Recipe questions: Burgers and flour..

  1. I have a pound of ground beef that I’m thinking of making into burgers. This would be my first time making my own. I’d like to ask for recipes. The simpler and fewer ingredients, the better. Minimum of crunchiness from onions is appreciated. :slight_smile:

  2. Whenever I’ve cooked quarter pound hamburger patties in my George Foreman grill, they’ve been frozen rock hard, and taken about 6.5 minutes. If I were to cook burgers made from this recipe, they’d necessarily be from merely chilled beef, if that. How long would it take for them to cook properly given the aforementioned time?

  3. I have some flour in the freezer (a tip I got from my mom, who lives in much warmer and more humid climes than I) with a “best by” date of September '07. (I obviously don’t use flour a lot.) How can I tell if it’s still okay to use?

[ul]My recipe is the simplest of all, which is to not do anything but salt and pepper and grill the burgers. I do sometimes use a mesquite “marinade” that is sprayed on before grilling.[/ul]
[ul]I will plead ignorance here as I do not, nor have I ever, use a George Foreman grill.[/ul]
[ul]Throw the flour away and buy some more![/ul]
(Sorry, but I seem to be having problems getting the numerical list to work!)

Toss it, and look in the store for one of those mini bags of flour. It’s not worth saving that long as it costs like $2 (or less?) for a small bag. You can still keep it in the freezer, in a freezer bag, and probably use it for a long while after its sell-by date…but not two years!

Different people will have vastly different recipes. For instance, my husband loves to have his burgers made with bread crumbs and chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper. I prefer to have just good ground chuck, and either salt it or put Worcester sauce on it. If you want onion flavor without onion crunch, then sweat the onions a bit before mixing them in with the beef, or use minced dried onions, or use the Lipton Soup Secrets mix (used to be Lipton French Onion Soup mix). The bell pepper and celery can also be sweated to reduce crunch and increase flavor.

I don’t know how long it would take to cook in a double grill. However, I’d check the burgers starting at 3 minutes, to reduce the chance of them becoming hockey pucks.

Throw out the flour, or put it on your compost heap. Flour is relatively cheap, but buy a smaller sack the next time around.

For the best burgers, handle the meat as little as possible. Look at the package and you’ll see a grain to the meat. That’s essentially how it comes out of the grinder–kind of like a play-doh fun factory. Cut portions across that grain and gently shape into patties trying not to affect that grain diection which will run throught he burger, not along it. Then just before cooking, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. On my pannini press, they take about 2-3 minutes so your George forman should be about the same. Burgers will almost melt in your mouth they’ll be so tender.

Additional question: if I do cook burgers in the way I plan, what’s the best way to tell doneness? I don’t own a thermometer that really works well with something as relatively thin as a burger patty.

If I’m not sure, then I just cut the burger in half. If it has no pink left, I consider it done. And I do want my burgers to be well done.

If I pan fry burgers in a skillet, I just wait until the edges look done for the first side, flip, and cook for about the same amount of time on the second side.

Poke it with your finger (but not right after you’ve flipped it, because then you’ll burn yourself!) and see how squishy it is. Before you cook the burger at all, gently poke the center to get a feel for it. As the burger cooks, it will get more firm. Some people are able to compare doneness to the way the base of the thumb/palm feels, but I’ve never been able to do a direct comparison myself.

For the record, I put absolutely nothing in the burger patties but meat. However, salt on the outside, after cooking, is quite delicious.

What’s wrong with two-year-old flour? It stops being flour in some important way?

I would expect it to have a terrible taste from being in the freezer with those other foods after that long. It will also be extremely dry flour. I’ve used flour that was a couple years old for bread and I had to add lots of extra water to the recipe to replace the liquid. Flour does go rancid over time. How quickly depends on storage conditions. Look up rancid flour if you need an explanation.

The Flour should be fine, flour left at room temperature will eventually have the fats in the flour go rancid, leading to funky flavors but white flour only has minute traces of fat anyway. Keeping it in the freezer will drastically slow down fat rancidity so it should be fine. The only thing I can think would be wrong is if it wasn’t stored in an airtight container, it will absorb odours from the freezer in which case you should toss it.

I don’t need to look it up; your explanation is fine. It’s just I sound like the OP, except I suspect maybe I’m older with a few more years of kitchen time under my belt. I generally don’t use flour very often (except very recently I got into baking bread & muffins) so when I haul the flour out of the cupboard it’s quite likely a couple years old. It seems to work just fine for what I’m most likely to use it for which would be a dredge for meat, or maybe a batter for some chicken fried fryin’. I’ve never detected any difference. I can’t imagine it would absorb awful odors from the freezer if it’s in an air-tight container, although the OP didn’t say.

That’s for steak. There’s not much room between “raw/squishy” and “done/firm” for burgers.

Burger recipe: make your patties, whatever method you favor. Sprinkle both sides with onion salt and black pepper, giving it a gentle pat to help it adhere. Then, cook. That’s it. Anything more than just onion salt and black pepper is frippery that makes your burger taste like a steak instead of a burger. Keep it simple.

Cooking time is going to vary depending upon how thick your patties are. Probably 4-5 minutes for a 3/4" patty. Just take a peek periodically and see how things are progressing.

Munch, although the feelings are different between steak and hamburger, I’ve been able to use the squishy to firm gradient to judge the “doneness” of burger. I think it depends on the size and shape of the patty- I wouldn’t be able to do it with a pre-formed burger, but a nice 3-5 ounce patty that trends toward thick rather than wide can be poke-tested.

Oh, I agree. But to someone starting out, it’s more hassle than anything. It’s easier to say, “grill on Side A until it starts sweating, flip, grill for another 5 minutes.”

A little late, but thanks for the responses so far!

Still, I’m planning to use my George Foreman grill - thus no “flipping.” And I’m concerned enough about doneness that I need as many indicators as possible to make sure that the things are done…

I always flip burgers in my Foreman grill. The top is hotter than the bottom; aren’t they all that way?

Try defrosting the burger before putting on the grill. It will take less time to cook.

Here’s a helpful site for checking the shelf life of just about everything, including flour.