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Old 01-07-2014, 09:18 PM
 
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Try as I might, I can't seem to create that formula that my favorite burger joints have that gives that special taste of a good old burger joint burger. I try certain recipes that I find online but I wonder if it something in the cooking equipment at home that makes it very difficult to recreate that taste.
The burgers I create are OK, but they can't match taste from a burger joint like a five guys or in-n-out or whatever.
Anyone able to recreate that taste at home?
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Old 01-08-2014, 11:45 AM
 
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One of the tricks is the meat itself. The regular grind at the grocery store isn't good for burgers. (IMO)

I get the butcher to grind up whatever your favorite burger has. It can be short ribs, sirloin or even chuck. Other trick is don't season the inside of the burger with any seasoning. You salt/pepper heavily the outside just before searing/cooking/grilling. I was stubborn and kept mixing in seasonings to make it flavorful till one day I just went and did it "plain" and oh my goodness, so good. I load up on the toppings for it in terms of caramelized onions, avocado, tomatoes, special sauces etc. (and not all at once, I keep it simple to one or two toppings. lol)

And use a high heat source too to create that golden sear on the outside.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:25 PM
 
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People tend to buy the best lean ground beef, doesn't work, has to have a certain % of fat.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Central Midwest
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I agree with the fat content statement. A lot of restaurants use a ground beef with fat in it. Plus the grill used in restaurants gives burgers an unique taste, coupled with a toasted bun, grilled onions cooked in the burger grease and a slice of cheese, which has burger grease spattered upon the cheese, makes for a mighty tasty burger.

I find that if I buy ground chuck with about a 80%/20% meat to fat content, then cook a burger in a heavy black iron skillet (one which is seasoned well) and forget about how many fat calories will be going into my body, the better the burger tastes. Most times, it closely resembles a restaurant burger. I love to make small but thick slider burgers, then toast a small roll (called dollar rolls) and use a nice Colby cheese on top and lastly cook some onions in the same pan. What a delight these slider burgers are!! Just make sure the ground beef is very fresh. I like to go to grocery stores with a butcher shop contained within rather than pre-packaged ground beef.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:41 PM
 
Location: South Central Texas
114,275 posts, read 55,383,216 times
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Yep! Higher fat content and simple is better. Some may be charbroiling or grilling at the "joints". Try the same at home. I have no problem making great burgers in a variety of ways at home. We have a place called Longhorn Cafe here which serves excellent burgers.

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Old 01-10-2014, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Currently living in Reddit
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Can't say I'd ever really aim for a homemade burger to be like a chain, but there are some local artisan burgers around here that are pretty awesome. In addition to using a coarser grind and mixing in short rib meat, I'd strongly suggest not handling the meat all that much. The best burgers around here are fairly loose.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:01 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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Sorry, OP, I don't know the two chains that you mention, but generally, fast food burger is meat from cutter canner cows. They don't want the waste of fat melting off and the burger shrinking.

100% beef does not mean that the patty is made of 100% steak. Ox cheek, beef heart, and odd scraps are mixed in with the muscle meat to make cheaper burger and that is still 100% beef. You've never nticed odd looking litttle flecks of stuff in your fast food burger patty?

The beef patties used in fast food places are pressed hard and compacted in order to make them stick together well.

One of the chains I am familiar with sprinkles dried onion flakes on the burger while it cooks. That gives a distinctive taste. The griddle has a lot of well cooked grease on it, which also gives a distinctive taste.

I make a darn good hamburger, but I would be mortified if anyone ever said it tasted like a fast food burger.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:11 PM
 
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Don't think I'd want to make a burger like today's restaurants. The buns and french fries are made with those vomitous Franken-fat vegetable oils. (ie fats made in a laboratory) So many chemical additives and processing. *blech*

Which reminds me, I wish I could remember what the burgers and fries used to taste like back in the 70's or whatever. I can't remember anymore, that sucks. Anybody ever try making old school McDonald's fries in beef tallow or whatever? *sigh* Aah, nostalgia....
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Old 01-11-2014, 01:07 PM
 
Location: The Northeast - hoping one day the Northwest!
1,107 posts, read 1,163,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
Try as I might, I can't seem to create that formula that my favorite burger joints have that gives that special taste of a good old burger joint burger. I try certain recipes that I find online but I wonder if it something in the cooking equipment at home that makes it very difficult to recreate that taste.
The burgers I create are OK, but they can't match taste from a burger joint like a five guys or in-n-out or whatever.
Anyone able to recreate that taste at home?

I've been able to almost duplicate my favorite. I love the Bleu Ribbon Burger at Red Robin. I have a few customizations on it, plus I have the Red Robin seasoning too. Just a few different things, but it tastes good enough. I just buy the Bubba Burgers and add a chiptole sauce, bleu cheese crumbles and add bacon. (the one at RR doesn't have bacon) and put it on wheat bun. YUM!
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Mount Pleasant, SC
2,041 posts, read 2,570,699 times
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Default OP: spot on

Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
... but I wonder if it something in the cooking equipment at home that makes it very difficult to recreate that taste.
The closest I get (within my house) is a burger cooked in the broiler & then the whole house is SMOKED UP!

So yeah, it's the equipment in a commercial kitchen to get to a HIGH temperature. And, of course, it's mucho fat that is creating all that burn/smoke that a commercial kitchen could handle easier than my house.
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