Saturday, August 15, 2009

Burger me

Steve and I love a good burger and, being good little scientists, decided to do a little experimenting on the grill this summer.

We saw a new-to-us way to form thin, flat patties on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Line a jar lid with plastic wrap and press the meat in. That way it doesn't crumble at the edges or get over-handled and tough. We used 70/30 ground beef because we wanted them to be juicy. Two large, two small. One of each for each of us. (This was before Olivia was eating solids.)

I like the way Jake's cheese is just warm and not melted into oblivion on the patty. So for one of mine I had Steve add it to the patty just after he took it off the grill, and my other cheese slice went right on the toasty bun.

Action shot. The other three Kraft regular American "cheese product" slices are waiting in the wings.

Seasonings were Lawry's seasoned salt and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. (My dad pronounces that in two syllables: Worschur. Rhymes with oyschur. That's how they pronounce oyster in Tidewater Virginia. Oh, and Sam and ham are said with two syllables -- Sayam, hayam -- and Charles is one -- Chawls. And there's no R in the middle of Richardson or scarf, but there's an L in the middle of chimney -- chimbley -- and water has two Rs - worter. I digress. It's precious, and I hope I can remember my dad's accent forever.)

Drool. I want a burger.

The results

The small one in the back is about to go on my cheesed bun, and the big one in the front was my other one. Steve's bigger one didn't last long enough to have its picture taken. We decided the lid size used for forming needed to be warehouse size (4"+) in order to make a burger the size of the bun. We actually measured the shrinkage, which was the same percentage for both sizes and, unfortunately, a significant figure (which I have since misplaced but you can tell from the photo). We're not burger geniuses, but we think the shrinkage is due to the 70/30 mix with a lot of the volume having melted away.

We ought to have another round of experimentation to see if a different ratio would yield better results, perhaps with meat from the butcher instead of the grocery store. (What kind of scientists are we with no control group?! Horrors!) And ultimately we're not using a flat griddle to squish them flat so we know these will never be quite like Jake's, but they were much better than the traditional American backyard burger patty that measures about as tall as it is across.

Riley volunteered to help us eat after we take our measurements next time. You know, for our heart health. Thanks, Riley.

As a side note, I want you to know that we don't normally put this sort of effort into meals. When Steve is traveling I tend to eat something like yogurt for dinner, and when he's home we tend to eat out because cooking is just not a priority and restaurant food just tastes so good. So in case you're thinking I'm Martha Stewart, please know that 99% of the time our dinners aren't noteworthy. And if we do make something good you know I'm going to tell you about it. (If you're looking for archives, some stuff is on my other blog).

Up next in the food category: BBQ ribs, baby!

And re: the title of this post, are we the only ones who watched the show Ed? Bowling alley lawyer Lawyer who happens to own a bowling alley. Ten dollar bets. Anyone?


Jessica said...

Yep. It's officially, official. I love you. I totally LOVE you. Ed was like... Um, my LIFE!!
I saw your post title, and just thought it was a coincidence... I'm so giddy with excitement to see that other people actually enjoyed Ed's awesomness...

And for your viewing pleasure :)

Sarah said...

Thanks for the burger tutorial. ;)