My husband says I make the best hamburgers. He is wrong, of course but, I will take the compliment. I do make a very good hamburger. The secret, like in many other foods, is knowing when to employ restraint. A burger is not served well by adding Worchestershire sauce, onion soup mix, garlic powder, etc.
A good burger always starts with quality ground beef. In part, quality means it includes a decent amount of fat (15-20%). Fat makes the burger light and juicy. You do not need to eat a burger every day, so when you do, enjoy the fat. Make a hand pressed patty that is nearly equal the diameter of the bun and not too thick, a half inch or so. A baseball lump in the middle of a bun is difficult to eat and silly. If you want a fancy burger with Stilton or truffles inserted in the patty, have at it (that’s a different beast to me entirely) but, limit your creativity to an ingredient or two. Do not press hard to flatten the patty either while forming or cooking. Season the beef immediately before cooking (Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper will do – no more is required).
Grill or pan fry. I like a medium cooked burger but, do not disparage the caution of those who prefer their burger cooked well since the proliferation of disease tainted factory farmed meat, (a whole other blog topic!).
Bad bread will spoil an otherwise perfectly good burger. Select a quality bun or roll and toast it. Condiments and garnishes are individual preferences. I personally think a burger absent cheese, greens, and a tomato slice is not worth having but, have it your way. Nothing beats green chiles and Sonoma Jack, caramelized onions, avocado, etc. so pile on to your heart’s desire…and Have a Great Memorial Day! My salute to our fallen soldiers on this day.