This is another in a long line of Burger Rants I’ve done over the years, both verbal and in text. When it comes to the All-American Hamburger I consider myself a burger extropianist (the opposite of a nihilist) – extropianism encourages getting the most out of life, a nihilist doesn’t care about anything. I care about educating my fellow man on how to build the proper burger. With that being known, here’s how I feel about the subject and some Do’s and Don’ts.
1. Grind your own meat if possible. Use sirloin or chuck or rib meat making sure there is enough fat left on it. I shoot for a 90/10 ratio.
2. Never freeze your ground beef. Buy only enough to use “fresh”.
3. Never add anything to ground beef such as onions or mushrooms or spices or fillers (Oh, the humanity of it all). If you do then you have Salisbury Steak or Meatloaf, not a hamburger patty.
4. Griddle your patty in a pan or a flat top. Do not charbroil on a grill or BBQ unless you want dried out, carbonized meat. I happen to like the taste of a BBQ’d burger, but that style is secondary to the griddle method.
5. Leave off the bacon, the avocado, the fruit, the deli meat, the exotic dressings or anything else that muddles the flavor of good ground beef and makes the burger too messy to actually pick up and shove in your mouth.
6. Use small, cheap hamburger buns and toast them in a pan first.
7. For a Double Cheese Burger, weigh out 2 1/2 ounce portions and smash into a 1/4 inch patties. You’ll need two patties and two slices of cheese.
8. Make your own hamburger dressing as good as In N Out’s. Ketchup, mayonnaise, a tiny amount of mustard, pickle relish, salt, and pepper. I prefer dill pickle relish, you can use sweet if you like.
9. Build your burger as follows (from the bottom up): Toasted bun, burger dressing, shredded iceberg lettuce, ripe tomato slice, slivered white onions, patty, cheese, patty, cheese, crispy fried shallots, mayonnaise, toasted bun. Serve dill pickles on the side. Use plain old American cheese.
10. Cook the patties medium. Season lightly with salt and pepper while cooking.
I may not be a nihilist about this, but I am a confessed, card-carrying Burger Nazi (similar to the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld). If I owned a small burger joint, I would throw anyone out and ban them for 2 years if they ordered their burger other than as described above.
I peruse food sites and find it interesting looking at so-called Best Burger Recipes…not one of which uses the KISS method. All loaded up and piled on with so much disjointed, off-the-wall crap they are not appealing in the least.
Of course, instead of subjecting yourself to all of this rigamarole, you could just go to In N Out Burger...but where’s the fun in that?