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 Tender burgers

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Sundancer7

Tender burgers Fri, 08/17/07 8:43 PM (permalink)
I would like some advice from some serions experts on this subject.

I have been grilling burgers on the charcoal deal for several years and I have been uhhappy about the texture of the burger. It has been tasty with the charcoal taste and BBQ sauce but it has been sorta tough.

Recently I have been working with country fried steak and I have found that after I brown the steak/burgers and put the in the oven and let the toast at 250F for about three hours, they come out really tender.

What would happen if I did something similar and then put then on the grill and let them finish out on the charcoal??

Give me your thoughts and advice.

Thanks
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

 
#1
    Greymo

    • Total Posts: 3663
    • Joined: 11/30/2005
    • Location: Marriottsville, MD
    RE: Tender burgers Fri, 08/17/07 10:04 PM (permalink)
    I do not think that would be a good idea unless you are into beef jerky.
     
    #2
      UncleVic

      • Total Posts: 6025
      • Joined: 10/14/2003
      • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
      • Roadfood Insider
      RE: Tender burgers Fri, 08/17/07 10:39 PM (permalink)
      Try to make a rule to only flip the burger once on the grill.. Yes, this will present a challenge of getting the right amount of heat licking the meat.. Timing this by smoke and smell, you will learn quickly. I never cook my burgers on the cool side, always on top of the heat source... Also, put a thumb print into the center to help reduce shrinkage. If only all our grills put out the same btu's via charcoal, this be an easy answer. Another factor is outdoor temps. Here in Michigan, the warmer (and sometimes more humid it gets), the hotter the heat is off the coals.. Vice versa in the dry and cold winter months (so adding more coals then I normally would).. Seems I'm always adjusting coal qty's. This is turning into an art in itself.

      Edit: Oh, and step one.. Make sure you're grilling 80/20 burgers. You need that fat for the smoke, moisture and flavor..

       
      #3
        mayor al

        • Total Posts: 15062
        • Joined: 8/20/2002
        • Location: Louisville area, Southern Indiana
        • Roadfood Insider
        RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 8:30 AM (permalink)

        Paul,
        That last comment by Uncle Vic is very important. The meat/fat ration has a direct connection not only to flavor, but to 'tenderness' also. The 'Ultra-lean' tends to lack flavor and will dry and toughen quickly on the grill. The 80/20 that Vic mentions is good as is the 78/22. By the time you get into the lower ratios (73/27 and such) the fat amount has climbed to the point that loss due to melting fat becomes an issue, as does the possiblity of flame damage do to flare-ups from the fat.
         
        #4
          Ciaoman

          • Total Posts: 375
          • Joined: 5/2/2006
          • Location: Killingworth, CT
          RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 9:03 AM (permalink)
          Sundancer, I'm not sure I'm an expert at this or anything but I'd add that I've seen many persons push down on burgers with a spatula to try to hasten the cooking. Please don't. This just drives out the juice, making the meat denser and drier...and possibly tougher. Personally, I like ground chuck as I believe it has the best flavor. Leaner meat (such as ground round) can be tough due to the reduced fat content.
           
          #5
            mland520

            • Total Posts: 485
            • Joined: 9/8/2006
            • Location: Dallas, TX
            RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 9:57 AM (permalink)
            When buying meat for fresh hamburgers- I have found that a mixture (equal parts) of ground sirloin and a good ground chuck works really well- I combine meats and add a little worcestershire and a dash of allspice- somtimes some finely chopped onion, this adds a ton of flavor and keeps the meat really juicy. When mixing use a utensil or wear gloves- the salt from your hands can toughen the meat- and never flatten meat with spatula, always turn just one time and add salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning after cooking!
             
            #6
              Theedge

              • Total Posts: 1196
              • Joined: 11/16/2003
              RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 10:24 AM (permalink)
              I agree, never flatten. Another thing I see people do is make the patties too thick because they want a thick burger. Keep in mind they get thicker when heat is applied.
               
              #7
                dreamzpainter

                • Total Posts: 1609
                • Joined: 2/6/2005
                • Location: jacksonville, FL
                RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 11:20 AM (permalink)
                I like to start out with a leaner meat than usually recommended but then I add either italian dressing or olive oil to the meat, the dressing adds a great unexpected flavor but both help keep the burger moist and tender. Butter also works but kind of defeats the lean meat idea..
                 
                #8
                  PapaJoe8

                  • Total Posts: 5504
                  • Joined: 1/13/2006
                  • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                  RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 11:33 AM (permalink)
                  As said above, the right mix of meat is important. An egg per lb. of meat also works good. The Itailan dressing is also good but you still need the right kinda meat.

                  I like to sear them on each side and then finish on indirect heat.
                  Joe
                   
                  #9
                    Sundancer7

                    RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 11:39 AM (permalink)
                    quote:
                    Originally posted by Greymo

                    I do not think that would be a good idea unless you are into beef jerky.


                    I am not sure that those that have posted to this thread understand what I have done. After I brown the burgers for about five minutes, I put them in the oven at a low temp of 250F and I let them go for about 3 hours. They come out spoon tender. I was just asking what would happen if I finish them off on the charcoal grill?

                    I do not believe they would finish as beef jerky.

                    Paul E. Smith
                    Knoxville, TN
                     
                    #10
                      Michael Hoffman

                      • Total Posts: 17826
                      • Joined: 7/1/2000
                      • Location: Gahanna, OH
                      RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 11:50 AM (permalink)
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Sundancer7

                      quote:
                      Originally posted by Greymo

                      I do not think that would be a good idea unless you are into beef jerky.


                      I am not sure that those that have posted to this thread understand what I have done. After I brown the burgers for about five minutes, I put them in the oven at a low temp of 250F and I let them go for about 3 hours. They come out spoon tender. I was just asking what would happen if I finish them off on the charcoal grill?

                      I do not believe they would finish as beef jerky.

                      Paul E. Smith
                      Knoxville, TN

                      I can't help wondering how it's possible for a hamburger cooked on a grill for a few minutes per side to be tough. And the idea of putting one into an oven for three hours at any temperatures boggles the mind.
                       
                      #11
                        PapaJoe8

                        • Total Posts: 5504
                        • Joined: 1/13/2006
                        • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                        RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 12:16 PM (permalink)
                        Paul, if you sear them and then set the away from the direct heat until done, that works good. Kinda like what you did in the oven but maybe a bit highet temp. It won't take 3 hrs., maybe 30 mins. or so. Almost any meat cooks good this way.
                        Joe
                         
                        #12
                          Sundancer7

                          RE: Tender burgers Sat, 08/18/07 2:22 PM (permalink)
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by PapaJoe8

                          Paul, if you sear them and then set the away from the direct heat until done, that works good. Kinda like what you did in the oven but maybe a bit highet temp. It won't take 3 hrs., maybe 30 mins. or so. Almost any meat cooks good this way.
                          Joe


                          Thanks for that tip. I believe that might be the secret.

                          Paul E. Smith
                          Knoxville, TN
                           
                          #13
                            Texas Blues

                            • Total Posts: 6
                            • Joined: 8/19/2007
                            • Location: Wrong side of the tr, NV
                            RE: Tender burgers Sun, 08/19/07 5:43 PM (permalink)
                            Sundancer...one of the keys to tender burgers is also when forming the patties, to keep them on the loose side. As mentioned earlier, sear them on high heat and then move to a cooler spot on the grill. Cheers mate.
                             
                            #14
                              dreamzpainter

                              • Total Posts: 1609
                              • Joined: 2/6/2005
                              • Location: jacksonville, FL
                              RE: Tender burgers Mon, 08/20/07 11:52 AM (permalink)
                              wHY NOT SEAR THEM ON THE GRILL TO START THEN SLOW COOK EITHER IN THE SMOKER OR THE OVEN?
                               
                              #15
                                PapaJoe8

                                • Total Posts: 5504
                                • Joined: 1/13/2006
                                • Location: Dallas... DFW area
                                RE: Tender burgers Mon, 08/20/07 3:22 PM (permalink)
                                The grill is already going and it is so easy to just move them to a cooler spot. Any way to let them cook slower would work.
                                Joe
                                 
                                #16
                                  Rusty246

                                  • Total Posts: 2413
                                  • Joined: 7/15/2003
                                  • Location: Newberry, FL
                                  RE: Tender burgers Mon, 08/20/07 3:37 PM (permalink)
                                  quote:
                                  Originally posted by Texas Blues

                                  Sundancer...one of the keys to tender burgers is also when forming the patties, to keep them on the loose side. As mentioned earlier, sear them on high heat and then move to a cooler spot on the grill. Cheers mate.

                                  EXACTLY! I tried this for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I will never over work burger again!
                                   
                                  #17
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