Many can’t resist a hot, juicy hamburger — the “perfect burger” –that has come right off the grill. But in my childhood home, hamburgers were sometimes small, thick and rather tough. It is no wonder I dreaded “hamburger night!” Fortunately, today’s hamburgers are now delicious, tender and Mmm MMM good. Here is how you make the perfect hamburger.
First, start with ground beef that has a bit of fat in it. You don’t want such a lean burger that it is going to be hard to chew. If you only have lean beef, add a bit of olive oil. You can also add ground pork to your hamburger, which makes the patty lighter and gives it extra flavor.
Place your ground meat in to a large bowl. Then add two teaspoons of crushed garlic or garlic powder. Continue with 2 tablespoons of Worcester sauce, ground pepper, pepper flakes if desired, a tablespoon of mustard and a splash of olive oil.
Some people prefer to have ¼ cup of grated cheese added to the mix, such as parmesan or hard cheddar. You can also change the burger flavors around depending on your personal tastes. Consider rosemary, chili powder or even curry as your base hamburger flavor!
Now for the secret. Instead of immediately forming the burgers in to patties, use two forks to cut through the meat as you would for a pastry dough. Only after this is done should you gently form your patties. Try not to push the meat together too firmly, and add a little indentation to the middle of each burger for even cooking.
If you are cooking your burgers in a pan, make sure the surface is sizzling hot before adding the meat. Then place the patties down and leave them alone, allowing them to caramelize and cook on one side. Once they appear done on the bottom, flip them and let them continue cooking on the other side. Never push down your burgers, as that will remove all of your wonderful juice.
Taking the extra bit of time to flavor and cut through your ground meat will make your hamburgers the best on the block. Pretty soon, everyone will be begging for your now “famous sliders!”