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Sharing my burger secret with the Pit!

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    Sharing my burger secret with the Pit!

    Hello everyone!

    I´m stuck inside for 30 days on a national quarantine down here in El Salvador. While at first I was extremely frustrated, I have decided to use this time to catch up on my outdoor cooking, and my time in the Pit. Work has been crazy, and I've been doing some BBQ/burger popups in my free time, and I haven't had much time to be online.

    So today I logged in and saw my membership had been cancelled because I changed my credit card and the renewal hadn't gone through. It made me realize that I'm going into my third year being a member of the Pit, and it has been a great source of information and motivation. For me, this is where it all started. So, to give back to the community, I am sharing this burger recipe I have come up with, which I personally love and would like others to try to see if I am not biased!

    I originally cooked the Steakhouse Burger recipe here on AR, following this recipe:

    1. I would buy picanha and beef fat. I would separate the fat cap in the picanha from the meat itself, weigh them separately and then make a 75/25 meat/fat mixture.
    2. Grind it up, spread it across the table and season it with garlic powder, coarse ground black pepper, paprika, a little chili powder.
    3. Make 8oz patties
    4. Salt the patties, and cook them on the smoker at 250-275f until 120 internal, then sear them on a very hot griddle/cast iron pan.
    5. Top with sharp cheddar, and home-cured maple bacon.

    While I really liked this burger, I felt something was missing. The insides were usually bland, as salt does not penetrate to the center of the burger. And I once tried salting the patties before, but the texture was not good at all, as one of the articles on the site stated it would be.

    So for a while, I switched to smash burgers, which I also love. I did several pop-up events using the smash burgers, and people really liked them. But I always had this nagging thought in the back of my head of how I could improve on the Steakhouse burger, because who doesn't love a fat juicy burger?

    And I SWEAR this is true: the idea came to me in a dream. I woke up and called my girlfriend "I just had this idea of how I can improve on the original burger, I don't know if it will work". So I tried... and I LOVE IT. Please, someone else try and let me know if this also works for you, keeping the texture loose, while making the inside taste salty, delicious. My dream idea:

    DRY BRINE THE MEAT FOR 12-24 HOURS BEFORE YOU GRIND IT!

    That's all it took! Now salt was everywhere on the patty, not just on the outside. It sears great, it tastes awesome all the way through. Like I said: I don't know if its bias, but I am really loving this burger. I also made the following changes to my original recipe:

    1. Using brisket and some lean meat now, fat content is probably higher.
    2. Dry-brining the meat with lots of salt at least 12 hours beforehand.
    3. No other ingredient other than black pepper on the outside.

    And since I'm in a good mood, I'm gonna share another little trick I use! I use an offset to cook these burgers, then sear them on a very hot griddle. Since the patties are never over direct fire, they lack that fat-falling-in-fire-smoke flavor. So I came up with a little trick. My offset has a little deflector plate over the opening between the firebox and cooking chamber, where it gets extremely hot. I put a little wire rack on this plate, and place several chunks of beef fat. When it starts melting from the heat, it drips onto the hot deflector plate, evaporating and replicating that delicious fat-falling-in-fire flavor! Try it!

    I cooked 65 of them for a burger pop-up about a month ago and the feedback was extremely positive. Please let me know if any of you guys try it, and your results with this recipe!

    Cheers!

    #2
    That sir is simply a delicious burger. I didn’t care for the first burger you mentioned then you brought it home.

    I 100% concur with you second observation.

    i actually salt the patty again and add pepper only to the first side after the flip. I never use spices and such in the grind.

    also for fun and an textural change up try adding some “Round” to you grind. It’s silky as all get out!

    to everyone else.... a PSA... please do dry brine before the grind, especially for meat balls. Not so
    much for meatloaf though.

    Great post sir. Solid advice too!

    Comment


    • mnavarre
      mnavarre commented
      Editing a comment
      Or just grind up an untrimmed tri-tip. Makes fantastic smash burgers.

    • gijsveltman
      gijsveltman commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you!

    #3
    Oh man. That's all I can say.

    Comment


    • gijsveltman
      gijsveltman commented
      Editing a comment
      try it!

    • klflowers
      klflowers commented
      Editing a comment
      gijsveltman I took a chuck roast and a brisket out of the freezer this morning. Going to use the chuck, the brisket flat and some of the brisket trimmings to make some this weekend.

    • gijsveltman
      gijsveltman commented
      Editing a comment
      klflowers awesome! let me know how it turns out!

    #4
    Please no flames if this is a dumb question, just never thought of it before this: would it work to dry brine preground burger?

    Comment


    • mnavarre
      mnavarre commented
      Editing a comment
      Nope. You'll end up with a sausage-like texture, not what you want in a burger.

    • HouseHomey
      HouseHomey commented
      Editing a comment
      What he said.

    • Huskee
      Huskee commented
      Editing a comment
      I dry brine my burger patties ahead of time, couple hrs. The caution is against *mixing the salt in* and then pattying. But yes, dry brine patties ahead of time!

    #5
    Doing it after grinding can change the texture significantly. Check out some of the results from serious eats. https://aht.seriouseats.com/2009/12/...ound-beef.html

    Comment


      #6
      We know that salt to a grind before forming will cross link the proteins, making a sausage rather than burger texture. Nothing necessarily wrong with that- sometimes I make bratwurst burgers because I don’t want to mess with casings.

      however I can only guess that dry brining beforehand may work, because if you then grind and use immediately, there isn’t time for cross linking to happen but you have seasoning throughout for flavor. I suspect if you do this you have to form and cook the burgers immediately after the grinding. I don’t know how critical the timing is.

      sounds like some tests and lots of burger eating are in order.
      Last edited by Polarbear777; March 26, 2020, 04:46 AM.

      Comment


      • HouseHomey
        HouseHomey commented
        Editing a comment
        I have regretted going more that 8 hours.

      • rickgregory
        rickgregory commented
        Editing a comment
        I wonder if you could freeze the newly formed patties for later use too.

      • gijsveltman
        gijsveltman commented
        Editing a comment
        I have always used the meat immediately, and never had any problems so far. Haven't tried extending the waiting period yet.

      #7
      Dry brine the meat before grinding??

      THAT'S GENIUS!

      As others point out, this is obviously suited for forming and cooking the patties right after grinding to avoid the sausage texture, but that's just part of the secret. Can't wait to try this. 6.8.0

      Comment


      • gijsveltman
        gijsveltman commented
        Editing a comment
        please do! I wanna know if it's just me or it actually works!

      #8
      Dry brining before grinding - great idea. I just started grinding my own burgers, I'll try this next time.


      I have a pretty good recipe my sister came up with in the late 70s. I'll post pics and a recipe in a separate thread the next time I make them. Using fresh ground dry brined meat method should make them even better.

      Comment


      • gijsveltman
        gijsveltman commented
        Editing a comment
        please let me know what you think, to make sure I'm not going crazy!

      #9
      Wow! What a grand reintroduction! You’ll most assuredly have muchos members runnin to make burgers the “secret” way. Cool!

      Comment


        #10
        On the “to do” list.

        Comment


          #11
          Great idea! Similar principle to dry brining butts or chucks for pulled pork or pulled beef- shredded meat that has salt & flavor t/o instead of just the outer bark layer. I'd love to try one of these burgers. However you absolutely can dry brine your burger patties. I do it a couple hrs ahead of time with each burger making session. The caution is against mixing the salt in the ground beef before pattying, that can ruin your texture. By all means, salt the patties ahead of time!

          Comment

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