The Perfect Hamburger at Home


The NY Times examines how to make a perfect hamburger.  The first thing I do when I move to any city is try to find a burger joint and pizzeria that knocks my socks off.  So far in Portland, I’ve yet to find a pizza place that wows me, but I’ve had several good hamburgers.

The burger from The Slow Bar just about crippled my tastes buds and while the burger at Cafe Castagna was nothing special, it won me over with it’s enormous attention to quality.  The other night I polished off a burger from Stanich’s, which has a sterling reputation.  Unfortunately, it’s an unearned rep.  Though I prefer a thick patty cooked to order, I’m not against a thin patty, unless of course it seems pre-packaged or frozen beforehand.

The article comes with some great advice for preparing a burger at home.  Among this includes: treating the burger like a steak (sear the outside finish in the oven or cool section of grill); buy a 70-30 ratio of meat to fat; similar to grating your own cheese or grinding your own coffee beans — the only way to do both of these things — buy some quality meat and ground it in your food processor at home; be liberal with the salt; dimple the patty regardless of big it is or how you form it; put thought into the bun; and always use fresh ingredients.

A slideshow also accompanies the article, as do several recipes for making your own fixins, brioche buns and the Comme Ca Burger.

The burger is a simple food, but it’s not an easy food to make superb. There’s nothing worse than a poorly executed hamburger — either at home or out at a restaurant.  Any PDXers know a place to get a great burger?

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