Finding My Burger Personality with Canadian Beef

9 Aug

Canada Beef Burger Personality

What’s your burger personality? It sounds like a bit of a strange question, until you take a look at the chart above, from Canada Beef. It’s part of their new campaign to get Canadians thinking about one of everyone’s favorite summer BBQ meals, and what makes an ultimate burger. And since I’m a Canada Beef Brand Ambassador (as I mentioned a while ago), I’m helping to spread the word. You can check out a full description of all the personality definitions here, and get a badge to post on your site to let everyone know what your ideal burger type is.

After many years of trial and error, I’ve discovered that I’m a Naturalist when it comes to burgers. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy fancy, kicked-up burgers. My mom makes amazing chipotle burgers, and there’s a burger joint in Toronto that tops one of their burgers with foie gras and bacon. I haven’t tried it yet, but I definitely have to soon!

But of all the burgers I’ve made in my own kitchen or on my BBQ, the ones I made a couple weeks ago stand out to me as a revelation. I started with ground beef from Rowe Farms, an Ontario farming co-operative known for their quality product. To that meat I added… nothing. Well, almost nothing. A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for a hit of that flavour that only Worcestershire can give you, a few grinds of black pepper and a pinch of smoked paprika for some heat and smoke flavour that would only enhance how the burgers would taste on the BBQ.

I also abided closely to two rules that I’d heard many times before about burger-making, but tend to ignore when I’m in a rush to cook. I only mixed the meat enough to blend in the ingredients, and when forming the burgers, I made sure to form them loosely. The more you handle the meat, the tougher it can be when it’s cooked. And densely formed patties don’t cook as well or release juices as nicely as loose ones.

Finally – and maybe most importantly, salt the outside of the patties generously just before putting them on the grill or in the pan. The reason for adding the salt at this stage is, again, to keep the moisture in the meat, making the resulting cooked burgers tender and juicy. Salt is important to creating a great, flavorful  burger. But if you add the salt to the meat before you form the patties, and it’s allowed to season the meat for an extended period of time before cooking, you’ll end up with dense, tightly packed patties – closer to the texture of sausage than a hamburger.

If you’re looking for great burgers made the Naturalist way, it’s as simple as that. So now… what’s your burger personality?

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3 Responses to “Finding My Burger Personality with Canadian Beef”

  1. Claudine Gervais (@Claudine_G) August 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    I’m a Naturalist, but a Californian if I’m feeling fancy.

  2. The Foodha (@thefoodha) August 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Mainly experimental! I like to throw in a couple of other flavors that stand out. A couple I’ve tried recently with good success are smoked salsa, and a combination of pickled onions, fried salami, and maple mustard (inspired by a food truck).

    Another thing I want to try soon is taking a good cut of whole meat, cutting it up in the food processor, and making a rare burger. Last time I went this way the meat didn’t look quite good enough to really go rare.

    I’ve found that the switch from frozen pre-made burgers to making them myself was the biggest difference, and really helps make the toppings stand out instead of needing them to cover the taste of who-knows-what.

  3. Margot August 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm #

    I’m old school all the way Neil!
    Keep it simple baby. I’ll be trying Rowe farms for my next burger though.

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