How Not to Make a Bulbous Burger

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posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 01:55 PM
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We've all seen it — those malformed flying saucer shaped burgers that are often undercooked in the middle and dry on the edges. They don't cover the bun, the toppings slide right off and the result is an inconsistent flavor from bite to bite. Worse yet, in an attempt to smash the bulge, some would-be grillmasters end up with a juiceless, charred, ruffled mess.

Fear not spatula wielding brethren, the secret to the perfectly flat burger has been revealed in this Huffington Post article and no juice draining pressing is required. The solution is simple, so simple that I find it hard to believe that I've never come across it before! I'm calling my father and explaining how disappointed I am.


"We're obsessed with all the tastes going all the way to the edge," Milliken said. "The opposite of [New York's] Carnegie Deli, where the middle bite is just a huge mound of meat. We want it to be perfectly even, for every single bite of the sandwich to have every taste in it."

To counteract the tendency of a burger to bulge out, Milliken and Feniger recommend squishing the center of the raw patty of ground beef so that it's indented in the middle. You want to do this from both sides of the burger.

"If you form them and you make the inside thinner and the outside bit bigger, then when you cook it, it all ends up exactly the same width," Milliken said. "Otherwise if you just do it all the same, it puffs up in the middle."




..and there you have it. The result speaks for itself:



I only grill beef burgers (and not those preformed frozen abominations) but I imagine the technique is applicable to ground turkey, venison, buffalo, various vegan/vegetarian substitutes, etc.

EDIT:

Here's a little bonus from Buzzfeed: 11 Burger Mistakes Everyone Makes (mistake #7, "You’re not putting an indentation in your patties.")
edit on 2014-7-18 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)
edit on 2014-7-18 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:06 PM
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My family and I THANK YOU!!! lol


Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

Our burgers will never be the same, and for the better. Did I thank you?




posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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originally posted by: NowanKenubi
My family and I THANK YOU!!! lol


Thankyouthankyouthankyou!

Our burgers will never be the same, and for the better. Did I thank you?



Most welcome! It's high time this menace is done away with, once and for all.



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:10 PM
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You can just make them like normal, then poke your finger through the middle (or end of wooden spoon). Maybe wriggle it open a little more. Then slap it on your grill or in your pan, and as it cooks, the hole will seal up and your burger stays flat.

PS: Remember not to play with your ground meat too much as you mix it. The more you mix it, the tougher your burger will turn out! Also; mix your meat in the same direction to help it stick to itself. Going in all directions makes for a harder to hold together patty (unless you're using a binder, like egg).
edit on 14u5202pmb14America/Chicago by Hushabye because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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I like to form the patty way bigger than I'd want on the bun. By the time it is cooked it will have shrunk to perfect size and because I spread the meat out so much it cooks flat as well.



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:18 PM
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originally posted by: Hushabye
You can just make them like normal, then poke your finger through the middle (or end of wooden spoon). Maybe wriggle it open a little more. Then slap it on your grill or in your pan, and as it cooks, the hole will seal up and your burger stays flat.

PS: Remember not to play with your ground meat too much as you mix it. The more you mix it, the tougher your burger will turn out! Also; mix your meat in the same direction to help it stick to itself. Going in all directions makes for a harder to hold together patty (unless you're using a binder, like egg).


I'm not a fan of adding egg but I agree, don't play with your meat too much!



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 02:25 PM
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Through my years of working in restaurants the best way is to just make the patties a bit more spread out and thinner, by time they cook they will be much smaller, but more manageable.
The biggest problem people have is usually they just want LOTS of meat in their burger, when really, why not just cut that portion in half, squash it and if you want more then put on another patty, No big deal.

And if you are cooking them on a flat top or in a pan, just simply get a smaller pan and put something heavy on top if it to keep it's slim shape, usually in kitchens an old school cast iron, Iron did the trick.



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 03:07 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I saw an Adam Richman (Man vs Food) TV commercial for Walmart that gave this tip.

So i tried it.

It does indeed work. Thanks for the bonus tips too!



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 03:26 PM
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originally posted by: butcherguy
a reply to: theantediluvian

I saw an Adam Richman (Man vs Food) TV commercial for Walmart that gave this tip.

So i tried it.

It does indeed work. Thanks for the bonus tips too!


Thanks for the confirmation! I'm going to try it out tomorrow and impress (okay, maybe not so much) my family with my culinary prowess.



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 03:44 PM
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I usually cook my patties in a frying pan. The magic ingredient for me is olive oil. I've never had bulbous patties when I line the pan with olive oil but would when I didn't use any oil.



posted on Jul, 18 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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One thing I do now is flip the patties every 2 minutes, cooking them at medium temp, and they are well done fairly quickly, and juicy too. miam.


But almost spherical juicy patties... lol

I tried to cook the patties with a somewhat heavy weight on them, but it seems to me they were always undercooked and not interesting to chew... Maybe there was too much weight?


In anyways, I'll try OP's trick next time I do some burgers.



posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

I make mine about 3/8" thick so they cook fast and evenly and stay juicy. And I can also eat more of them.



posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 01:20 PM
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originally posted by: ckhk3
I usually cook my patties in a frying pan. The magic ingredient for me is olive oil. I've never had bulbous patties when I line the pan with olive oil but would when I didn't use any oil.


I dated a girl whose nickname was Bulbous Patty. Please don't tell anyone.



posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: ScientiaFortisDefendit

I'm guessing you gave her that name.
Hehe.



posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 07:42 PM
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I'm tossing in my $0.02 to confirm that forming an indent in the center of the patties as described by the OP does work great.... I've been doing it for years.

Plus you end up with a nice flattened center that's slightly indented so you can add way more toppings without them slipping out when you bite into it.... For example: moar bacon, mustard, and fried onions !




posted on Jul, 19 2014 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

The secret is smaller patties. This gives you more surface area to carmelize, which gives you more flavor.

Nothing wrong with making your burger out of 2 patties that are smaller.


And don't forget: season all of the meat. Yes, some will be wasted on the edges....but seasoning the edges is the key to a killer burger. The first bite is where the meal is made.



posted on Jul, 20 2014 @ 01:35 PM
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a reply to: theantediluvian

It works!!
We've been doing it with the indent for years after I found the advice in a cooking magazine.





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