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Tasty Burger Thru “Chemistry”!

Have you ever wondered what it was that makes a burger taste so great? If you answered yes and said seasonings and condiments, you are partially right! The other major factor is the “Maillard Chemical Reaction” that occurs when cooking with high heat. It is a chemical reaction that takes place between the amino acids and sugars initiated under heat, usually in the neighborhood of 285-350 degrees F. This reaction starts taking place within about 30 seconds of cooking. At higher temperatures caramelization starts taking place. This reaction characterizes the odors and tastes dependent on the proteins and fat content being cooked, i.e., beef, chicken, fish, etc. Other foods which contain rich amino acids, can also undergo this reaction if it contains sugars and amino acids, such as soya, wheat, pumpkin seeds, etc.

The above being said, I wanted to have a tasty burger last night! “making homemade happen” with a tasty burger was therefore in the cards. I ground up some top sirloin I had in the fridge, made my own ground meat in about 5 minutes, and proceeded to make my patties. Not just any patties, patties for smashing!

1. Create several meatballs with about 4 oz. of your ground beef
2. Add some canola oil to a preheated (hot, at least 350 degrees F) “flat top” grill
3. Add the meatballs to the flat top leaving enough room (about 6 inches) between meatballs for smashing
4. Smash each meatball within 30 seconds of putting on the flat top with your spatula or a press to about 1/4 inch thickness. Season immediately with our Smokin Texas Gourmet (STG) Dry Rub Seasoning and Garlic, Salt, and Pepper. Don’t worry about the rough edges that are created, they will get crispy with lots of flavor
5. Cook for about 3 minutes and flip seasoning the other side and cook about 2 minutes.
6. Re-flip and add a slice of cheddar cheese, add another burger on top, sandwiching the cheese and let cheese melt

I assembled the cheese burger on a bun that I put on the flat top to brown, with caramelized sweet onion and STG Ketchup! Added some homemade steak fries and Chipotle Aioli made for dipping. Chipotle Aioli made with mayo, sour cream, cream cheese, and STG Smokin Chipotle Pepper Sauce! Yummy…yum…yum!




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