Shhhh! Lean in close because The Kitchen is spilling the beans and exposing our best secrets for building the perfect burger. We've got 3 easy ideas that will transform your burger game.
Secret 1: Steamed Buns
Building the ultimate burger isn't just about the patty. You've got to have the perfect bun, too. What makes fast-food burgers doggone good is the cushy soft bun that's been steaming inside the wrapper. There's nothing better than peeling back the wrapper and taking a bite. You can get that same pillowy effect at home by steaming your buns on the griddle.
To do it, all you need is a medium to large griddle pan (or other grill-safe pan), a pair of tongs, a metal bowl and an ice cube. Generously butter and griddle the buns as you normally would. Once they are close to being done, toss the ice on the hot griddle next to the bun and dome with the bowl. The melting ice will give the bun a quick steam, leaving it tender with a slightly toasty inside.
Secret 2: Frozen Butter
Our second secret is using frozen cubed butter right in the patty for a delicious juicy bite. As everyone knows, fat adds flavor and butter makes everything better! Burger patties often lose moisture and become dry little hockey pucks when they're cooking away on the grill. You can give yourself a little burger insurance by adding small cubes of frozen butter right into the meat before you form those patties. The extra fat keeps the burgers juicy, and the butter adds flavor too! Freezing the butter insures that it won't all melt away when the burgers hit the heat. The proportions are 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of butter for every pound of meat. Just dice cold butter and place it on a baking sheet in the freezer. Once it's frozen solid, mix away! Just be careful not to over-handle the meat. Grill the burgers as you normally would to the desired internal temperature.
Secret 3: Lacy Cheese Crust
Creating a lacy cheese crust is an easy way to take the cheese factor of your burgers to the next level. Just griddle your burgers in a griddle pan on top of an outdoor grill. Using the griddle will help you get a delicious crusty sear on the meat and allow you to make crispy cheese burgers.
It'll take 3 to 4 slices of Cheddar to make an umami-packed "skirt" around the burger. Just overlap the slices like a pinwheel on top of the patty when the burger is almost done. Allow the edges of the slices to touch the griddle. When the cheese begins to bubble, use a heat-resistant spatula to scoop the whole thing up and slide it directly on the bun. Be careful, because it's going to be molten hot! The cheese that made contact with the griddle will cool and harden to make delicious cheese lace. The crusty cheese will add a nutty flavor and a crispy textured bite to your burger.