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 When To Salt Your Burgers

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EatingTheRoad

  • Total Posts: 1205
  • Joined: 8/30/2009
  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 8:25 AM (permalink)
A Hamburger Today has an excellent post on when you should salt your burgers:
http://aht.seriouseats.co...lting-ground-beef.html


....tell me which one you'd rather eat.

Both of these burgers were made from the same cut of beef (chuck eye) from the same cow (Bessie), cut and trimmed the same way, ground on the same grinder (KitchenAid) with the same die at the same temperature (3/16-inch, well chilled), formed with the same hands (mine) to the same weight and size (5 ounces, 4.5-inches across), cooked in the same skillet (cast iron) at the same temperature (ripping hot) for the same amount of time (4 minutes total), and sliced open with the same knife (very sharp).

So why does option left look and taste like a tender, juicy, well-textured beauty, and option right, like a solid, rubbery object that would look more at home on an alien autopsy table?



 
#1
    Shara

    • Total Posts: 123
    • Joined: 8/25/2003
    • Location: Asheville, NC
    Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 11:26 AM (permalink)
    I made hamburgers for dinner last night. Unless we're outside grilling (obviously not an option now in wintry Maine), I make them on a tiny George Forman grill which is just right for me and DH. I form the patties minutes before I cook them and sprinkle them with coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper just as I'm putting them on the grill. They come out perfect every time, and the salt, especially, enhances the flavor. Mixing salt in and even messing with the meat too much before cooking it sounds too meatloaf-like to me, good, but not for burgers!
     
    #2
      hatteras04

      • Total Posts: 1070
      • Joined: 5/14/2003
      • Location: Columbus, OH
      Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 12:14 PM (permalink)
      If you cooked that burger on the right all the way through it would look like a lot of burgers I have had at medicore bars and gimmick restaurants.  I now understand how that happens.  They must put salt or other chemicals in with the meat before it is ground up for flavoring or to keep it from spoiling too quickly.
       
      #3
        enginecapt

        • Total Posts: 3486
        • Joined: 6/4/2004
        • Location: Fontana, CA
        Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 4:51 PM (permalink)
        I garlic salt one side of a patty while in the hot pan (or on the grill). They turn out looking like the first picture.
         
        #4
          ScreamingChicken

          • Total Posts: 4716
          • Joined: 11/5/2004
          • Location: Stoughton, WI
          Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 5:44 PM (permalink)
          I think the review would've been more complete had the author actually tasted each burger.  After all, isn't that the bottom line?  I generally don't carry a dutch oven into a restaurant with me in order to rate the food...

          Brad
           
          #5
            UncleVic

            • Total Posts: 6025
            • Joined: 10/14/2003
            • Location: West Palm Beach, FL
            • Roadfood Insider
            Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Fri, 12/11/09 5:48 PM (permalink)
            Company I worked for (corporate), the executive chef told us to salt the burger at start, then fresh ground pepper at the end (pepper would otherwise burn giving an off flavor).  But she must have it down pact, considering the burgers are getting rave reviews from tourists and celebrities from across the globe..  That and the custom blend of beef didn't hurt either.

             
            #6
              Soccer862923

              • Total Posts: 208
              • Joined: 2/17/2009
              • Location: Dayton, OH
              Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Mon, 12/14/09 7:37 AM (permalink)
              I loved that article and the writer usually does 1 of these in depth cooking pieces once a week that really makes me think about the way that I cook.
               
              #7
                EatingTheRoad

                • Total Posts: 1205
                • Joined: 8/30/2009
                • Location: Santa Fe, NM
                Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Mon, 12/14/09 7:53 AM (permalink)
                Yeah, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt always does a good job writing those. They call it The Burger Lab, here's a few more that they have:

                Turkey Burgers That Don't Suck
                Bacon Attack!
                The Fake Shack (Awesome!)
                Mastering The Art Of Burger Blending


                 
                #8
                  jonjax71

                  • Total Posts: 435
                  • Joined: 10/2/2008
                  • Location: Pasadena, CA
                  Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Mon, 12/14/09 11:20 AM (permalink)
                  Never, we don't even have a salt shaker in the house-we don't have any ketchup/catsup  or mayo jars either-however salt and sodium is naturally in just about everything we eat, no need to add it to anything, that's why there are condiments and spices. Also, as African descent persons we don't need to our natural tendency to have high blood pressure
                   
                  #9
                    EatingTheRoad

                    • Total Posts: 1205
                    • Joined: 8/30/2009
                    • Location: Santa Fe, NM
                    Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Mon, 12/14/09 6:14 PM (permalink)
                    Brad_Olson


                    I think the review would've been more complete had the author actually tasted each burger.  After all, isn't that the bottom line?  I generally don't carry a dutch oven into a restaurant with me in order to rate the food...

                    Brad


                    The author addressed it in the comments:

                    "@everyone who asked how they tasted: As can be expected, the coarser patty tasted more like a burger. The other ones weren't horrible, but they just have a kind of resilient sausage-like texture - not what I'm looking for in a burger."

                     
                    #10
                      CCinNJ

                      • Total Posts: 7745
                      • Joined: 7/24/2008
                      • Location: Bayonne, NJ
                      Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Thu, 12/17/09 11:29 AM (permalink)
                      No  use of an alternate salt other than plain ol table salt?
                       
                      If it was when to put your ice cubes in a glass vs. drink....maybe only tap water.
                       
                       
                       
                      #11
                        Russ Jackson

                        • Total Posts: 2257
                        • Joined: 11/28/2007
                        • Location: Xenia
                        Re:When To Salt Your Burgers Thu, 12/17/09 2:32 PM (permalink)
                        I salt and pepper the outside of the Burger right when I put it on the griddle, bbq grates, or cast iron skillet. If you press in the center of a burger making the center slightly thinner than the outside it wont shrink causing the center to be real thick. This will give you a uniform burger...Russ
                         
                        #12
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