We are thankful to Chef Andy Husbands for providing this wonderful recipe.
We can’t stress enough how important the quality of the meat, the grind, the shaping, and cooking technique are to a burger.
If even one of the elements is off, you can have a good burger, even a really good one, but it won’t be perfect. Condiments and rolls do a lot to enhance burgers, but a truly great burger should be able to stand on its own — Delicious naked, if you will. That is the kind of burger we’ve created here. Though we’re not suggesting you eat it naked.
If you want to give your burgers an extra flavor boost, be sure to add the Fifth Dimension Powder (see recipe below). Or you can use 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt.
Yield: 4 burgers
Our Perfect Burger
- 1 1/2 pounds (680g) beef chuck or ground chuck from your favorite butcher
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (11g) Fifth Dimension Powder (recipe follows) or 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
- vegetable oil, for cooking
- Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 4 slices deli-style American cheese, optional
- 4 fresh bakery burger buns (we recommend Flour in Boston if possible)
- Freeze the chuck until frozen but not stiff, about 1 hour. Remove from the freezer and season with Fifth Dimension Powder or 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt. Grind the chuck and if you’re using ground chuck, mix in the Fifth Dimension Powder or 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt. Refrigerate while you prepare the skillet.
- Heat the skillet over high heat until very hot. If you have an infrared thermometer, the skillet should register at least 500°F (250°C). Or test by brushing on a bit of oil. When the skillet starts to smoke, it is ready.
- Remove the chuck from the refrigerator. Divide into four 6-ounce (170g) portions and shape the patties. Season with salt and pepper.
- Brush the skillet with oil and arrange the patties without overcrowding. Cook for 3 minutes. Turn the patties over and cook for 2 minutes more. If you like your burgers rare (which we recommend), the internal temperature should register 120° to 125°F (49° to 52°C); medium-rare burgers should have an internal temperature of 130° to 135°F (54° to 57°C). We don’t want to know about it if you cook your burgers any more than that.
- Transfer the burgers to a platter and lay a slice of cheese on top if desired. Tent the platter with foil and allow the burgers to rest for 3 to 5 minutes.
- To serve: Place the burgers on the bottom halves of the buns. Spread Best.Mayo.Ever. (recipe follows) and/or mustard on the top halves and add your favorite toppings. Our preferences are cold, crispy iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced tomatoes (in-season only), caramelized onions, Gram’s Bread-and-Butter Pickles (my book has the recipe), and any of the Wicked Killer Burger Toppings (also in the book!).
Fifth Dimension Powder
Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the umami factor, or the fifth taste. Umami gives foods a savory, over-the-top flavor that makes you want to have another bite, and another, and another.
We created this mixture to take our burgers over the top. Ideally, you should add it when you are grinding your meat, since it becomes fully incorporated that way. We add a little over 1 tablespoon (14g) per pound of meat. If you are folding it in by hand, make sure to mix it well.
The goal of this blend is to flavor the meat but not make its presence known; rather, to entice everyone to have another bite and wonder, what makes this so good?
Yield: About 1 cup (227g), enough for 14 to 16 burgers
- 6 tablespoons (45g) porcini powder
- 2 tablespoons (15g) Portobello powder
- 2 tablespoons (15g) Worcestershire powder
- 2 tablespoons (14g) onion powder
- 2 tablespoons (18g) garlic powder
- In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months.
Hands down, this is one of our favorite items to spread on a burger or to dip our fries in.
Technically, the addition of garlic powder makes it an aioli because the simplest definition of aioli is a garlic mayonnaise. But we don’t want to get hung up on semantics. We think this is the best mayo ever. And when you see how easy it is to make, you may never purchase the jarred stuff again.
Yield: 3 1/2 cups (800g)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon (5g) Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups (700 ml) canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon (5g) large, thin-flaked sea salt, such as Maldon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
- In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until light and fully incorporated.
- Very slowly stream in the oil to make the emulsion. You will see the mixture will start to thicken and become increasingly pale. Continue pouring the oil in slowly until it is thick, like mayonnaise in a jar, about 4 minutes.
- Turn the mixer off and add the two salts and garlic powder. Mix on medium high for 1 minute more.
- Remove from the bowl and refrigerate until needed, up to 1 week.