Cooking Questions!

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by TennisPlayer, May 3, 2011.

  1. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    May 3, 2011

    I thought it'd be fun to have a thread about our cooking questions.
    So I'll start:

    How can I cook a burger without it getting dry in a skillet? (I have a little oil and either use frozen "good" uncooked burgers or occasionally buy fresh ground beef to make into a patty. I like burgers every now and then but the meat seems dry compared to restaurants. What can I do differently? Oh yeah, I also don't press down since I know that makes the juices run...
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2011

    :lol: The first thing I was going to say was don't press the burgers!

    It could be that the meat you're using is too lean. Either go with a fattier type or add some stuff to the ground meat before you make the patty. I often add an egg, and that seems to help. You can also add breadcrumbs, cornflakes, rice krispies....That's a good method to extend the amount of meat you have, too. You can also add shredded veggies like carrots and zucchini. You can't taste them and they add nutrients and juiciness to the burger.

    Make sure your patty is thick enough. If it's too thin, I imagine it'll dry out faster.

    How hot is your pan? It should be hot enough to start sizzling as soon as you put the meat on. You want to sear the outside of the burger to keep the juices in.

    I hope this helps!
     
  4. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    May 3, 2011

    1. Don't press it or poke it.
    2. Lower your heat to medium low. (takes longer)
    3. Sear at medium high heat on both sides for 20-60 seconds or until desired brown/crispness is reached. Then finish 10-20minutes in the oven on low temp (250 degrees)
    4. Baste them twice before they are done.
    5. An alternative is adding applesauce to increase moisture.

    I dreamed up this sauce using puree of baby lima beams, kinda tangy and kinda spicy. What to serve it over/ with?
     
  5. TennisPlayer

    TennisPlayer Cohort

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    May 3, 2011

    Do I need to use a little oil even in a non stick pan? I may be using too much because it starts popping up even on medium heat or so! I will try to make them thicker, I think that will help! How do I know they're done on the inside without cutting into the patty? I know to look at the juices - is that all?
     
  6. Securis

    Securis Cohort

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    May 3, 2011

    You can follow a timing chart. Searing a 1 inch thich steak goes for 3-5 minutes a side, then 10 minutes in the oven for medium. You may want to follow the chart to figure your timing but also cut into one to check the results. Good results, stop cutting into them and just follow your timing.
     
  7. porque_pig

    porque_pig Comrade

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    May 3, 2011

    Adding some grated or chopped onion to the meat adds a lot of moisture and flavor. Also, I wouldn't bother adding oil to the pan beforehand--it'll be easier and less messy that way! If you use ground beef with a good amount of fat in it (80/20 or 85/15), it won't require any oil in the pan.
     
  8. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    May 3, 2011

    My grandma always added a little Worchestershire sauce to her burger patties...
     
  9. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

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    May 3, 2011

    Ina Garten, the cook on the show The Barefoot Contessa, adds this to her burgers...& ketchup. She also mixes ground pork & beef together I think.
     
  10. Ranchwife

    Ranchwife Companion

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    May 4, 2011

    I'm a burger purist. Adding stuff makes the patty meatloaf, not "hamburger." When I make burgers, I season the outside with garlic powder, pepper, and hickory smoked salt. I suggest using beef that is 85% fat. I make my patties large in diameter, but only about 3/4 inch thick. If I fry burgers, I use a cast iron skillet and heat it hot (over medium high heat). I then add the burger and let is fry on one side for about 2 minutes. If the meat doesn't easily come off the pan, let it cook for a minute or two longer then flip it and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Cooking the meat in a very hot skillet seals in the moisture and prevents drying out the burger. If the patty is thinner, you can cook it for less time and achieve a juicy burger. Just remember, ground meat is more likely to have harmful bacteria, so make sure the meat is cooked through.
     
  11. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    May 4, 2011

    IF they are thicker, they will take longer to cook and be more likely to dry out. Make your patty, and then make sort of a divot in the patty, like a really shallow bowl. This will keep your burger from puffing and shrinking up and becoming too thick. When it is done cooking, it will have leveled out and you will have a flat burger without having to press on it. Plus it will stay thin and you can cook it faster without drying out the inside.
     

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