5-Minute Kitchen: How to Make the Perfect Burger Indoors
Just because it's too cold to grill doesn’t mean you can't make a mean burger at home. In this installment of 5-Minute Kitchen, Chef Chris Santos of Stanton Social and Beauty & Essex in New York City shows you exactly how to do it.
No grill? No problem. All you need are a few special tools and ingredients to cook up the perfect burger indoors. Here are a few of my top secrets, including my favorite ingredients for an amazing burger blend. Watch the video above to find out more—and to see me walk you through it, step by step.
Secret #1: A cast iron grill pan. A smoking hot cast iron grill pan not only will give your burger a nice sear similar to your grill, but it will also help you lose a little bit of the fat since the elevated ridges allow for the excess grease to separate from the burger.
Secret #2: Burger meat sourced from a high-end butcher or specialty store. At Beauty & Essex, our burger meat is a custom blend of lamb, short rib and brisket, so don’t be afraid to ask your butcher to mix up something equally appealing to your taste buds.
Secret #3: A little butter in your burger blend. This is the key to our award-winning Beauty Burger at Beauty & Essex. Aside from seasoning your meat, we add 1 ½ ounces of butter for every 1 pound of meat. The key is to melt the butter over very low heat so that it's at most room temperature, and then gently fold the butter into the seasoned meat. (Our full burger blend: 1 lb. burger meat, 1.5 oz. very soft butter, 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. paprika.)
Secret #4: Lower-fat add-ons. A great trick to get the taste of bacon on your burger without the added fat, is to cook bacon in your cast iron grill pan before cooking your burger. Once the bacon is done, remove the bacon and drain the fat, but do not wash the pan in order for the burgers to absorb the remaining bacon flavor from the cast iron. Also, instead of high fat mayonnaise, I like to cut calories by using a 1:1:1 ratio of light mayo, mustard and ketchup for a flavorful, but lighter, spread.