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(Are you using kosher beef? If so tell Holly; it might help him answer the question.)

Yes, I am. But I also tend to use lean ground beef -- judging by Holly's instructions, perhaps I should go for a fattier choice for future burgs.

Anything leaner than 85% will increase the likelihood that your burger is going to fall apart. It's a near-certainty that's the source of your trouble.

As Holly mentioned in the lesson 80% is the best way to go (I prefer chuck). The super-lean stuff is a total waste to try to make a decent burger with - less flavor, drier and likely to leave the pan in pieces or fall apart when you bite into it.

...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

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I'd still bring the chips (OOPS! Fries) to room temperature, as Holly has said the fry recovery rate is always an issue. I like chips, so I bought a Lincat commercial (counter top)  fryer, it holds 4 litres of oil and that helps with the recovery rate. Actually I have a suspicion that's the only reason it makes good chips, although it's wattage is greater than the domestic fryers I've seen.

Question. Is it necessary to drain the fries after the first fry? On kitchen paper I mean. I just drain them in the fry basket then freeze them still coated in oil.

Probably isn't necessary on the paper towels. I was doing it because I was using a pasta cooker with perforated holes as opposed to a fry basket.

I'm not sure whether cooling or refrigerating them with a coating of oil helps the process. In theory the oil would seal the fries defeating Dave the Cook's suggestion that the refrigeration or freezing dehydrates the fry surface making it crisp better.

Maybe the process is different with British chips.

But the first cooking drives off the moisture from the potato? The second cooking crisps it up? So as the chips (fries) are going to be fried anyway I can't see the logic of the kitchen paper.

Not that it ultimately matters, we'll all cook our potatoes as we see fit. And anyway aren't French fries banned in the USA...

Sorry couldn't resist that one.

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Once Madonna brought back French Kissing on national television, I felt ok saying French Fries :raz:

The first process cooks the fries, although some moisture is probablylost in the process. And we've all learned the hardway that refrigeration and even freezing does dry out the exposed surfaces. And that is probably good for french fries. But suspect the difference is minimal and that either way works fine.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Not sure if I'm posting this to correct forum, to be honest I'm sure I'm not, but...

Following on from this thread, I think it would be an idea to have a 'Fish & Chips' eGCI. Before anyone asks, no, I can't do it- even if I do have a big stainless steel  chip fryer.

Maybe just one little lesson? You having that fryer and all.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Burgers that fall apart ... I like the fattier beef as well, but we went in on half a bison a while ago and have a freezer full of ground bison meat. It's lean and the burgers are a bit more difficult to work with, but what has worked for me is to use a flat griddle, wide spatula, get a real good crust on it (I salt the meat before shaping, but that may not be your cup of tea) and flip it only once. In my case, I think the crust helps hold things together.

I also do the "ball tossed from hand to hand" method of shaping the patty - that seems to help a bit as well.

That hot dog looks so, so good. I read that part of the lesson last night and ...I don't even like hotdogs and I'm craving one of those. :blink:

ETA -any possibility on a Philly Cheesesteak 101? :biggrin:

Edited by megaira (log)

". . . if waters are still, then they can't run at all, deep or shallow."

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I'd support the 80%/20% statement. I don't know if you make pork burgers, but here in the UK the pork mince is usually lean, so I follow the same rule and use sausage meat to substitute for the 20% fat. Also I think pastry making hands are best for shaping the burgers.

But hell what would I know, I still think F&C and mushy peas is food.

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Well, found my package from Usingers on my door step today!!!! Made the sauce and cooked them they way you suggested.....OH MAN they were GREAT!!! My wife who is not a big hot dog fan loved them a lot and said "we are having them for the game this weekend right?".I still have not cooked up the huge Black Angus ones yet....but will do them too this weekend along with the milk shake recipe. My kids are looking foward to making a mess!!!

Take care and thanks again for this forum and class! :biggrin:

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  • 4 weeks later...
It's a great thread Holly, but where's the Philly steak?  :biggrin:

There is no such thing as a Philly Steak. :smile: That's just what out-of-the-area joints aspiring to serve a Cheesesteak or a Steak Sandwich call it.

However, here's a good thread from the Pennsylvania Forum on what makes a cheesesteak. What Makes A Good Cheesesteak?

I've never cooked one at home, but have gulped down more than my allotment of them hereabouts. I think if I were making my version I'd slice the steak thicker and attempt to approach medium rareness. And I'd have to buy some CheezeWhiz which would be a first for my pantry. Not that there's anything wrong with that as it's for a good cause.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Great lecture, great thread.

Holly, have you ever been to a Sonic? If so, what did you think?

I froze several batches of fries this summer after the first cooking and have found that they fry up frozen a second time adequately. (I think they are best after cooling for a couple of hours. My kids actually prefer these fries to McDonald's.

Thanks for your work on this subject.

EGullet ought to think about combining all these lessons into a book. it would be terrific and a good way to fund this wonderful site.

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We discovered that one of the local grocery stores has Usingers hotdogs.  We had them for lunch the other day - they rock.  Thanks for the heads up.

Whereabouts is that enlightened grocery store?

The Raleys in Napa and in Vallejo both have them.

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  • 1 year later...

I only just now got around to checking out this lesson. Great stuff, Holly! Thanks for the hard work!

I, too, am of the "batter" school of onion rings. In fact, after I fried up my Thanksgiving turkey, I also fried up onion rings, which were a huge hit. Most everybody declared them "the best ever". I also think onion rings make up a great hors d'oevre (sp).

Here's the batter I use, which is fantastic. Also great for fried fish.

BEER BATTER

1 egg

1 cup flour

1 cup beer or ale

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt together. Blend the egg and beer and quickly stir into the flour mixture. Don't worry about a few lumps. Use as a batter for making batter fried fish and onion rings. Or, use as a tempura batter for vegetables, shrimp, or other seafood.

Don Moore

Nashville, TN

Peace on Earth

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We discovered that one of the local grocery stores has Usingers hotdogs.  We had them for lunch the other day - they rock.  Thanks for the heads up.

Whereabouts is that enlightened grocery store?

The Raleys in Napa and in Vallejo both have them.

Petty's at Utica Square in Tulsa also carries Usingers. But we are having sloppy joes for lunch today.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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