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Burgers on the Mini were......ok :-(

mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
edited 10:03AM in EggHead Forum
Well, broke in the mini tonight. First of all, there is no line of any sort inside that tells you where to stop the coals. There's about a 1 cup difference in that little thing of between empty and full. Any ideas on how much is enough?[p]Then my guest, in charge of bringing the meat, brought ground round. Very nice, except it makes terrible hamburgers. Dry as a bone.[p]Then I used my new (drumroll please) Polder on the burgers. Set it for medium well and took them out when it started to carry on. They were VERY well. WELL well. I would have expected them to be a little more lively.[p]What do you think? Am I an utter failure at mini-egging? (The wine was good, though).


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MollyShark, not having a mini I would have to direct you to our Canadian Friend Ed who cooks on either a small or mini. Also JCA is a fervent user of the mini. JJ will help ya too. My guess is that it doesn't take much coal and your close to the fire so make those burgers nice and thick and sear quickly both sides, and cap it off for a period to finish the inside to your liking .. The more you do, the better you will get at the time needed for perfect burgers. I got a home for that little guy if you get too discouraged..:-)

  • MollyShark,
    Hang in there Molly! At least you learned from the experience! There's not a single one of us that get it right everytime! Not even KOC, or me for that matter! Yuk! Yuk![p]Dr. Chicken

  • MollyShark, Always drink the wine first. You've figured out most of the problem; next time ground chuck at 20% fat. You might try the long and low method ala' Thrill of the Grill cookbook, and cook burgers at 225 for an hour or more. Juicy, but yes..... well done.

  • djm5x9djm5x9 Posts: 1,342
    <p />MollyShark:[p]My best Mini burgers are of a leaner ground beef (I grind my own) with spices, maybe a little olive oil, and a temperature of at least 600*. Can you be more specific with details of your cook?[p]Regarding filling the firebox, fill the coals even with the top of the air holes. Keep in mind that the ash bin is small. Clean before each use for best performance.[p]Take that Mini for a couple of dry runs so you are familiar with its characteristics. Because of its small size, it can get away (temperature wise) from you quickly. It is basically a griller, you are better off not using a polder with it. You might end up with a fried polder. Once you get the hang of temperature control Mini use is easy.[p]Take care of your little guy . . .
  • mollysharkmollyshark Posts: 1,519
    Already you are trying to remove my baby to a foster home! I'll do better. Really![p]
  • Nature BoyNature Boy Posts: 8,523
    Frozen Chosen,
    Thanks for bringing that slow method up.
    I really want to try that out. Nice smoky flavor I bet.[p]Hope the weather is treating you well up yonder.[p]NB
    Twitter: @dizzypigbbq
    Facebook: Dizzy Pig Seasonings
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  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MollyShark, I knew you would bond quickly...:-)[p]He is a super little guy and will do wonders for ya. Ideal traveling companion. I want one to take fishing with me this summer to the lake.. Me, myfishing buddy, bitty egg, boat, and pop up tent. 3 or 4 day excursion..peace, quiet, grilled walleye, taters, maybe even pizza..right on the lakeshore.

  • J AppledogJ Appledog Posts: 1,046
    Rattling the bushes again to try to flush me out, are you? [p]My last two attempts on the mini have resulted in an overcooked burger & and undercooked lobster. (I'm blaming it on the frigid temps & Dr. Atkins induced sobriety).... As for my tips here, I suggest lump to the top of the firebox every time, and a spacer between the thermometer & the dome. I use a wine cork that I cut in half & then drilled through the center. This keeps the thermometer stem from stabbing the meat and giving a false reading.[p]The mini IS trickier to cook on without benefit of an adjustable top, but once you've got it figured out, the big BGEs are childs play. Bone Appétit! And try adding some rosemary to those burgers.

  • J Appledog, that makes sense. Smaller boats are harder to sail than big ones too. That Dr. Atkins will make you a healthy grumpy person. If a nice glass of wine is okay, then a quart or two should be great. The alcohol may not help your cooking adventures,, but it will certainly help you laugh through your boo-boo's..

  • MollyShark,[p] I don't have a mini so I can't help you with the level of lump, but I've got a few burger suggestions for you. First, set your Polder for something less than what you want (e.g., if you really want medium-well burgers, set the Polder for medium rare). As the meat sits for the couple minutes it takes to get inside to the table, it will continue to cook. This is especially true when you're cooking at high temperatures as the meat is getting hot fast (it's always harder to stop something that's moving faster). The best bet is to try a few more times to get some experience and go by your watch, not the Polder, for burgers. Second, you're right about the ground round. My experience, and everything I've read tells me that you need ground meat with about 20% fat. Much less and the burgers dry out. Don't know what the added fat would do to the flare-up factor in a small space like a mini BGE, though. I also add a bit of egg, sour cream or plain yogurt if I'm stuck with lean meat. The texture is altered somewhat (burgers seem just a tad "mushier" this way (or "velvety" if you want to put the nicest face on it ;-) )), but it helps to keep them moist. [p]MikeO

  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    MikeO, I agree and support your non polder advice regarding the burgers..Timing does it. Adjusting thickness to timing will result in great burgers every time. A great cook demonstrated to me "never mash a burger" either in a pan or on the grill once the burger is cooking. To do so, dries out the meat. I usually can do 90% lean and still have a juicy burger requiring napkins to keep the chin dry..:-)[p]Cheers...C~W[p]
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