I’ve Made and Eaten “The Best Burger for a Single Person”

Today a video popped up into my YouTube feed with the title, “J. Kenji Lopez-Alt Debunks Burger Myths.” As a burger lover myself, I was intrigued.

In the 10-minute segment, Chef Kenji talks about what he calls “The Best Burger for a Single Person.” Not because single people like me necessarily eat differently than the rest of you, but rather because this burger is designed to be made one at a time.

Given my curiosity, I went to the grocery store, bought the ingredients, and proceeded to make the burger for dinner tonight. It was quite delicious, so I thought I’d highlight how it’s done.

  1. Combine a mixture of 50% sirloin, 25% brisket, and 25% short rib. Chef Kenji has tested a variety of different combinations, and apparently this one has the best depth of flavor.
  2. When mixing the meat, don’t season it. This was fascinating. If you add salt to ground meat and mix it in, the salt congeals the meat. Chef Kenji’s theory is that the best burgers break apart easily (and, having eaten one, I think he’s right).
  3. Use minimal effort to form the patty. Basically, leave plenty of ridges and imperfections instead of a smooth, flat burger. This creates a variety of textures within each bite.
  4. Sear the burger in an iron skillet. This is also the time to sprinkle some salt and pepper on one side of the burger. Flip once at most if possible.
  5. Add the top of the potato bun to the skillet and cover. This loosens up the bun a bit. I’m not sure why that’s good, but it works.
  6. Meanwhile, dress the bottom bottom of the bun. Chef Kenji recommended different toppings than what I like. I used mustard, ketchup, dill pickles, and Boston lettuce. I wanted to add white cheddar, but I forgot to buy it, and I don’t think it would have enhanced the burger much.

No joke, the burger was really, really good. The combination of the different cuts of meat and the crispiness of the irregular edges of the patty alone made it really special, but the other little touches helped too. I’d highly recommend giving it a try if you love burgers.

If you have a special burger recipe, what’s your secret?


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