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How to make the Perfect Burger at home, according to science.

Apr 04, 2024
from thick to thin, from smashed to steamed, even though there are thousands of great videos on YouTube about

burger

s, I still feel like we're missing something, something we're missing is understanding the fundamentals of making the

perfect

burger

at

home

, now This is not a recipe. video promoting a burger recipe that I consider to be the

perfect

one. My goal in this video is to put us on the path to the perfect burger. So how do we do it right? I think it starts with the basic

science

of food in this video. Conduct five different experiments and a couple of taste tests to explain the basics of why and how to

make

the burgers we love so much, such as what fatis taste really means, how I achieve beef flavor nirvana, why it's Lubrication with hamburger juice is important, why.
how to make the perfect burger at home according to science
Do we like crispy hamburgers? Does it matter what ground beef I use and what kind of difference does it

make

in how it browns? Can I make a chicken burger taste meatier than one made with real ground beef for a dish that is so simple at the same time? I have a lot of questions and making this video helped me make a lot of progress. I chose to focus on the big picture fundamentals that are most relevant to us as

home

cooks and these should be able to be applied to any possible burger preparation and put us on the path to the perfect burger and if you like this video I can follow up because there are some topics I couldn't cover in this one, like salting seasonings and assembly because I spent so much time.
how to make the perfect burger at home according to science

More Interesting Facts About,

how to make the perfect burger at home according to science...

Energy and experimentation with the main ingredient of hamburgers, which is ground beef. That being said, let's break it down. Here are the three ground beef mixes we will use for most experiments. I'm 93 7 80 20 and 70 30. ...and googa made a video where they tested three high fat burger mixes including butter which inspired this video and that's great if you have this stuff to grind your own, but I wanted to focus on these three blends because I think most of us can. Find these ranges at a grocery store or local butcher shop. Additionally, these mixtures are evenly spaced across the spectrum, so it should allow us to see some clear differences in the experiments and also help explain food

science

a little better, for example.
how to make the perfect burger at home according to science
Right off the bat, you're probably seeing some differences in how they look raw with flecks of white interspersed with the reddish lean meat and that amount of white beef fat spread throughout is what makes the big difference in the outcome of a burger. now before shaping it. or let's crush them, zoom out a little and look at the two components that make up ground beef in the first place. Now this should start to light up some light bulbs in not only our burgers, but everything cooked with ground beef. It consists of two components, lean meat and fat, and when it comes to burgers, things like how the meat is ground will make a difference, but this video is already too long so today we will focus on fat as stated in Meathead to ground beef you want.
how to make the perfect burger at home according to science
At least 20 fat, not 15, and many top chefs now recommend 25 to 30 fat, so why is the lean to fat ratio so important? It really comes down to one thing: Beef fat melts this unique property of B fat: the fact that melting makes all the difference in our ground beef choices and here's a simple experiment number one that lays the foundation for so many. things in this video. I cut a section of skirt steak and cut it into a rough ground beef and the skirt steak is super lean. So this is essentially 100 grams of lean ground beef, then I took pure beef fat and cut that out as well.
Now, instead of mixing them, I added 15 grams of each directly to the griddle to let them cook and I love little tests like this because They are super simple, but they get to the core of food science and in this there are three very important. The first is the release of liquid. Look at the fat and we can see it starting to melt and pool at the base of the dough. The fat in the meat builds up, it is liquid fat, it has melted, on the other hand, the lean meat is releasing liquid, but it is not fat, it is water, this water comes out of the proteins of the meat as they are squeezed and then it is steamed at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 C so we really have fat versus water release and guess how much weight they lost after being cooked again.
They both started at 15 grams, but the meat weighed 10 grams or 66 percent of its original weight and the fat only weighed 3.5 grams or 23 of its original weight, so most of the water simply vaporized and was lost. into the air, but the fat didn't evaporate, it was actually just released into the pan. Now this release of liquid fat has a profound difference in observation number two, when I flip these two. Check them out: The fat that melted in the pan has essentially been shallow fried, resulting in all these crispy brown bits, while the lean meat has just released that water to steam and looks pretty gray.
Now we have a couple more tests on the gilding that we can do. We'll talk in a couple of minutes, but the third observation of this is the meat flavor, if you guess which one smells more like meat, it's not the lean mate, it's actually the fat and many of the flavor molecules that we identify as The flavor The meat actually focuses on the fat in the meat, not the meat itself, and as you might guess, these simple observations have a huge effect on two things: the taste and texture of the burger. Now, in my kitchen brain, this little test started to work. light bulbs everywhere and this test was done on completely opposite ends of the spectrum: 100 fat and 100 lean, but let's go back to what we're testing today because these results will ring true, but on a much more variable scale, for example. the better the flavor the better the texture and let's talk about flavor first, many of us have probably heard the phrase fat is flavor and that signature meaty, meaty goodness that makes us salivate at the integrated burger actually doesn't just come from the meat lean itself.
Much of what we just smelled is actually from beef fat, for example, the award-winning filet mignon, as I've shown on the channel, is super tender, yes, but it's also very lean and, as far as The meat flavor is very lacking in comparison. to a rib eye, which is due to the increase in intra and internal muscle fat that a rib eye now has. I've always wondered how strong the flavor of meat is in fat B, for example, could I add beef fat to ground chicken and would it taste good? meatier than a lean beef burger, well, that's exactly what we put to the test.
I took 170 grams or 6 ounces of 93 7 ground beef and shaped it into a patty, then I took 135 grams of chopped ground chicken breast and mixed it with 35 grams. of beef fat which I cut up to form a franken 80 chicken and 20 beef fat mixed together then I formed a burger and cooked them both and as I cooked them I noticed the same effects from the first test where the fat melts and actually It gives us a pretty spectacular crust, I mean, it's the most attractive chicken burger I've ever made to assemble. I kept the ingredients pretty simple with burger sauce, three pickles, lettuce, shredded onions and then added some cheese to the burger over the Up now, instead of putting myself to the test to try to avoid some biases I may have, in fact I asked my blindfolded brother to try them first.
Okay, everyone, we have a blind taste test contestant. My brother, I will feed him both hamburgers and then alone. Ask him two questions here is the number one burger fully digested, we will also get you a palette cleanser. Okay, the palette has been cleaned. Time for burger number two. I need this one. Another bite. Question number one. Which burger was juicier? I would say the second. and then the second question is which one tasted meatier, but the first one was drier, which was strange. The first one tasted drier, not as juicy, but it tasted better. This one didn't taste much to be honest, but he did taste juicier, none of them.
To be honest, they were like my ideal burger, but the first one had better flavor, but overall it was drier, the second one was juicier, but I didn't notice much meat flavor in that one, yeah, yeah, it just doesn't have much flavor Yes, it's definitely juicier. I think this one didn't taste much either, it's juicier, but I don't know, this one tastes meatier to me. I like this one better. I thought the fat in the meat would make more of a difference. I mean, it makes it tastier. Much juicier and plumper like that, but it didn't actually make it taste any better, so this was the complete opposite of what I thought was going to happen.
The higher fat chicken burger was much juicier, had a nicer crust, and overall was just better flavor-wise, and while it did have hints of beef flavor, it was still pretty obvious that it was chicken, I mean , you still have 80 chicken breasts at the end of the day, the beef patty, on the other hand, was very dry and honestly this is why I wouldn't recommend this cooking method for 937 ground beef, but it clearly tasted like beef. res, so it's not what I expected, but what did we learn? Beef fat is definitely important, but it's not the only variable that matters in achieving that beef flavor nirvana.
I want it in a burger and, in fact, it's really a combination of three things: the B fat, two, the flavor of the lean meat and three, the major or browning reaction that creates the outside of the crust. Well, in general, more meat fat will mean more meat. taste, but there will be a point where you go too far, for example, I have definitely had some greasy burgers that yes, they were enjoyable in the moment, but then they sit like a brick in your stomach, which they don't. It's very nice after saying this, we've got the flavor covered, but now let's talk about what fat does for texture, which is just, if not more, important.
Specifically, the two most important texture qualities for a burger, in my opinion, are number one juiciness and crust formation. Now, to learn about these qualities, I wanted to try two different burger-style preparations: first, a large pub-style burger, and second, the king of the crust, the smash burger, and to help with the formation of the crust, because I know which many of you will probably ask me. where i got it from check out today's sponsor iron press set made at Maiden has been innovating and this is the preseason carbon steel iron used throughout this video and as an iron lover, like this It's basically how I would have designed this, this griddle withstands heat up to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and is perfect for cooking on the stove inside, but can also be used on the grill outside or even with an open flame inside.
It's perfect to just keep on the stove and it will go out easily. become one of your favorite and most used pans and I didn't even get to the best part: it actually comes as a set with this heavy-duty griddle press that can be used to increase contact points and better brown whatever you're cooking. . So if you want to get the Griddle and Press Set or any of Maiden's amazing cookware, head to the link below to get 15 off your order using the code ethan and you'll see this in many of my videos on the future. to crush in a second, but first let's define what juices are and why we love them so much.
The juices dripping from a burger are made up of two things you can probably guess from the first test we did. Number one, it's the fat that melts out of the ground beef and number two is the water that was released from the lean beef when it was cooked again because those proteins in the meat harden by pushing out the water. Now our goal when cooking burgers is to retain as much of these juices as possible. possible and this really comes down to two things: don't overcook your burger, the more it cooks the more water is released and also the more fat melts now to combat that.
Secondly, you can add more fat to your burger mixture, so let's put in our ground beef. it is mixed for testing and first we have what I call the lubrication test. Lubrication is the reason burger juices generally increase our pleasure in the first place. I'll explain why in a second, but let's do the experiment first for this one I shaped. 150 grams of patties of each ground beef mix the 937, the 80 20 and the 70 30. then I cooked each one on the grill at approximately 140 degrees fahrenheit 60 c or medium fish. I weighed each burger after it came off the griddle and then typed them.
To simulate picking up a burger and eating it, I took two deli containers as bread and squeezed those burgers together to allow all the juices to drip onto the plate and then I also weighed the released juices. , now, conveniently, ended up being a moving scale which is kind of what you would expect the937 retained the most weight but released the least amount of juice when squeezed and vice versa for the most fat, so why is this test important? Well, like I said, lubrication and the best way I could think of to communicate. The importance of burger juices lies in comparing them to a salad vinaigrette, so a vinaigrette is made with three parts fat like olive oil and one part liquid like balsamic vinegar and when added to a salad It adheres to the outside of the salad components, improving the flavor. mouthfeel and imparting flavor now the meat juices in our burger are essentially the same thing instead of olive oil and vinegar it's made with beef fat and then liquid water from the lean meat so imagine this piece of burger from which I squeeze all the juices.
It's a piece of lettuce, you know, it's not very good, but when I add a little bit of meat vinaigrette, so to speak, it's light years better now that I've separated the components for testing, but when we bite into a burger, these Juices are released into our mouth, where it essentially lubricates the tongue and in terms of texture gives us this shiny, unctuous oral food. Now this sounds a little gross when you break it down like that, but trust me, you and I love this feeling and what's interesting about this test is the differences. Of the proportions of our beef vinaigrettes, I am referring to juices, for example the beef €80 20The juice has much more fat compared to the meat juice 93 7, which can be easily seen.
That layer of meat in the 1820 has already solidified and, as we mentioned earlier for flavor, the fat in the burger will enhance and concentrate that meat flavor, but it's also going to lubricate any dressings, sauces or cheeses that we have in there, it's Okay, we covered juiciness, but now let's talk about my favorite burger quality and one that I think can turn an average burger into a really good one and all. it's the crust here's a quick experiment take a look at these two burgers and tell me which one you want take a bite of a pretty obvious choice to me now these burgers were made with 80 20 identical ground beef one of them was made in a pan on the stove and the other one I poached in water since water can't get over 212 degrees Fahrenheit that burger will never brown on the outside because the main reaction doesn't start to happen at temperatures until they get over 300 degrees Fahrenheit, the burger I cooked In the skillet, on the other hand, I was able to achieve that with no problems due to guess what property we learned from previous beef fat melts.
We're coming full circle now that I didn't add any additional fat to the pan. instead I just heated it up and added the burger, the beef fat melted in the pan and created a layer of thermal conductivity that was able to reach the required browning temperature and give me a good crust now with this test we are back in two . broad ends of the spectrum to prove a point, but what I'm really interested in seeing is what the crust looks like when you increase the fat mixtures, so that's what we'll do next in experiment number five, the crust formation test.
For this test, I decided to make smashed burgers instead of these single-patty pub-style burgers and took 85 gram balls of each of the ground beef mixtures and then smashed them on a hot griddle with the press I left. A crust forms for about 60 seconds before scraping and turning. Here are each of them. In my opinion, the biggest jump is between 93 7 and 80 20. We get some clear differences in the formation of the crust and when you take a bite, you can definitely feel that extra texture contrast in your mouth. Now the differences that we've seen in these experiments have been focused pretty closely and it makes sense that the trends that they did follow, but to conclude the video I wanted to do a final one.
Taste test with a full burger and honestly, this one didn't turn out as I thought. For the final taste test, I made three identically sized double burgers with our three ground beef blends and for these again I kept the ingredients fairly simple, which is what I typically have a burger sauce with bun, thinly sliced ​​lettuce, then some thinly sliced ​​red onion and lastly of course I made the cheeseburgers so let's see how they taste. A final taste test, we have the 937, the 80 20 and then. the 70 30 so what should we start with first? Let's go with less fat.
Well, I think so, that's a good burger, it's pretty solid, yeah. 80 20. We'll save our thoughts for last, once we compare and contrast a little more. It's also good I love burgers okay last big step forward on the crust of that yeah wow okay I'm going to finish so that was pretty interesting um and not exactly what I thought I think the biggest step forward was honestly. at 30 70. I agree, I don't know about you, the crust was much crispier and noticeably more meaty flavor. Fat increase. It browned much better. You could hear and feel the crunch there exactly and then honestly, no, not so much. a difference like I would, yeah, I would have thought there's a lot more difference between these two, which is pretty shocking to me when you put it on a whole burger, you know, cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, I mean, there's no a lot of difference, yes.
Think that once you add the sauce, once you add the cheese, especially between the layers, like when I was doing the tests and we reviewed them with individual burgers, you can really see huge differences, but once it's on a full burger, No. That said, almost as much as I thought, I think the biggest step forward was the last one, 70 30. It shows, yeah, if you're looking for a little bit healthier 93.7, make sure you can add sauces to it and add cheeses to it, especially. between the two burgers it makes a big difference because when it was a single burger that we had tried yesterday it was not good at all, super dry, but once you can add those texture components that give it some juiciness, it becomes a much better burger So in conclusion here is a little scorecard with some of the biggest takeaways I have with each ground beef blend.
There's no doubt that higher quality ground beef had notable benefits in flavor and crust formation in the test, but I found that 80 20 is perfectly acceptable as Well, also if your perfect burger is one that can help you take a little care of the waist using that meat 93 7 and the smashed burger technique is definitely the way to go so I hope the observations and basic food science we learned in this video help you. They will make better burgers in the future so please subscribe if you are new and enjoy the video, comment your favorite burger toppings below and let me know I can follow up on more burger theory and burger science videos if you like, but it's I'm going to end it on this one.
I'll see you all in the next one. Peace to all.

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