The Great Burger Experiment... Part 1


I'm afraid it may be a while before I can get some painting updates on the site... in the meantime I present my quest to define the perfect Burger. Living now in the UK, I am already feeling the loss of my traditional American staples and figured that a good bonding experience with my father would be a series of controlled experiments in making the perfect hamburger. 
I need to write up my notes on this process somewhere, and this seemed to be as good a place as any for that.

Day 1 - Burger thickness and thumb printing

Recipe:

  • 500g 20% fat Beef
  • 187g Fine Breadcrumbs
  • 1 Egg
  • 1g Pepper
  • 1g Salt

Preparation:


  1. Egg whisked
  2. Beef, Breadcrumbs and Pepper mixed into Egg
  3. Thoroughly mixed all ingredients together to form an even mixture
  4. Mixture split into 4 patties of 157g each (roughly 1/3lb):
    • 3cm thick patty
    • 3cm thick patty with thumbprint
    • 2cm thick patty
    • 2cm thick patty with thumbprint
  5. Salt outside of patties

Results:



This is a pretty terrible burger mix. Looking into it further I think a pure beef mince with high fat content should be sufficient, this seems to be backed up by what I have seen of copycat recipes online.
I think that the burger recipes that include breadcrumbs and egg you find online are designed to mitigate variable fat content to ensure the burgers will bind. This is just a hypothesis but with the bland flavor it presents - I'll have to look for another composition.
Some people may also comment that there should be salt mixed into the mince. From my reading, it seems that this can have an effect of toughening the meat leading to hockey puck patties.
It seems that there is no benefit to thumb printing with no discernible difference in flavour, moisture, shrinkage or patty consistency.
Regarding thickness, it seems that even 2cm is too thick for the patty, I think that 1/4lb is a more manageable size.
  • Reduce to 120g patties
  • flatten to 1-2 cm (further testing required)

Coming Next:

Well there are a bunch of different factors to investigate over the coming weeks:
  • burger meats pork vs beef
  • other patty ingredients (herbs, breadcrumbs, onions, mushrooms, chilli)
  • vegetable includes (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, gherkin aka dill pickle, red onion, white onion, grilled onion)
  • Sauce includes (mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup)
  • Cheese (american slice, jack, cheddar, swiss, extra mature cheddar)
  • Bun (sponge, brioche, seasame, ciabatta, wheat, sourdough, tiger/dutch crunch)

- Raggy, signing out