It just had to happen. We couldn’t host a challenge about classic American dishes without including the most celebrated handheld meal in the U.S.: The Burger. For most, the All-American burger is a simple thing- something served up at cookouts and corner diners. What’s most important is its execution. We all crave a patty with a nice sear, juicy interior, and a liberal dousing of salt and pepper.
But there are also signs that many are no longer satisfied with the humble lettuce, tomato, and mayo of the past. Restaurants are stepping up their game by whipping up aiolis and topping medium rare meat with anything from fried eggs to fois gras.
So, are you a burger traditionalist or trailblazer? We’ll find out when you dish on your perfect burger.
Posts accepted August 1st – August 10th. Winner announced August 12th.
Click here for details on how to submit, and have fun!
Our test cooks have discovered some helpful tips you may want to keep in mind when making burgers:
1. Ever wonder why your burgers end up with a bulging middle? The collagen (connective tissue) in ground meat shrinks when heated. This causes the bottom and sides of the meat to tighten like a belt, which forces the surface of the burger to expand. To prevent a bubble burger, press a 1/4-inch divot in the center of each patty.
2. Those who prefer their hamburgers cooked medium-well or well done will experience burgers that are on the dry side, but they shouldn’t have to. We suggest adding a panade to the meat mixture. This is a paste made from bread and milk which adds moisture to meatballs, meatloaf and now, burgers. For 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, combine 1 slice of hearty white sandwich bread, torn in pieces, with 2 tablespoons of milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, until the bread is soaked, then mash to a paste with a fork. Gently mix the panade into the meat before forming burgers.