ham·burg·er: a sandwich consisting of a patty of hamburger in a split typically round bun
The above is Webster’s dictionary meaning of a hamburger. But hamburgers, or burgers, are so much more than a patty of beef in a bun. Let’s face it, life is better with a burger. The hamburger has been an American Staple since the late 19th century. Americans eat about 13 billion hamburgers each year. From cooking methods to the type of beef used, hamburgers are as simple or sophisticated as you want them to be. Here at Food Town, we want you to create the best burger possible. We know that the meat, toppings, buns, and condiments are essential for good burgers and we’re here to help you out.
Food Town carries quality beef at great prices for you to make delicious hamburgers. Making the perfect burger starts with picking the right blend of ground beef. The ratio of lean meat to fat is important in making burgers. We have ground beef from 75/25 to 93/7 lean. Most hamburger connoisseurs will tell you that the more fat the better. A typical homemade burger uses 80/20 ground beef, or ground chuck, as 93/7 would tend to make a drier burger. You want that sweet spot; a blend with enough fat that will make the juiciest, mouthwatering hamburger without it becoming a hockey puck.
Over the last few years, it’s also become popular (and adventurous) to grind and blend your own beef for burgers. There are many different cuts of beef that work well for this, including Brisket, Short Rib, Round, or Sirloin. Each of these cuts has its own unique flavor, and when combined with Chuck, it creates a great-tasting burger. The key to blending is understanding the ratios for the best combinations. You’ll want to combine a leaner cut with a fattier cut. The flavor will be un-burger-lievable! You can find these beef cuts at Food Town and friendly butchers to offer you helpful advice.
To grill, broil or pan-fry? That is the question. These are the most common ways to cook hamburgers. How you cook your burgers will also help clue you into what type of beef to get. To grill the burgers, you’ll need a little more fat in the mix. A lot of the fat will render out while it cooks, and you’ll end up with less fat in the burger. This method makes nice grill marks but may not be as juicy if you pick the wrong meat. You can also choose to maximize crispiness and surface flavor by grilling thinner patties and stacking two in each burger.
Broiling is an easy technique for cooking burgers at home. The intense, direct heat gives the meat a flavorful crust on the outside and seals in juices. You may want to use a lower fat content patty, but if you use a proper broiling pan, the extra fat will drip away from the meat.
When pan-frying burgers, a slightly lower fat content is typically used. You won’t end up with lots of grease leftover in the skillet. With this method, the burger will sear in its own rendered fat keeping it extra juicy with a crispier outside. A cast iron pan is best for pan-frying your burger. Some burger enthusiasts think that this is the best way to cook a patty; especially if you want to “smash” it (smashing the ground beef onto the pan or griddle with a spatula resulting in a sear on the outside of the meat, which locks in all the juices and flavor).
Whether you like thin or thick burgers, it is important not to overwork the meat, as this may result in dense burgers. The ideal patty is about six ounces, roughly between the size of a baseball and a softball. After you form a ball, flatten out the patty on a cutting board about ¾ inch thick and into a circular shape. Making an indent in the center of the patty helps the burger to hold its shape as the meat contracts. After shaping your patty, simply place your thumb in the center and gently press to create an indent. Make sure your burger patty is one inch larger than the bun to account for shrinkage. Season on both sides; a good burger only needs salt and pepper.
How long you cook your burger depends on how you like it. Temperature guidelines to cook to a safe temperature are below. Always use a meat thermometer and use the chart as a guide. Ultimately, the time it takes for a hamburger to reach a certain temperature depends on how hot your heat source is and how thick your patty is.
Gas Grill Charcoal Grill
½ inch 8–10 mins 8–10 mins
¾ inch 11–13 mins 11–13 mins
½ inch 9–11 mins 8–11 mins
¾ inch 14–16 mins 11–13 mins
Now that your burger is cooked, and you get a whiff of that juicy delight, what toppings and condiments do you prefer? While some like the simplicity of ketchup only, there are literally hundreds of ways to fix a hamburger. Whatever you choose to put on your burger, Food Town has low prices on all the fixins’ you will need. We have a large variety of fresh produce like lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions, just to name a few. How about avocado, bacon, pickles, and all the sauces and spreads you can handle? And let’s not forget the cheese! Food Town has a great selection of local and international cheeses.
A good burger can only be enhanced by the bun. The freshest bread and buns are available at your local Food Town. Some of our great brands include Mrs Baird, Pepperidge Farm, Sunbeam, Wonder, Nature’s Own, Ball Park, Bimbo, and King’s Hawaiian. And don’t forget the sides neighbor! We have a large selection of chips, pork & beans, pickles, frozen fries, tator tots, onion rings, and much, much more!
May is National Burger Month and is a perfect time for you to get creative with your hamburgers. Try making your own sauces or aioli’s or use a grilled donut as a bun! In Texas, we’re all about mustard; yellow, spicy, brown, or Dijon, Food Town has it! Why not try a burger from a different region of the country? How about a Juicy Lucy from Minnesota (see recipe here: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/minnesota-juicy-lucy/), Green Chile Cheeseburgers from New Mexico, Butter Burgers from Wisconsin, Onion Burger from Oklahoma, Frita Cubana from Florida, a Guber Burger from Missouri, Luther Burger from Georgia (According to legend, this burger was named for and was a favorite, and possible invention, of singer and songwriter Luther Vandross), or one of our favorites, a Texas Burger, made with creamy guacamole! (See this recipe here: https://www.yourfoodtown.com/recipe/texas-burger/)
We all need to make time for a burger once in a while. Whether you are grilling outside or cooking indoors, burgers are a sure crowd-pleaser. And don’t forget to visit our Pinterest Page to get more burger ideas and tips: https://www.pinterest.com/foodtownshopper/burger-time/
So, get your burger on neighbor! We hope these tips serve up a bit of inspiration during National Burger Month and all year long.
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