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The Science of the Perfect Burger

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© Ralph Smith

From Popular Mechanics

Here’s how to optimize taste and texture to elevate any burger, according to chef Daniel Wilson, author of The Burger Lab: The Art and Science of the Perfect Burger and founder of the Australian burger chain Huxtaburger.


Bun

Brush it with clarified butter, the butterfat you get when you melt unsalted butter and skim off the foamy milk proteins. Then toast it in a pan or on a flat grill. That caramelizes the bun and steams the bread, which allows the bun to compress around the ingredients. Toasting creates a crisp barrier so that the sauces and meat juices don’t make the bun soggy.


Sauces

Use only ketchup, American mustard, and mayonnaise. This trio adds sweetness, acidity, richness, and flavor. Put on a little bit more than you think you need.


Pickles

These are an essential part of a burger. They add acid, which helps counteract the fattiness of the meat.


Lettuce and Tomato

These add freshness and counteract the richness of the patty.


Cheese

A slice of cheddar is best. American cheese is not cheese and should never be used.


Meat

Use the best beef you can, and do not adulterate it with fillers and spices. You want to taste the meat. I add only salt and pepper and prefer grass-fed beef that’s 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. Fat keeps meat moist and helps raise the temperature while cooking, which promotes the Maillard reaction (browning) and caramelizing.


Pro Tip: Eat It Upside Down

Grab the burger by placing your fingers underneath the bottom and your thumbs on the top, and then bring it to your mouth in an arc.

“It’s the most comfortable way to eat a burger,” says Wilson. “To me, thumbs under the bottom and pulling toward you seems unnatural. Whichever you prefer, just embrace the mess of sauce running down your forearms and enjoy!”

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: The Science of the Perfect Burger
The Science of the Perfect Burger
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