My Burger Lab Series 2016 Winner is:
The Bistro Burger is by far the most popular burger I created during my burger lab series. It is the one that my readers and followers reacted to immediately, and has been saved by thousands on food sharing sites.
What I learned
I’m glad I took the time to work on a burger lab series. I now know what truly makes a good burger – great ground beef. It doesn’t matter what you marry your burger patty with, but it is vital that you start with quality ground beef.
As I’ve mentioned in some of my previous burger posts, many celebrity chef’s swear by fresh ground chuck. Some mix chuck and sirloin, but they all recommend buying ground beef to order. I agree with them, but with one caveat.
A good burger is a little moist and has great flavor. To attain those qualities you need your ground beef to have at least 15% fat. This isn’t always possible if you choose the cut of beef yourself. You are likely to choose a cut of beef that has say, 10% fat. It takes time to learn what a good cut of beef looks like – the correct ratio of fat to meat.
The simplest option is to find a store that grinds their beef on premises daily. You can check at the meat counter to confirm. These stores will grind meat and fat and possibly any scraps of beef left from the delivery of pre-cut steaks. This is a great alternative and means you don’t have to learn how to choose the right cut of meat for grinding.
If you’re lucky, you might find a butcher who knows what is needed to make a good burger and will add some fat to your cut of meat to make that perfect burger.
I wouldn’t recommend buying pre-packaged ground beef. This meat often includes parts of the cow you have no desire to eat, such as the sphincter. Did I hear a Yikes?!
Chuck is my preferred cut of meat for a burger, but I also like to mix it up sometimes, and add sirloin, or short rib for a slightly different texture.
My Essential Ingredient
I’m open to trying almost anything in a burger, but my #1 must have is a brioche bun.
Brioche is a rich bread, with a touch of sweet. It’s consistency allows you to add pretty much anything to your burgers, the bun just holds on to the flavors. Brioche doesn’t fall apart under the slightest stress, and neither does it overpower your burger.
I always want my burgers surrounded by this French wonder.
To Grill or Not to Grill
I may upset those of you who enjoy your burgers straight from the grill. I’m not a fan. I prefer to cook my burgers in a grill pan. Even if I do cook them outdoors, I hike up the heat on the grill and pop the grill pan on top.
After spending time to find the right burger blend, I refuse to slap it on a grill and risk them falling apart, or suffer uneven cooking due to varying grill temperatures. Nope!
In conclusion, working through my burger lab series was a lot of fun and I learned so much while creating fun burger combos throughout the summer. I’m very proud of my Bistro Burger – the burger lab series 2016 winner!
I’m not sure what my next project will be, but as soon as I do, I’ll let you know.