What goes in your hamburger meat mixture and why?

I was reading the Secret Ingredient thread over in MPSIMS and ran across a post in which a person says they put cracker crumbs in their hamburger meat. Huh?

I’m not knocking the poster, in fact, I didn’t even read the name, but why would one defile ground beef for hamburgers with crackers? Clearly this person isn’t alone, so tell me what your hamburger meat mixture is composed of and why.

I’ll start:

Ground beef
Kosher salt
Freshly ground cracked pepper
A splash of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, sometimes

When my husband makes burgers, it’s the above plus a dash of garlic powder.

Why? I want to taste the meat, plus a wee bit of salt and pepper. Plus, my husband and I take our burgers rare to medium-rare. I certainly don’t want uncooked meat that’s been sullied by raw egg and bread/cracker crumbs! As to the Lea & Perrins, well, the nice paper label on the bottle tells me it makes burgers juicier. A nice paper label wouldn’t lie to me, now would it?

Ground Beef
Light salt and pepper
Mix fine cut onions and green peppers into the beef, along with A-1 Steak Sauce.

It’s so very good.

I do something somewhat similar with Ground Turkey. Instead of using A-1, I mix in a bit of soy sauce with some worchestershire sauce.

Ocassionally a pinch of garlic powder will find it’s way into one of those.

When I make meatballs, I try to do equal parts ground beef and spicy Italian sausage, and I’ll also add seasoned bread crumbs, diced onion and garlic.

For hamburgers or meatloaf, I’ll sometimes add some bread crumbs out of habit (just because my mom always did), and sometimes not. But I always add Worcestershire sauce if I have it on hand, and a packet of French onion soup mix and an egg if I’m making meatloaf.

I should say that I always add the bread crumbs to meatloaf (although I’ve heard oats work well too), but not always to hamburgers.

I am making an attempt to eat more lean ground turkey in place of ground beef. This susbtitutes okay for when I make Italian meat sauce, chili, or Mexican-type food, but I’m always looking for suggestions to keep my turkey-burgers from drying out. I’ve tried crumbled bleu cheese, but I’ll try Fringe’s idea next time.

And to think I used to like you, Voodoo Lou.

I don’t care what your Mom, Grandmom, Sister, Aunt, or Cousin’s Friend’s Mom’s Great Grandmother’s Nanny used to add to her hamburger meat. From now on, keep breadcrumbs out of your hamburgers! What you put in your meatloaf and meatballs are between you, your dinner guests and your deity of choice, however.

If you add something liquid to your burgers, like hot sauce, molasses, BBQ sauce, blue cheese dressing etc, it helps the patty’s stability to also add a few bread crumbs. Maybe a quarter cup to the pound. I don’t like burgers that break in half while cooking, and if you keep the crumb level low, they’re undetectable tastewise. Add too much, and you have cafeteria-burgers. YUMM! :Pukey Smilie:

Hamburgers are simple. You have the essentials, and then you have the additives. Depending on my mood and what’s in the house, I might use 3 to 4 additives.

Bare minimum:
Mix of 3 parts ground sirloin to 1 part ground chuck.
Sea salt
Black pepper

Common additives:
Fresh crushed garlic
Finely minced shallot
Finely minced jalapeno
Cayenne pepper
Ancho chile powder
Worstershire sauce
Hungarian hot paprika

That’s why I do it.

The secret ingredient in my hamburgers is…

hot Italian sausage!! Mix with ground round in a 4:1 ratio (beef to sausage). :smiley:

A typical bouv burger contains the following:

Ground beef (I’m pretty sure the Price Chopper I go to is almsot always Chuck, I’ve never see nsirloin.)
Dask of kosker salt
Black pepper (freshly ground, of course.)
Worstershire sauce
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Chili powder
Yeah, a lot of stuff, but I use only small amounts of the spices. I cook mine between medium rare and medium. I also soemtimes make a “wing burger”, which is like above, but substitute hot sauce for worstershire sauce, add more chili powder and cayanne, and when it’s done, put a lyoer of blue cheese dressing on the bottom bun, apply the patty, smother in hot sauce, and add top bun.

Chipotle Tabasco sauce

When I was a teen, I’d put all sorts of things into hamburgers. I’d mix in salt and pepper, an egg, bread crumbs, dehydrated onions…

I don’t remember when I stopped, but now I don’t put anything in the meat. I just sprinkle it with garlic salt and pepper.

Ground beef

Period. Anyone who puts anything else in a burger doesn’t trust meat.

Ground beef, handled as little as possible (meaning don’t smush it all together and then form it into patties) cooked on high heat, provides the perfect meaty texture with the hint of a crust.

Any other ingredients upset that texture.

Top it with anything you want, blue cheese, bacon, relish, mustard, jalapenos, mushrooms, cheese, fried egg, ham. Just leave the meat be.

Burgers are the perfect example of when less is more.


Form burger into rounds
Sprinkle with kosher salt

Cook. Put all that other crap people have mentioned on top, if you must.

The most common mistake in making burgers is overworking the meat, which makes the burgers dense. This means they take longer to cook, which results in dried out product. Mixing ingredients into the meat means you are mashing and mushing the ground beef into what is essentially meatloaf.

Now, meatloaf is the food of the gods and I did a thread on the sexual pleasures of meatloaf sandwiches, but a hamburgers ain’t meatloaf, so stop messing with it already!

Damn! That will teach me to preview! You, sir, know your burgers.

Montreal Steak seasoning (go lightly)
Onion powder, garlic powder, or other spices as whim declares.

RitzyRae likes them when they are as flat as I can get them, so putting in too much other stuff could cause it to fall apart.

One recipie I’ve been meaning to try is to mix the meat with chopped jalapenos and bleu cheese crumbles.

I start with a nice fatty piece of meat, like ground chuck, no more than 80% lean. I find that ground sirloin is far too lean to produce a moist juicy burger.

To that, I don’t add much of anything. Perhaps a little bit of Vegeta (a salty vegetable stock thingy) or plain salt & pepper. Occassionally, a bit of pureed onions.

If I’m feeling particularly Balkan, I’ll make my burgers with 1/3 chuck, 1/3 lamb, and 1/3 pork or 1/2 chuck and 1/2 lamb. To this, I’ll add the aforementioned Vegeta and onions. You can also add some hot paprika. This is one version of a Yugoslav dish called pljeskavica. Veal can also be used. Basically, any ratio of veal, pork, lamb, and beef should work well. Personally, I like a significant amount of lamb in my pljeskavica, as it gives it a nice distinct bite. Pljeskavica with lamb is more representative of the kinds you’d get in Bosnia , while the pork, beef, and veal varieties are more common in Croatia and Serbia. If you make little finger-sized sausages out of the mixture rather than patties, you basically have cevapcici (or “chevapi”) a variation of the kofte kebap (“kebap” -> “chevap”)

Personally, this is my favorite hamburger recipe.

Worcestershire sauce
black pepper
garlic poweder

never ever ever any salt and now way any A-1 sauce. I put my ketchup on my burgers after they’ve been cooked.

I try to pay attention.

In this crazy McWorld, the humble hamburger can be overlooked for how good a food it really is.

Pure ground beef for starters. Great flavor, but also one of the best textured things we eat. A crust with a soft but. . .substantial interior, combined with a soft roll and saucy toppings.

The accessorizing of the hamburger is rivaled only by the pizza providing endless variations: sweet, savory, tart, salty.

Not to mention that a hamburger can be paired with fries, onion rings, chips, pickles, potato salad, macaroni salad, an ear of corn, damn near anything.

It goes great with soda, any kind of beer, and sometimes wine.

I know that, to some, a burger is just something Americans stuff into their mouth to keep their belts stretched but it really should be savored for all it is worth.

Totally agree with Trunk and Chefguy. However, I will do one other thing on occassion.

A 2 to 1 mixture of ground chuck or even sirloin and ground pork. The pork has a lot more fat in it which is what keeps the burger moist. As long as no one has a problem with pork, that little bit really makes a big difference.