Where's the beef?!
September 7, 2006 8:28 PM   Subscribe

[burgerfilter] - Has anybody used the Williams-Sonoma "Nonstick Hamburger Patty Press" at all? If so, were you happy with it? How big are the burgers? There's a bit

I love making burgers, but when I mold burger patties by hand and grill them, they start out being 8" in diameter and wind up half that size when they're done cooking. My goal is to create burger patties that are actually the size of the buns.
If you're unfamiliar with the Williams-Sonoma patty press, do you own another burger patty press that molds decent sized patties? Help me build a better burger.

Burger recipes are also more than welcome in this thread - unless it's a veggie burger. :)
posted by drstein to Food & Drink (12 answers total)
Oh, and yes, I did search for the tags that I used but didn't really find the answers that I was looking for.
posted by drstein at 8:41 PM on September 7, 2006

Never used that product, but I do have an undersized patty solution.

Cook's Illustrated Grilling cookbook says to form your patties a bit oversized with a depression in the center. The rim will constrict, girdling the patty, poofing up the meat in the center and making them a relatively uniform thickness. It should fit the bun.

I've tired this once and had it work smimmingly.
I don't have the book here so I can't get more specific (if the book even does).
But I may be able to get my hands on it tomorrow.
posted by Seamus at 9:37 PM on September 7, 2006

form your patties a bit oversized with a depression in the center

I have never heard of a patty press, but my family swears by the finger-poke-hole-in-the-center trick.
posted by rhapsodie at 9:47 PM on September 7, 2006

I always use a measuring cup (/13? 1/4? I forget) to get uniform diameter and thickness, then I use the aforementioned finger-poking to avoid puffiness.

I used to use a circular cookie cutter, but that didn't work as well as the measuring cup.

Find a good butcher and get either Prime or Wagyu (U.S. raised usually). Get the butcher to grind it for you (or use an attachment to your mixer at home.)
This makes really indulgent burgers that will have your guests drooling.
The Wagyu tends to get more of a reaction as it isn't a flavor that most folks in America are familiar with.

Obviously, this is a special occasion type of deal, as doing this for your neighborhood cookout would be...rather pricey.
posted by madajb at 10:02 PM on September 7, 2006

Interestingly, and semi on topic; buffalo burgers don't shrink at all.
posted by crabintheocean at 10:53 PM on September 7, 2006

Buy leaner beef. The leaner it is, the less it shrinks. (That would also be why buffalo doesn't shrink.) Also, always make sure to buy the same kind of meat so that it always shrinks the same amount (this was my problem at first, back when I was 22 and trying to cook for myself for the first time).
posted by kindall at 11:12 PM on September 7, 2006

An alternative would be to buy pre-cut beef patties (fresh or frozen), most stores have them.
posted by kindall at 11:13 PM on September 7, 2006

Do the dent-in-the-middle thing... or just start with a bigger patty. Putting a weight on top of the burger will just squeeze out the juices and give you a less moist final product.
posted by rxrfrx at 4:44 AM on September 8, 2006

Making a dent in the middle never worked for me. Making an actual hole works perfectly.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:14 AM on September 8, 2006

pre-cut beef patties is NOT an option for a good backyard grill session.

I'll have to incorporate this middle dent/hole thing myself, but this is my burger recipe... (largelyinfluenced by a good friend)

Lean ground beef (or ground bison). Melt some butter in a pan, and throw in some finely chopped onion and garlic. Cook until slightly undercooked, this shouldn't take too long. If you're cooking immediately, throw it in the beef, if you are preparing the mixture for later let it cool first. Add some salt + pepper and whatever other spices you like, though I like to keep it simple. Form your patties slightly bigger and thinner than you want them, though this may or may not be necessary with the finger dent/hole technique.

Cook on the grill with indirect heat. If you have a dual burner grill, you can turn one side on high and cook the burgers on the other side which is turned off. Keep the lid down. Don't press on them. Try to flip them only once and don't overcook. Then enjoy the amazing burger action.

p.s. Fantasic buns are NOT optional.
posted by utsutsu at 7:35 AM on September 8, 2006 [1 favorite]

MetaFilter: Fantastic buns are NOT optional.
posted by rxrfrx at 2:42 PM on September 8, 2006

pre-cut beef patties is NOT an option for a good backyard grill session

Depends on the beef. I've seen organic beef pre-formed into patties. You can deform them a little by hand if you're afraid your guests will notice they are perfectly symmetrical.
posted by kindall at 4:31 PM on September 10, 2006

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