Seared to perfection: Better cheeseburger tips from top chefs

(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF)
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

While the dish might seem simplistic, a delicious burger needs to be built with care. A few expert chefs have better cheeseburger tips that could turn that boring patty into the ultimate food served between two buns.

From the carefully chosen toppings to the temperature of the meat, a burger is the sum of its parts. When one portion goes sideways, the recipe is not as good as it could be.

Although professional chefs might make it look easy, the reality is that those years behind the grill has allowed them to hone their craft. From appreciating temperatures to resisting the urge to over flip, the reality is that practice is part of the food progression. There might never be perfection, but these better cheeseburger tips can lead to a more satisfying meal.

Better cheeseburger tips from top chefs
(Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF) /

Better cheeseburger tips from celebrated chefs

Watch the temperature

Everyone knows that there is a big difference between a juicy, well-cooked cheeseburger and a dry, hockey puck-like food. In addition to appreciating the hot spots on the grill, Chef Michele Mazza, Executive Chef, Il Mulino New York recommends starting with a room temperature patty.

From there, carefully monitor the burger. As Chef Mazza commented, “Once the burgers are almost cooked to your preferred temperature, move them to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat slightly. Place a slice of cheese on each patty and close the grill lid. Be sure to keep a close eye on the burgers, and once the cheese reaches the desired melt consistency, remove and let it rest. “

And, do not forget to let them rest slightly before taking that big bite. Allowing the juices to redistribute ensure a more succulent bite.

Stop playing with your meat

While some people might giggle at the phrase, the reality is that flipping, pressing, or otherwise playing with that burger can ruin it. As Chef Brian Doyle, Director of Culinary, Smith & Wollensky said, “The biggest mistake is flipping constantly and pressing down on the burger. The constant flipping stops the burger from caramelizing and getting that crisp crust you are looking for. Flip once or twice at best.”

In addition, the burgers should not be pressed, smushed, or otherwise smash. While there is a time and a place for a smash burger, it is not the only idea. Let the burger cook and it will bring all that flavor.

Know your cook time

Even though there might be one person who prefers the burger to never have a tinge of pink, others prefer a more colorful appearance inside their cooked burger. According to Chef Christina Wilson, VP of Culinary, Gordon Ramsay Burger, “It’s important to cook your burger (or anything really) evenly. You can use the practice of making diamond marks as a guide – 2 minutes at its original position then turn the burger 45 degrees. Cook for another two minutes and flip. You should see diamond marks on the cooked side of your burger. Repeat that procedure again and when you flip the burger for the second time, put the cheese on top, close the lid and you’ll be all set in about a minute.”

While grills can vary, it is best to be familiar with that cooking surface and appreciate how long it truly takes. Sipping on a beer or even chatting with friends can be a distraction, but eagle eyes can be beneficial to ensuring tasty food arrives on the plate.

Work it, but don’t over work it

Ever wonder why that burger is dry and flavorless? Chef Paul Wisler, The Wharf Sunset Walk Orlando suggests it could be that people over worked the meat. While Chef Wiser suggests working seasonings into the meat patty, it is a careful balance. A little rub is good, but no one wants that patty to look like a mangled mess.

Dress the burger well

Like a perfect outfit for a fabulous event, a burger patty needs its accessories. Chef Rafael Chico, Planet Hollywood recommends cheeses like smoked gouda, brie, cheddar, and American for their flavor and meltability.

Also, consider the condiments carefully. Chef Chico prefers ketchup, mayo, barbecue and garlic aioli. Truthfully, it comes down to personal preference. From sweet to spicy, there is an option for everyone.

Ready to put these better cheeseburger tips to the test? Have a secret to food hack to share? Tag #FoodSided with your suggestions.

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