Nothing beats a good homemade burger, but getting it cooked right can be a different matter. More often than not, hamburgers are either overcooked or undercooked. Both of these can be a problem. An overcooked patty will be dry and lose its flavor, while an undercooked one may be raw to the point of being unsafe.
In other cases the patty gets overcooked on the outside buts stays raw inside especially when it is too thick. While some may enjoy their hamburgers rare, it is still best to ensure that the meat is heated enough to kill bacteria.
Sous vide hamburgers are a good alternative to traditionally cooked burgers. This allows you to make sure that each patty is cooked just the way you like it, whether rare, medium, well done or a combination of these. By using a water bath and a lower than usual cooking temperature, the meat is cooked and sanitized without being dried out.
Commonly, sous vide pouches are used but for hamburgers a regular food grade zip-lock bag may work. As a matter of fact, it may work better if less compact patties are preferred. Of course, as much air as possible still needs to be removed from the bag before the sous vide process.
Hamburgers cooked through the sous vide technique are immersed in a water bath with a temperature of 131°F or 55°C for about 2 to 4 hours, or until the desired doneness is achieved. As with patties cooked in the traditional method there is no limit as to what seasonings can be put in the ground meat to be cooked.
Sous vide hamburgers can be seared or grilled quickly to get a nice color and finish.
Grilled hamburgers are something I look forward to every year. The combination of the beef, cheese, bun, and sauce is always amazing. The only downside is that I prefer medium-rare burgers which means I have to grind my own meat, something that can be time consuming. Luckily, when you use a sous vide recipe, you can cook your hamburgers long enough to pasteurize them so you can enjoy medium-rare burgers with minimal effort.
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