The hamburgers of my youth are not the same as the hamburgers I eat now. As a child growing up, it wasn’t unusual to hear the cook say, “How do you want your burger?” Answers ranged from “Incinerated” to, “Don’t let me hear it mooo.” Clever ways to say, “Well done,” or “Give me rare.” As far as I’m concerned the days of rare are done. Well done. That’s the way I want my hamburger, without a scrap of pink in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love a medium-rare burger. I’m just afraid to eat them that way.
All meat has bacteria on its surface. Ground meat, like hamburger, spreads the bacteria throughout the meat. In modern meat processing, hamburger can be made from many cows. In the old-fashioned, mom and pop butcher shop, ground beef was made from meat scraps. However, it wasn’t made from scraps from hundreds of cows. If there is a small amount of contaminated meat, it can be mixed throughout a larger batch. It is just no longer safe to eat undercooked hamburger. Always cook it until there is no longer any red or pink in the center of the burger.
Makes 4- 6 burgers
1 ½ pounds ground chuck
¼ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce
Add the seasonings to the ground chuck and knead them into the meat until they are evenly distributed. Divide the meat into 4-6 patties. Form the patties and place them on a plate. Refrigerate the patties for an hour to allow the flavors to be incorporated into the meat.
Place the patties in a large skillet that has been sprinkled with salt and heated on high for a minute. Reduce the heat to medium-high. After 5 minutes, turn the patties, pressing down with the spatula on the cooked side. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add ¾ cup of warm water to the pan and quickly cover the pan. Reduce heat, and cook on medium-high about 5 minutes. Take the lid off and continue cooking until most of the water has cooked away, about 5 more minutes. The water allows the meat to thoroughly cook without drying the burgers out.
These burgers are also great for the grill. Individual grills vary tremendously. Follow the directions for cooking hamburgers that came with your grill. Just make sure that the interior of your burger is cooked to at least 160 degrees F. That means, you guessed it, that there is no pink left in the burger.
However you cook them, make sure that your burgers are completely cooked. With e-coli and salmonella, the days of medium-rare burgers should be a distant and cherished memory. The beauty of these Juicy Burgers, cooked with water, is that they are still juicy and safely, completely cooked.