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Reverse Seared Steakhouse Burger Frustration!

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    Reverse Seared Steakhouse Burger Frustration!

    OK.. so... I have a Kitchenaid with the meat grinder that has two grinding plates... coarse and not as coarse. I ground this batch with the not-so-coarse plate.I bought some really great well marbled chuck steak and ground it WITH applewood smoked bacon. I added the onion powder and garlic powder and just a touch of powdered mustard and a few drops of Worcestershire sauce for umami... very gently formed into burgers ~5" in diameter by 3/4" thick. 10 minutes per side, indirect with smoke until 105 deg on the thermapen. The freaking SECOND I flipped them over to the blazing hot searing burner (Napoleon P500RSIB) they FELL APART - under their own weight. Even using one spatula as a back stop and another to gently coax under it to flip - bammo... crumbled burger... Wife says: "Flavor is great, but no "to the tooth", just too crumbly"... Wassup with THIS??? Any clues? Do I need to fondle and mush the burger more when forming patties? Chill? <gasp> breadcrumbs? This is not the first time I have made burgers this way, though it is the first time I have used the less coarse of the grinding plates. The burgers usually are delicate, but don't disintegrate like this batch.

    #2
    You grind your own beef and make your own corned beef; you're no rookie. Question: Have you always ground the bacon into the beef? It might not be the coarse grind of the beef that is interfering with the integrity of the patties, but the coarse grind of the bacon. Just a thought.
    Last edited by Mosca; June 1, 2015, 09:22 AM.

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      #3
      Did you add other fat to the mixture other than the bacon? I save brisket trimmings and try to get to as close to 30% fat ratio as I can.

      Comment


        #4
        Burgers fall apart when there's not enough fat to hold them together. Whenever my burgers are too lean (which is pretty much all the time), I crack an egg into the raw meat and mix it in. The egg will solidify during cooking and prevent the patty from breaking apart. One egg is good enough for several pounds of meat.

        Comment


          #5
          Not sure on this one, but I've had similar issues (burger not holding together like I'm used to seeing) using my kitcheaid grinder making diner style burgers. I used chuck with plenty of fat, so I don't think that's the issue.

          Comment


            #6
            OK, so another round... This time, I added one egg to 2 lb. (4 burgers) and tried a technique that I read about in Sunset Magazine (those in the West will know... to those in the East, Sunset is a "lifestyle" magazine with recipes (some good even) info on camping and suggestions for home decor and gardening). This technique involved forming the meat loosely into a ball then tossing it back and forth from hand to hand for a while to build a sort of skin before flattening and shaping. The result was better, but still not what my eyelid movies picture Meatheads burgers to be. Still pretty delicate, but held together, still no "tooth" to it though. I started with a good well marbled chuck roast and maple bacon ends. I think maybe next time, there will be no "hand to hand" bit and two eggs. pulled the burgers at about 130+ but not quite 135 degrees and tented and rested them for about 3 or 4 minutes while I was waiting for everyone to get situated at the table and with buns etc. They were very tender (too tender IMO) and not all that juicy (less than an entire roll of paper towels).

            In case anyone is interested, I found POWDERED Worcestershire at worldspice.com... very interesting stuff! about a quarter tsp added to Burger Glop gives a nice twist.

            Comment


            • Danjohnston949
              Danjohnston949 commented
              Editing a comment
              SteveinLFP, You may want to try a second grind on the beef adding your bacon and ... On the second grind! In general in this day of &quot;Low Fat&quot; the Beef is Leaner and less sticky adding egg will help but I think the second grind will help homogenize the beef and fat better! Eat Well and Prosper! From Fargo ND, Dan
              Last edited by Danjohnston949; December 29, 2015, 09:17 AM.

            #7
            This is interesting. For myself personally, I wouldn't consider adding egg, bacon or anything else to ground beef for a burger. I wonder if adding the dry seasonings is soaking up the juices and causing the strands of beef to separate. They certainly won't help as a binding agent. I would cut that chuck into 1" cubes and toss them on a sheet pan in the freezer for 20 minutes along with your grinding attachment. Grind it through the large holes. Chill again for 5 minutes and then back through with the small holes and form your patties.

            I use Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce along with feta cheese, scallions and Cajun spice for my turkey burgers. For beef, I llike the natural unadulterated flavor.

            Comment


            • Lost in China
              Lost in China commented
              Editing a comment
              The egg is just a band-aid to patch together meat that is too lean. I can't find pre-prepared hamburger meat out here so I have to buy some cheap beef, get it ground at the store, and if I'm lucky they have some pork fat to add in the proper proportion to keep the burgers together. But many times they don't, so I'm forced to rely on the old egg trick. You can't taste it, it just mixes in and when it cooks it gives structural integrity to an over-lean burger. If burgers are falling apart on the grill then there's not enough fat in them.

            #8
            I usually get my ground beef at Kroger or Costco and get the 80 or 85 % lean and they seem to hold together very good while they are cooking. The last couple of times that I have cooked these burgers on the grill side of my Lang 36 Hybrid they have turned out great, juicy and taste very good, I'd put them up against any burger! I'm cooking on a Lang and love it!

            Comment


              #9
              I did some store bought 85% Saturday with the Slow 'n' Sear. I just kept rotating them from the cool side to the hot side, to and fro, so they all got done at about the same. The weren't the thickest, but my wife was surprised how good they were as thick as they were.

              Comment


                #10
                Methinks the bacon ruined the binding of the beef. I'd try the exact same beef next, no bacon, no egg. Eliminate the likely variables.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Onion powder, garlic powder garlic, bacon... how does it work with just ground beef (and salt/pepper). Add slices of onions and strips of cooked bacon.

                  Just my $0.02

                  Comment


                    #12
                    I just noticed the date on the post I commented on so I decided to repost it here! Dan.
                    Originally posted by SteveinLFP View Post
                    OK, so another round... This time, I added one egg to 2 lb. (4 burgers) and tried a technique that I read about in Sunset Magazine (those in the West will know... to those in the East, Sunset is a &quot;lifestyle&quot; magazine with recipes (some good even) info on camping and suggestions for home decor and gardening). This technique involved forming the meat loosely into a ball then tossing it back and forth from hand to hand for a while to build a sort of skin before flattening and shaping. The result was better, but still not what my eyelid movies picture Meatheads burgers to be. Still pretty delicate, but held together, still no &quot;tooth&quot; to it though. I started with a good well marbled chuck roast and maple bacon ends. I think maybe next time, there will be no &quot;hand to hand&quot; bit and two eggs. pulled the burgers at about 130+ but not quite 135 degrees and tented and rested them for about 3 or 4 minutes while I was waiting for everyone to get situated at the table and with buns etc. They were very tender (too tender IMO) and not all that juicy (less than an entire roll of paper towels).

                    In case anyone is interested, I found POWDERED Worcestershire at worldspice.com... very interesting stuff! about a quarter tsp added to Burger Glop gives a nice twist.

                    Comment


                    • Danjohnston949
                      Danjohnston949 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I couldn't figure out how to move my comment with the above? Check back on Steve's post for my actual comment! In essence I suggested that he might want a second grind on the beef holding any non beef additives until the second grind! This will allow for better homogenization of the lean and the fat. The burgers will be stickier and hold together better! Dan

                    • ecully
                      ecully commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Also, I would suggest doing the first grind coarse, the second finer. Also, with the bacon, I would think you would have to cook the burgers to a higher temp. Personally, I prefer the crispness of the cooked bacon as a topping, but that's me.

                    #13
                    Form your patties pressed from a ball shape. Do this a night before and refrigerate.
                    You are handling the beef a little too gentle. I understand about the whole "be gentle with ground beef" but you still need a good amount of pressing to form patties that won't collapse.

                    Make a ring mold from an old can and pack the meat in there, press to form patties.

                    Question on bacon, is it cooked before grinding with the beef?

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Ernest is dead on about making sure the patties are good and cold.

                      Comment

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