Lesson 11 – Homemade Hamburgers

May 26, 2021

            When George Forman was asked what his favorite food was, he always replied, “Cheese Burgers”! He even said that after he was a millionaire and could eat anything or anywhere he wanted.  No wonder it was HIS name on the George Forman grill! I even owned one myself and used it when I lived in a small apartment with no real kitchen. It worked great too! Thank you Mr. Forman, for all those wonderful cheeseburgers back then.

            Today, I own a huge outdoor propane gas grill to make my hamburgers, plus a few other types of outdoor grills. However, cheeseburgers cooked on the charcoal grill are still the best of all, maybe even as much as George Forman grill. I love all kinds of homemade hamburgers.  Rarely (pun intended), I even eat them out at restaurants too. 

I think the best burgers are still the ones I make at home. Today, we will discuss how to make the recipe HOMEMADE HAMBURGERS.

Any BSA Scout that I have supervised cooking hamburgers still remembers some of my tips or tricks of cooking them just right (I hope!). When you are out in the middle of the woods with a big group of Scouts, always cook the hamburgers to 160ºF. I never ran the risk of anyone getting sick from an undercooked burger. The trick was NOT to overcook them. A hamburger that is too well done is inedible to me.  At home, I cook all my hamburgers to order. If you want your burger rare, then that is your business. If you order it rare, then rare you will get.  Rare by the way is warm and red in the middle. The hamburger reaches an internal temperature of 130ºF on an instant thermometer. I like my burger medium-rare myself, or 135º, medium is 145º, medium-well is 155º and well is 160º. Any meat will continue to cook for 10 minutes as it sits after pulling off the fire. If you are not directly handing someone a burger right off the grill to eat, always then UNDER cook it by 5 or 10 degrees and it will cook as it sits. Then, it will be done perfectly when they come up to get it and sit back down.  

The trick to me is timing and a meat thermometer. I own a wonderful instant read meat thermometer. (See the gadget list). Back in the woods with the Scouts, we would cook frozen hamburgers on a grill. I would tell the Scouts, “watch the top of the burger but don’t touch it. First, you will see it deforest. Still, don’t touch it. Then when you see the blood start to rise up to the surface, NOW you can flip it over! Cook it until the same thing happens on the other side. When you see the burger beading up, then add cheese. As soon as the cheese is melted, THEN move it to a bun. It usually took two or three young scouts all working together to keep the hamburger line moving along smoothly so everyone ate all at the same time and the food was hot. The hamburgers were never dried out or over cooked using this method and they were always all eaten. Even the adults actually enjoyed them!  

At home, I rarely use frozen burgers, unless it is one of my BIG office parties where there is SO much food that you don’t know what to eat next anyhow. This is when I buy the BIG 1/3 of a pound frozen hamburgers. I can actually get those cook to order at least. I buy mine from a local butcher who makes them fresh then freezes them.  

I remember with great fondness my twenties and camping in the woods. All those frozen hamburgers we ate during a four day long Memorial weekend. They were yummy. That was with thirty other twenty something’s with a lot of beer to wash those burgers down. Boy we went through a LOT of burgers, chicken, and beer that weekend!

Until tomorrow be happy, stay healthy and eat well!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)

Buffalo Burger with Blue Cheese
The hamburger Press helps makes even sized patties.

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