How to Make the Best Burger
Nothing says summer like a charcoal-grilled burger but there is more to it than slapping some meat on the grill. Here are the steps to making the best burger ever!
Chef Frank Ruta at the Grill Room in Washington, D.C. is well known for his burgers and he says there is no one special ingredient. Everything about the burger must be carefully chosen and it must be made from scratch. When the meat is formed into patties do not add anything to the meat. No onions. No pickles. No sauces. Ruta says there shouldn’t be anything competing with the flavor of the meat.
Frank Ruta's step-by-step guide to making the best burgers divulged to WTOP News:
1. Choose beef that has some fat.
Since most of us cannot grind our own meat at home, as Ruta can do in his restaurant, we must purchase it from the grocery store or butcher. Buy beef that is 68 to 72 percent lean with a grind that is not too fine.
2. Hand-form the patties.
When you make the patties, don't handle the meat too much. Just hand-form it and be done with it for the best quality and texture.
3. Use no fillers.
Skip that secret ingredient you've always used -- be it an egg, Worcestershire sauce or an onion. Ruta insists that the only thing the meat needs before it hits the grill is salt and pepper. "The meat, itself, should be unadorned and unadulterated," he told WTOP.
4. Grill the burgers on a charcoal grill for the best flavor.
use a spatula that will not flatten the beef when it's time to flip it. Smashing the meat squeezes the juices out, and you don't want to do that. Also, try to flip it one time only.
5. Don't rush the grilling.
One of the biggest mistakes home cooks make is to not grill the meat long enough. It has to go just beyond medium-rare for the flavor to really develop. On the other hand, don't make it too well-done. Medium is just right.
6. Make your own mayonnaise.
It is the mayonnaise that gives a burger "that right tinge of acidity," say Ruta, and he insists the only way to go is with homemade mayo. He makes his mayo with a little bit of citrus and a little bit of garlic and a little bit of mustard.
7. A succulent burger needs a great bun.
It's better if you can make your own; if not, buy the best. Good bread absorbs the burger's juices, adding an extra dimension of flavor. Toasting the bun "makes the burger sing," says Ruta. Be sure to toast it on both sides for extra crunch.