Thursday, November 12, 2009

Basic Cooking Skills: Burgers

Every other Thursday we will post about different basic cooking skills. Knowing how to prepare meals from scratch is a very important step in becoming self-reliant, which in turn is a crucial component of being prepared. Being able to cook meals for your family will give you confidence, more family togetherness time, and lower your food budget=more money for food storage! If you have a basic cooking skill you'd like to learn, email us! These meals contain perishable food items as this is a different series than our food storage recipes.

Vegans and Vegetarians: Skip this post!

Knowing how to make delicious hamburgers at home is a great skill to have. Most of the restaurants where you get a really good burger charge you upwards of $8-10 if not more. You can make delicious burgers at home for less money and less calories.

Mountain Man and I LOVE burgers. We frequent Red Robin every birthday for our free burger. But two times a year isn't enough to get the fix. I learned to make good burgers from Rachael Ray. Not personally, but in a cookbook. Here are all of Rachael's burger recipes and let me tell you---there are some AMAZING burgers out there just wanting to be made.

Burgers are not difficult to make. If you are intimidated, watch an episode of 30 Minute Meals where Rachael makes a burger, just seeing the visual will make you more confident.

Today we're just going to make the very basic burger. Once you've got this down it won't be difficult to add in any extras to make a gourmet burger.

Ingredients: Meat (ground beef, turkey or chicken), worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper

Turn your pan onto medium high heat to get it ready to cook the burgers. You can use an outdoor grill, a grill pan (like me) or even a skillet, it doesn't matter, all you need is some medium high heat.

Dump your meat into a bowl. The raw meat itself is the worst part for me---I really dislike the feel of raw meat. But---it turns into such deliciousness, so it's worth it.

Add the worcestershire sauce


and pepper.

And there's no better way to do this than to stick your hands in there and mix up the meat.

When the meat is totally mixed, kindof shape it into a flat ball, and then score it into 4 parts.

Then we roughly know the size of our burgers.

Alright, that was the end of the one handed show. At this point I had to put down the camera to form the patties. Pick up a section of the meat that you've already sectioned off. Form it into a round patty, trying to make the middle section of the burger flatter than the edges. When the burger cooks, the middle automatically pops up. If we flatten the middle before cooking, the burger will be the same thickness all around after we cook it.

Be gentle with it, it will want to fall apart, but if you gently squeeze it together, shaping the edges, you'll be fine.

When you've shaped the burgers, lay them down in the hot pan. Rachael always coats her pan with olive oil. I either spray it with pam or do nothing at all. There's enough fat in the meat to keep the burgers from sticking.

You'll noticed I have 2 big burgers and 2 little ones. The 2 big ones are each one section of the scored meat. I divided a section to make mini burgers. My girls like them better--and are more likely to eat them.

Set your timer for 4 minutes. When it rings, flip them over.

Another 4 minutes on this side.

Pop them on a paper towel to drain when the timer rings again.

Now top your burger with whatever you want. Rachael has great suggestions if you have trouble coming up with your own toppings.

Like I said, deliciousness.

Basic Burgers
(makes 4 normal size burgers, or 8 mini burgers)

1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, or chicken)
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Form into patties and grill on medium high heat for 4 minutes on each side.


Preparedness Pro said...

Those burgers sure look delicious! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Burgers are probably my husband's all time favorite meal ever.