There are so many different ways to make a tasty, juicy burger that it can take you ages to work out all of the possibilities. But there is one method that you may or may not have heard about that will throw you a curveball: breadcrumbs.
Breadcrumbs being added to your burger may sound like a weird concoction, but it turns out that there is actually a very reasonable method to the madness. So, if you’re thinking about how you want to make your next burger, make sure to grab some breadcrumbs.
Generally speaking, the burgers that you buy from the store will have aged a little bit, making them moist yet not too “wet” to hold together. The real issue with binding comes when you purchase fresh meat, something from a butcher normally.
If you are purchasing fresh meat, adding an absorbent ingredient such as breadcrumbs or even crumbled bread from your pantry can be a great way to make sure that the burger holds together. While we want the burger to be moist, we don’t want it to fall apart before it even reaches our mouths.
Another reason that you may add breadcrumbs to your burger is to “stretch” the meat a bit. When we buy a burger, it is often forgotten that some of that listed weight will actually cook away. So, by adding breadcrumbs, you can help make the burger seem bigger without adding any more meat.
Finally, there is the matter of texture. Burgers don’t have much natural crunch to them, at least not without a good, hard sear. Adding in a little bit of breadcrumbs to your meat patty can be a great way to provide a little bit of a crunch after it has cooked out. This can be a great compliment to the other components of a burger and something that you may not have tried before.
Other Ways to Improve Your Burger
It’s safe to say that we all share the goal of making our burgers the best that they can be. While that depends on personal taste, there are individual components to the burger that can really make it or break it.
Here are a few different ways that you can make small changes to your burger and turn it into a delicious masterpiece.
1 – Toast That Bun
One of the most common rookie mistakes is leaving the bun as is. Sure, picking out a different style and flavor of bun – ciabatta, pretzel, and so on – can be a great way to add more flavor to your burger, but why stop there?
Whatever bun that you decide on, make sure that it gets a kiss of the grill. Giving your bun a little char can give it another depth of flavor that only enhances the flavor profile of your burger. Not only that, it takes very little effort to make it happen. Make sure that you toast that bun!
2 – Picking the Right Meat
While it may be easier, quicker, and less expensive to simply grab something prepackaged at the grocery store, you may be limiting yourself from getting the best possible burger. Ask your local grocer or even check out a butcher in the area and create your own blend. Something that is 50% sirloin and 50% chuck would be a great option, for instance.
This way, you can experiment with your burger to find the ultimate in flavor. Not only that, purchasing a store-bought burger makes things universal for everyone and taste buds are anything but universal. Get creative and you will be surprised at just what kind of flavor profile you may be able to come up with.
3 – Don’t Overwork the Meat
One of the most common mistakes that amateur burger connoisseurs make is that they tend to overmix their meat. While it is certainly understandable why this happens – you want to ensure that all of those spices get mixed thoroughly into the meat – it can actually have the inverse effect.
Burgers that are worked too much can become a little tough to chew and can also lose some of that flavor that you are trying to infuse into the burger. Whatever spices that you do put into the meat mixture, work them gently to prevent the burger from losing flavor and becoming a bit too tough.
4 – Add in a Touch of Moisture
Burgers can get dry fast and overcooking them even a little bit can really sap the flavor out of your burger. To combat that dryness, try adding in a secret ingredient. It doesn’t even have to be something complicated or special.
Try adding in a touch of sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, yogurt, or a similar agent that will help lock in the moisture while giving your burger a little pop of flavor. Don’t let your burger mixture turn into an overcooked, dry disappointment.
5 – Salt at the End
While it may be tempting to add salt into your ground beef mixture, you may actually be doing your burger patty a major disservice. This is because salt can actually break down the beef protein in the middle.
When your burger becomes sticky, tough, and doesn’t cook evenly in the middle, it is because of the salt that you added into your ground beef mixture. But salt is important, right? So, when should you add the salt to your patty?
Sprinkle some salt at the end of the cook. Not only will the burger cook much better, evenly, and more thoroughly, but the salt will provide the proper boost of flavor as well. You’ll wind up with a great burger that isn’t tough or weirdly textured.
Creating the perfect burger takes a little bit of time, a little bit of effort, a little bit of luck, and a whole lot of experimenting. There’s nothing wrong with a classic, traditional burger but you could be limiting yourself from something truly great.
Add things in that you may not have considered otherwise, experiment with your mix, and you may be surprised at what you wind up creating.