Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking axiom or not? On not pressing burgers while they cook.


Norm Matthews
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have heard professional cooks say don't press a hamburger while cooking in the skillet, you'll squeeze the juices out.  This is a premise I wonder about.

 

My impression is that has not been my experience.  I don't mash one flat when I cook but I when I do press down on it, I don't see any juices gushing out.  The only 'juice' I see coming out is grease and more does not come out just because I press down on it.  Hamburgers, in my impression, release grease under heat, not under pressure.  A hamburger that is dry is dry because it has been cooked dry, not squeezed dry.  The same thing has been my impression with sausage patties.

 

Anyone care to discuss this?

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it is true to the extent of (somethings)

I have "witnessed" the effect - people squishing a burger and liquids coming out, flames on a grill, sizzle, etc.

 

when heated, proteins shrink - beef has water in it, some water will naturally squeeze out.

ground beef also has fat, that melts and runs out.

 

so.....a not dry burger could be simply swimming in fat,,,,

 

I dislike freezing ground beef because freezing ruptures even more cells and even more water is released.

 

it's basically the same effect as the "never use a fork, all the juices run out" thing.  the proteins shrink, the volume of the meat decreases, and water inside the balloon bubble of a skin / surface is slightly under pressure.  poke a hole, it escapes.....

 

it's probably a good idea, just not taken to extremes (g)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While you'll lose some small amount of juice and fat by pressing, it's not going to be substantial unless you're pressing way too hard. The bigger issue is that pressing on burgers doesn't do anything helpful for you and will only harm the texture of the burger by making it more dense. Unless you're making smash burgers, don't press on them; it doesn't help and it can only hurt the end product. If you're having problems with the burger making contact with a pan or griddle, you're not using enough fat to fry them. Add some tallow, butter, or oil to the pan and resist the urge to press down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

im with 

btbyrd

 

on this.  texture would be the issue for me.  I use a very light touch w home made burgers.

 

indeed, Ive moved to steam burgers w an egg-yolk based sauce.

 

its not something thats so healthy, but from time to time delicious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I usually don't press any more..

But I kinda like the idea of taking a round piece of meat like a 1/2 pound meatball .. put the

thing on the flat top and pressing that.. but that probably pre fry.

I think I creates nice irregularity's ( Like little crusty fingers )

Paul

Its good to have Morels

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I made burgers for customers and seriously it does not matter if you press the burger not.  Most people will eat the burger with the bun and other ingredients together.  But if you want to make the textbook perfect burger, you can well-formed the burger patties before putting it on the grill.  In this case, it does not require any pressing.  Serious Eats has a number of posts on this topic.  You may check it out.

My name is KP Kwan. I am a pharmacist turned restaurateur who lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I have worked in my restaurant more than ten years and since year 2012.

 

I am also a food blogger.  You can read my blog at http://tasteasianfood.com/

I am looking forward to learning and contributing topics about culinary skills in this forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...