Burgers, a quintessential comfort food loved by many, hold a place of honor in the culinary realm. When it comes to crafting the ultimate burger, most enthusiasts swear by the 80/20 ratio of lean to fat in ground beef. However, have you ever considered the potential of 73/27 ground beef?
Burger connoisseurs may cringe at the thought of using 73/27 ground beef, fearing that the higher fat content will result in an inferior patty. But here’s the twist: when you cook burgers with higher fat content, magic happens. The best burgers in the world are not only juicy but also benefit from cooking in their own rendered fat, creating a tantalizing crust thanks to the Maillard reaction.
Now, I must admit that 80/20 does have its merits. Its popularity as the standard for the optimal lean-to-fat content cannot be ignored. Yet, I implore you to explore the possibilities of 73/27 ground beef. Let me share some insights to dispel any doubts you may have.
The Allure of Affordable Deliciousness
Picture this: you walk into your local grocery store (Grant’s Supermarket, in southwest Virginia, if you’re curious) and stumble upon a deal that seems too good to be true. Priced at $1.99 per pound in 5-lb. family packs, the temptation to indulge in a burger feast for just $10 becomes irresistible. And, on certain days, the price drops to a mind-boggling $0.99 cents per pound. It’s almost surreal.
Yes, the fat content may lead to some concern about weight loss during cooking. Nevertheless, fear not. The secret lies in embracing the wonders of cooking with this delightful fat. The 73/27 ground beef exudes succulence as it sizzles in its own rendered fat, producing an exquisite patty that promises to melt in your mouth.
The Art of Cooking with Fat
If you choose to cook your burger indoors, particularly in a scorching hot cast-iron skillet, pay attention to the number of patties you place in the pan. Excessive fat pooling can affect the quality of your crust when you flip the burgers. To tackle this, consider investing in an outdoor griddle with grease drains to alleviate the issue. If a cast-iron skillet is your only option, limit the number of burgers to two at a time and pour out the excess grease between each batch. This careful approach ensures you achieve the best results possible.
Now, let’s explore two burger cooking methods, with one method reigning supreme:
Method 1: The Classic Standard
This method involves shaping the ground beef into patties yourself. While it produces a satisfying burger, there is a risk of the patty puffing up as the fat renders and the proteins contract. To counteract this, create a shallow indentation in the middle of the patty before placing it on a hot cooking surface. You can even experiment by making small slits along with the indentation. By employing these techniques, you can prevent disappointment and enjoy a well-proportioned burger.
Method 2: Smash Burgers, the Reigning Champion
Prepare yourself for burger greatness with this method. Rather than shaping the ground beef into a patty, make a loose meatball. When the meatball meets the searing heat of the cooking surface, grab a burger press or a cast-iron press and gently flatten it. This technique maximizes surface contact, resulting in a delectable crust while preserving the juicy goodness within the patty. The burger cooks quickly and is ready to be flipped for a sear on the other side in mere minutes. With a juicy interior and a mouthwatering crust, it’s no wonder that this method reigns supreme in creating the ultimate burger experience.
Embrace the Possibilities
While many may consider 80/20 ground beef to be the superior choice, do not overlook the potential of 73/27. Whether you employ the indentation method or venture into the realm of smash burgers, you’ll find little to be concerned about regarding meat puffing up during the cooking process.
Remember, the temperature of your cooking surface is pivotal in delivering a burger that will tantalize your taste buds. A lackluster burger occurs when the heat isn’t high enough to create the desired crust in every bite. By implementing the tips shared here, you’ll witness a game-changing transformation in your burger creations.
So, go forth and explore the realm of 73/27 ground beef. Unleash your culinary creativity, and may each bite of your perfect burger transcend expectations.