We had a great time last Friday at the hamburger lesson in collaboration with Laboratorio Cingoli. We all got our hands dirty forming and flipping burgers, and everyone got to assemble their own mini burger.
For those of you who couldn’t make it, here’s a recap of some great hamburger tips from Giuliano Cingoli:
1. Obviously, the better quality meat you use, the better the burger, but not all of us have the time (or money) to buy freshly ground chuck from the butcher. Giuliano has a great trick to transform mediocre, pre-ground supermarket meat into an soft, moist and excellent burger. The secret weapon? Instant mashed potatoes. I know it sounds wrong, but it works! You’ll only need about 5% of the weight of the meat. So for a pound of meat, mix just under an ounce of instant mashed potato flakes with water until you reach the consistency of mashed potatoes, and mix this in with the meat before cooking.
2. Only salt the meat after it’s finished cooking. Salting before hand only helps to release the juices, which makes for a dryer burger.
3. Use just a little bit of oil in the pan, about 2 spoonfuls. The pan should be over medium heat, just enough to make the oil bubble. If the flame is too high the burgers will burn too quickly on the outside before the interior is cooked through.
4. Place the raw patties on the hot grill or pan, the burger is ready to flip when it unsticks naturally from the cooking surface. How long you cook the other side depends on personal preference. For a rare hamburger, simply quickly sear the other side and serve. If you would like it cooked medium-rare, remove burger when blood starts to ooze out of the top of the patty. If you prefer a well-done burger, continue cooking for another couple minutes.