Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weekend Cooking...The Better Burger

Gee, I hope I did not post this before, but if so, for me.
Because I love a good burger.

I don't eat that many of them, but when I have one, I want a good one!
No MickeyD!
No preformed supermarket burgers of questionable origins.

No, fresh ground chuck, seasoned to perfection, just the right size, cooked on a hot grill.

I love rare beef, but honestly, even if I ground the beef myself, I prefer to eat my burgers fairly well done.
But how to keep them from drying out, turning into a tough, hockey puck?
Well, my friends at America's Test Kitchen have an answer and now it is the only way I make burgers.

I replace the salt and pepper with...salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, garlic..
The idea is to make a 'panade', a mixture of some fresh bread, a touch of milk, some seasonings, mush it all up into a paste and add the beef, mixing well. It is little enough that I promise you will not know it is in there, yet it is enough to keep the burger juicy no matter how well done it is.
And delicious.



  • 1 large slice high quality white sandwich bread, crust removed and discarded, bread chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 teaspoons steak sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck

Oh, my..that looks good!


  1. Mash bread and milk in large bowl with fork until homogeneous (you should have about 1/4 cup). Stir in salt, pepper, garlic, and steak sauce.
  2. Break up beef into small pieces over bread mixture. Using fork or hands, lightly mix together until mixture forms cohesive mass. Divide meat into 4 equal portions. Gently toss 1 portion of meat back and forth between hands to form loose ball. Gently flatten into 3/4-inch-thick patty that measures about 4 1/2 inches in diameter. Press center of patty down with fingertips until it is about 1/2 inch thick, creating slight depression in patty. Repeat with remaining portions of meat.
  3. Add meat patties, indentation side up, and cook until well-browned, about 3 minutes. Using wide spatula, flip burgers and continue cooking, about 3 minutes for medium-well or 4 minutes for well-done. Distribute equal portion of cheese (if using) on burgers about 2 minutes before they reach desired doneness. While burgers cook, toast buns. Serve on buns with desired toppings.

You can cook these in a skillet on the stove, which is good, but if possible they are even better on the grill.
Be sure to do that indent thing. When cooked, you will have a nice even, flat burger.

Toasted roll.
A little romaine lettuce.
Grilled onion.
Roasted peppers.
Pickles on the side.


This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Caite, your burgers looks delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe! Happy weekend to you!

  2. As I can very willingly attest, it's an excellent burger or as the Samuel L. Jackson hitman character in Pulp Fiction observed before dispatching his assigned target: "that's one tasty burger "(you have to see the movie to appreciate the line).

    1. A Pulp Fiction reference is always appreciated!

  3. I love America's Test Kitchen. They really do take all the "glitches" out of their recipes. I have seen the white bread technique from another source as well. The burger looks great.

  4. Whoa, that melty cheese looks delish! Making my mouth water. I only started putting an indentation in my burgers since I saw Bobby Flay doing it last year. It does seem to keep them juicier. Have a great weekend!

  5. Those look great! I'd never heard that bread trick.

  6. I hardly ever eat red meat. When I went to the doctor last year he told me I need to eat more of it. I frowned and he said, "You can't even eat it once a week?" Carl says I'm the only person in the world that's been told to eat MORE red meat.

  7. It looks good enough to eat.

  8. WOW ... now I am hungry and it's too late
    to go to 5 Guys..... too lazy to make my own.

  9. That looks delicious, making my mouth water!!

  10. This recipe looks so good (of course, ATK, can't go wrong). I'm pinning this one for sure.

  11. That does look delicious. I agree with you on finding really good quality meat. It does make all the difference. I love your variety of toppings-I am way into unique toppings.

  12. Yummmm!! I too add "stuff" to my ground meat. Glad to know that ATK agrees.

  13. Looks delicious! And now is the perfect time for burgers on the grill.

  14. It was the absolute BEST BURGER I have ever had!!!!


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