Happy Memorial Day!
If you’ve been paying any attention to my last three food-related posts, I have been spending like a GLUTTONOUS FOOL the past couple of days, which means that – as long as my credit score and paying rent are important to me – I need to chill today. Cheeseburgers are never not delicious and cheap (again, one of those meals where I usually have basically all the ingredients already in my kitchen somewhere), and since it’s Memorial Day and a lot of you are probably craving burgers, too, I thought I’d share some of my super simple tips for making stay-home-worthy-burgers EVERY TIME.
- SEASON YOUR MEAT. Please? I know on Food Network some magical chefs can just season theirs with salt and pepper and still get rave reviews from the judging panel like they just completed the perfect synchronized dive off the top of the high-board, BUT YOU ARE NOT THEM. Normal people need spices to counteract our “amateurity.” I like to use about two or three tablespoons of garlic powder and onion powder, a few dashes of some sort of season-salt like Lawry’s, a dash of table salt, and some fresh black pepper.
- USE MAYO. Unless you hate mayo, and then maybe don’t. Look, I know mayo can be very polarizing but when it first became clear that I could turn on the oven an not automatically run the risk of burning down the house, my dad bestowed upon me the kind of wisdom that parents whisper into their children’s ear to protect until the day that said wisdom could make them a millionaire. Clearly I’m not exactly monetizing this advice in the best possible way, BUT we (you) are in the process of getting to know each other (me), and friends don’t keep secrets. So, a spoonful of mayo tossed into your ground beef before you start forming your patties always contributes to a super juicy burger. Try it!
- PAM. Grills still kind of intimidate me, but fortunately this country had an industrial revolution and now we have stoves! So, if you’re cooking on a stove, please do not believe you have a non-stick pan. Please use Pam to be safe. Because why not? There is nothing more devastating (except a couple hundred things) than seeing your food looking PERFECT in the pan and then you go to flip it over and disaster strikes.
Look at this poor girl! Do not be her.
- USE A HOT PAN AND A COVER: I have yet to successfully cook meat that stays juicy without using a cover. So make sure your pan is nice and hot before you drop your patties in and use a cover to trap the heat inside. That way, you won’t have to cook the meat as long to make sure it’s finished in the middle, and lessen the risk of drying it out!
- SEASON YOUR PATTIES AGAIN: Once your patties are formed, use a coarse salt to season the side you’re going to put face-down in the pan first. Then use your fingers to gently press the salt into the patty so it doesn’t all immediately fall off the second you place it in your pan. Once it’s in the pan, season the other side with the salt and use the spatula to gently press the salt into the patty so it won’t fall off when you flip it. Then sit and wait and drool in anticipation of your super crusty, salty burger outsides.
- CHEESE. Life is short and you deserve good things and this is where cheese comes in. I like to take mine out at the beginning of this whole process so it gets to be room temperature. Once my burgers are cooked, I turn off the stove and place the cheese on top and use the lid to cover the pan again so the residual heat melts the cheese into ooey-gooey perfection.
- BUNS. Toast them!
I’ll be making these later on and can.not.wait. If you have other burger tips we should know about, let me know!
Happy eating/Memorial Day!