Good Food! unResolution Month Post #17: The Definitive Hamburger Recipe

Hamburger Time
Hamburger Time


How to Make the Perfect Hamburger

Point of order, welcome to unResolution Month’s Hamburger Week!  Hamburger Week is a new institution in unResolution Monthdom and I’m pretty sure that by the end of the week, you’ll be wanting it to come back next year.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll have six straight days of hamburger toppings, fillings, and other deliciousness.  But first, we need to talk about how to make the perfect burger.  Making a good hamburger is not difficult, but there are a few unbreakable rules that I will now share with you.

The Perfect Hamburger Starts With the Perfect Meat

Let’s start from the beginning: the burger itself.  Good hamburgers are made from exactly one type of beef: 80% ground chuck.  If you have anything else in your freezer, turn it into meat sauce and go buy 80% ground chuck.

Why chuck?  Chuck is the shoulder, which means that it will be tough, but it will have some nice fat to it, which means that it will have great flavor.  Now, I know what you’re saying: fat is bad!

Let’s be real for a minute.  Like really real.  You are about to eat a hamburger.  It’s going to have fat in it.  Plus, you’re probably already thinking about the fries you’re going to serve up with it.  That’s fat.  Get over it.


Plus, fat is flavor and you want flavor.  So 80% chuck.

The Perfect Hamburger is Cooked With the Right Pan

Cast iron.

Next topic…

Okay, I know, you’re asking “What if I don’t have cast iron?”  Buy some.

Okay, okay, if you don’t have, you can use a skillet.  Just get the sucker nice and hot.

But they’ll taste better if you cook them in cast iron.

The Perfect Hamburger Comes From Perfect Technique

So, here’s what you do:

  1. Take your ground meat out of the refrigerator and let it get the chill off.  If it’s frozen, um, put it in the fridge and make burgers tomorrrow.  You can nuke the burger if you really want to, but some bits will be cooked and others won’t be cooked and it ruins the texture.
  2. Roll the hamburger into the same sized patties.  You can do either half pound or quarter pound.  I prefer half pound.
  3. Sprinkle both sides of each pattie with salt and pepper.
  4. Get your cast iron skillet (nudge nudge) good and hot.
  5. Lay down four burgers max in the skillet and cook them for eight minutes.  Then using a spatula, flip and cook for another 8 minutes.
  6. If you are adding cheese, flip the burgers again, place the cheese on top of the burger and cover the skillet.  Let cook for 1-2 minutes to get the cheese nice and melty.

Add to bun (toasted or not, your call), smear with ketchup (no mayo or Bruce Willis will KILL you) and enjoy!


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