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I don’t eat burgers terribly often, but when I do, I always use this recipe:
Juiciest Hamburgers Ever(yep! That’s what they’re called..because they are!)2 lbs organic or grass fed, hormone free, lean ground beef1 egg, beaten3/4 cup dry, unseasoned bread crumbs3 Tbsp skim milk2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce1/8 tsp cayenne pepper2 cloves garlic, mincedIn a large bowl, mix ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, evaporated milk, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper and garlic using your hands. (I use kitchen gloves) or my stand mixer with the dough hook. Form mixture into 8 patties, taking care not to overwork the meat.Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill until well done.
There were only three of us tonight, so I halved this recipe. Since it would be a messy job and maybe not even possible to half a raw egg, I used one of the smallest eggs we purchased from Elmer at our local farmer’s market. Read more about that here: Farmer’s Market Finds
The egg on the left is a supermarket, organic egg. The one on the right is from one of Elmer’s chickens. The size is simply a matter of the chicken breed. Chickens used for eggs sold in supermarkets are mostly eggs from larger producers and of the color typically preferred by a particular region of the world. **
I use a burger press to form my patties, mostly to make sure they are uniform and cook evenly. I use squares of parchment paper to separate the patties, so they don’t stick together. And after writing patties a couple of times, the word pattie sounds really dumb. Anywho…
I purposely left off the grill temperature because I follow a different recommendation for that. You want your burgers to form a browned crust, which happens around 250°. Once that occurs, you want to transfer the burgers to a lower heat area of the grill. This means preparing a high-heat zone and a low-heat zone. The science behind cooking tender, juicy meat is cooking it at a low temperature, as high temperatures cause the moisture to evaporate from the meat. When cooked at low temperatures, the moisture remains intact. This is true for cooking eggs as well.
Other tips for moist burgers? Don’t over-handle your patties and never smash the burgers with your spatula on the grill.
Keep reading for the printable recipe!
I roasted sweet potatoes to accompany our non-smash burgers. I don’t have a recipe for that. I wash, peel and chop sweet potatoes, dice yellow onion, roughly chop 3 cloves of garlic, throw in a bit of fresh thyme, sometimes fresh or dried rosemary, salt, pepper and coat with olive oil. You can always use dried herbs and sometime I do. I always prefer fresh herbs but, I don’t seem to be very good at growing them.
My oregano and basil seem to be doing fine, but a caterpillar ate my parsley. I’m still mad about it but, hopefully he made a prettier butterfly out of himself because of it.
I actually used previously store purchased fresh and then frozen thyme here. Still better than dried, in my opinion. You can find tips for freezing herbs on bhg.com.
I use silicone mats on my sheet pans any time I roast anything, which makes clean up so much easier! I roast my sweet potatoes at 400°. My oven runs hot. If yours doesn’t, you may want to try 425°. I cube them according to how quickly I need them to cook, so large pieces cook for about 40 minutes and medium sized pieces around 30 minutes. If you run short on time, chop them into small pieces and start checking them after 15 minutes. I turn them about half-way through. When they are fork-tender, they are done. The perfect roasted sweet potato is like candy. The outside caramelizes beautifully, but can quickly turn from sweet to burned, so its best to watch them closely.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve served charred sweet potatoes. When you have seemingly numberless kids under foot, threatening your sanity, you burn things… Believe you me, it gets served anyway cause there’s no time to start over. Sometimes you gotta “get what you get and don’t pitch a fit”!
** fresh eggs don’t float. The larger end of an egg contains an air cell. As an egg ages, the air cell increases in size, decreasing the freshness and quality of the egg. If you want to test your eggs for freshness, place them in a bowl of water. If they float, toss them.
*something you may not know: Organically raised chickens are required to have access to the outdoors and are fed only organic vegetarian food. Commercial factory farming of chickens is often un-natural, restricting innate behaviors such as scratching and pecking as well as perching, wing-flapping and nest-building. When you buy organic eggs, you can be assured that the chickens laying eggs you purchased haven’t been inhumanely treated. This includes crowded cages, beak trimming and molting. Unfortunately, there are no regulations for free-range chickens in the United States, therefore the living conditions of free-range hens has raised public concern.
Juicier Than Juicy Cheeseburger
These burgers are so juicy, you hardly need to use your teeth to take a bite!
2 lbs organic or hormone-free lean ground beef
3/4 cup plain breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp skim milk
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
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Combine all above ingredients just until well mixed using a stand mixer with a dough hook or with your hands.
Form into 8 patties. Do not overwork the patties. If making ahead, place a small square sheet of parchment paper between each patty, cover and refrigerate.
To cook: Heat gas grill to high or heat coals in charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over. Be sure to clean your grill and oil before placing burgers on grill. Grill on the first side about 6 minutes. Flip and grill an additional 4 minutes.
If using cheese, top each burger with a slice of cheese after removing from grill.