We've only been farming a few years, and while we've learned a lot you could still consider us rookies. There is definitely still a lot that we don't know
But there's one thing I'm pretty confident about, and that's burgers. I know thatby following these steps and using our beef, that you can make the best burger you've ever had. Every time. Get ready to start wowing family & friends with your grill skills.
We've done a lot of testing, both with our own beef and at any burger truck or restaurant that looks delicious. And like with our steak method, we've found that when working with quality ingredients, the simpler the better. This method results in juicy, flavour-filled burgers with a crumbly texture that falls apart in your mouth.
We'll start with making the patties. Should you use oats, or bread crumbs? Nope. How many eggs? Nope. What spices do you mix in? Nope. How long do you have to massage/mix the ground beef? Nope again.
It turns out that burger patties should be made of hamburger, and the less that you touch them the better. All of these other methods make for pastier, glue-like burgers. Bread is just filler. Eggs make the patty sticky. If you are mixing salt in ahead of time (particularly iodized salt) then you're over-tenderizing already ground meat. The more you massage the beef, the more compacted it will end up in the burger.
What you want is a hamburger bursting with beef flavour with a crumbly texture that falls apart in your mouth.
Now one caveat to this technique is that you need to use high quality beef. Luckily, you know a guy.
This quality is not just referring to 'medium', or 'extra lean'. Go to a reputable butcher or farmer, or order some off our website. Common grocery store beef often has far too much moisture to cook out. This means you're steaming your meat, not grilling it.
Quality beef should be ground from premium cuts of meat and not just the leftover trim waste from butchering. Look for beef with a fairly coarse grind - for burgers you don't want your ground beef to be approaching the consistency of paté. What you see at the grocery store often resembles long strings of pressed paste, which no matter the flavour just doesn't have the right consistency.
So let's assume you have a few packages of our beef on hand, and get started.
Step 1: Our beef is packed in rolls, so the best way to get a patty is to cut that roll into discs. Generally I'll cut one pack into 3rds for three nice sized burgers. A pack is 1 to 1.5lbs so that means three 6-8oz burgers.
Step 2: Flip those discs onto their flat side on a cutting board, and press with your palm to desired thickness. I like to do around 3/4 inch. Roughly shape the edges into a circle by cupping your hands around it. Repeat pressing/shaping a couple times until you have a patty.
Step 3: Start heating up your cast iron pan and add a high smoke point oil (light olive, avocado, vegetable). A pan or griddle works best to make sure your burger doesn't fall apart, but if you are putting them right on BBQ grill grates then brush either the burger or grates with oil.
Step 4: Season the burgers with coarse salt and black pepper. Do one side, then carefully flip the patties and do the other side. Use your fingertips to peel the patty up gently so it doesn't stick to the board. If you can't get this to work, try making your burgers on little slips of parchment paper for easy flipping.
Step 6: When the pan is hot (it will start smoking), start putting burgers in. If it doesn't sizzle, you did it too soon. Allow to cook about 4 minutes, or check the cooking side and flip when a nice seared brown. Add oil if necessary. Cook another 4 minutes, or to an internal temperature for your desired done-ness just like a steak. I would say aim for medium. If you absolutely have to cook it longer, lower your heat so you don't overdo it.
Step 7: Let it rest! Just like a steak those burgers are full of juicy goodness. If you plop it on a bun and take a bite right away you'll end up with that juice running everywhere or making your bun soggy. Let it settle 5 minutes or so. Use the time to take some pictures and post about how life changing longhorn hamburger is :)
Step 8: Dress your burger. Elaborate and exotic burger toppings can be great, but give a simple one a try with high quality ingredients. Fresh lettuce and garden tomato, some local mustard or ketchup. Let the beef flavour do the talking. And a quality bun makes the world of difference!
Step 9: Take a moment to appreciate what you just created, take a bite, and then scramble to order yourself some more ground beef.
Willie & Jorie