According to the Beef Association there are over 13 billion burgers served up every year in the United States.
But, have you ever wondered why some restaurant burgers are flavor packed while your grilled burger ends up being a bit greasy and bland? Here are three easy steps for better beef hamburgers.
First: Start with a nice selection of ground beef. Not everyone can afford ground steaks or Black Angus free range ground beef. That’s why you should select ground beef that has a fat ratio of at least 80/20. Some prefer a 75/25 ratio which I think is a bit too fatty if not done correctly. On the other hand, if you shoot for a real lean ground beef you will save calories but you’ll be lacking a bit of flavor and the burgers may turn out dry.
Second: Seasoning can be light or heavy so choose according to your recipe. A basic burger recipe is simply ground beef in the form of a patty with a few dashes of pepper and a few dashes of salt. That’s pretty simple and it really lets the beef flavor shine through. However, if you are looking for added flavor for a theme burger then don’t hold back! A Tex-Mex burger may have something as simple as taco seasoning sprinkled in. Ranch dressing is a common addition to a hamburger mix as well as something heartier like Steak sauce.
Third: Your hands are not an industrial press so back off the beef a bit! Try not to over work your ground beef when making your burger patties. If you press them together too hard when forming you may end up with tougher burgers with a fabricated tuff texture. Also be sure to avoid the urge to press down on your burgers when they are cooking. Let the juices flow naturally instead of squeezing the flavor from them.
Burger Bonus Tip: Did you know that the “Beef People,” and the USAD, recommends that hamburgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 16o degrees? That temperature kills bacteria such as E. Coli.
Texas toast jalapeño burgers with creamy salsa
Have you ever craved a burger so packed with flavor that was a big as Texas? Well, try the Tex-Mex Burger from the cookbook The Texas Hometown Cookbook… and you might want some extra napkins and possibly a fork.
For the burgers
- 1 pound ground beef or sirloin
- 1/4 cup fine minced jalapenos (store bought works great but not the sweetened relish version)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Dash of garlic powder
- Light dashes of salt and pepper
- Buttered Texas Toast that has been toasted
Mix everything in a bowl and form into four to six equal sized patties. Grill over medium high heat until done. Grill, or bake, buttered Texas Toast until golden. Build the burgers on the Texas toast topped with sour cream salsa and your favorite additional toppings such as shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes.
For the creamy salsa
- 3/4 cup your favorite store bought salsa
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Dash of hot sauce
- Dash of garlic salt
- Dash of lemon juice.
Mix in a bowl and add dashes of garlic and hot sauce to taste. Serve on top of your jalapeno burger.
Burger Tip: Actually, this pertains to the salsa! We often make our own salsa for dipping chips and veggies, so don’t be afraid of making your own. If we can’t go home made we often “junk up” store bought salsa with toasted corn kernels and rinsed black beans.