Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Elusive Perfect Burger

So you made burgers on Memorial Day weekend, right? Me, too. How did yours turn out? It's pretty amazing that we constantly cook hamburgers, but they're so often dry and tough.

About ten years ago, there was a big scare about eating undercooked meat. At the time, some states required restaurants to cook hamburger meat through. The problem is that overcooked hamburger is the main reason it's often less than wonderful.

I happened to catch some Bobby Flay this weekend. And he said something that blew me away. 7 minutes. 3 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other. So I tested his 7 minute plan. Unfortunately, it was raining, so I made my test on a pan, not on the grill. If you try this, shape your burgers first, so they're all ready to go. Salt and pepper both sides if you like.

I poured a little olive oil into a pan and heated it over fairly high heat. On my stove, that means just past medium. Don't try this on high! Let the oil in the pan heat. You'll notice a change in the oil -- the edges will pucker first, then the inner part. (If it smokes, toss it and start over.) Place the burgers in the pan and watch the timer. 3 minutes. Do not flip them. You can give them a scoot to loosen them if you like, but mostly leave them alone. After 3 minutes, flip all the burgers and watch the timer again -- 4 minutes. The second you hit 4 minutes, remove them from the pan. Let them rest a couple of minutes. Voila! Perfect medium rare hamburgers. Delish! Thanks, Bobby!

Five cupcakes for Bobby Flay and 7 minute burgers!

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