't want pick in you pork overcook it to 160F.
    For ground pork the recommendation is 160 degrees, not 145. 
    New Orleans LA
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,496
    Which brings you back to the beauty of sous vide for a burger.  You can cook to the lower temp and still meet the safety standards.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.