How big should slider patties be
The great guide: How to make burger patties to make you kneel down!
A burger consists of many complex ingredients, even if it may not seem like that at first bite. From the selection of burger buns and their toppings to the sauces and the side dishes between the halves of the bun. But let's not fool ourselves:The heart of every burger is without question the patty!And not without reason. If there is one dish that everyone is talking about around the world, it is definitely the meatball cutlet. No matter if America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand or India. The meatball has its place in every culture and there are thousands of variations. That is perhaps also the reason why the burger bears the title “The most popular fast food in the world”. Exactly, because of the patty.
The great success of fast food chains for decades and the many burger shops that are springing up underpin the thesis that people simply have a great weakness for minced and grilled meat. However, it would be a mistake to dismiss the burger patty with “meatball is bullette, eh ?!”. Because Making an incredibly good patty is not that easy. Many factors determine the result: the texture, the fat content, the meat quality, the preparation, the mouthfeel ... Their interaction determines how wide the grin on your face will be when you've bitten off the first piece and your synapses celebrate carnival.
But what do I make such a fantastic patty out of and, above all, how? What kind of meat do I choose and are there any special preparation methods that make the patty better? This guide tells you everything you need to know and a little more. Let yourself be inspired and try it out yourself at home. Because with experience comes routine. You can have the best burgers in town at home! Once you've started making patties, it's St. Patty's Day every day!
Table of Contents
Who is this burger patty anyway?
If you haven't heard the term "patty" before, don't worry. He has nothing in common with bank robber Patty Hearst or country singer Patty Loveless. But it is obvious! I used to say “meatball” all the time. When I was confronted with it for the first time in a trendy restaurant, I thought it was the name of the nice lady who stands behind the grill and roasts my meat for me (“Would you like the patty rare or medium-rare (fries)? "). Embarrassing moment ... for me and for the waitress!
Patty is English and literally translated means something like "patty". So it is nothing more and nothing less than the general name for the meatball between the halves of the burger bun. It doesn't matter what meat they are made of, only the round and flat shape is mandatory. However, eggs, mustard, onions etc. have no place in a patty! You can use these ingredients to make small party meatballs. The burger, on the other hand, is traditionally about the pure meat taste.
Of course, you can make patties from any piece of meat without tendons. Mixtures are also wanted. But this guide is first about the classic beef.
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Meat lust - what is a patty made of?
The classic burger patty is made from pure ground beef. In terms of taste, no pork and no mixed mince can come close to the original and the inherent taste that goes with it. You will achieve the best results if you grind your hack for the patties yourself. How you do it, what you have to consider and some background knowledge can be found in my guide:
Beef doesn't grow on trees - what to look for when buying
Let's be honest: Almost everyone likes to eat meat, but unfortunately we often suppress the fact that an animal had to die for each piece. We also don't mind that the majority of the meat we acquire comes from factory farms, where the animals are kept under poor conditions, because we don't see it. The price of fillet and Co. gives us a rough overview of the quality of the products it contains. For a better understanding, there are three different housing conditions in comparison:
Conventional animal husbandry
- Animals are crammed together in narrow stalls in order to be able to keep a maximum number of animals (usually without exercise, daylight, fresh air).
- The feed comes from conventional cultivation, whereby genetically manipulated grain is also allowed - intensive fattening of the animals for rapid growth (hormones).
- The risk of disease for the animals increases as a result of the keeping, which is why the use of antibiotics is allowed.
EU organic regulation
- The exercise of the animals is required by law.
- The feed consists exclusively of organic cultivation, whereby the addition of genetically modified grain is prohibited.
- Antibiotics are only given in an extreme emergency.
The name is derived from the ancient Greek goddess of fertility of the same name. Demeter is a protected brand name and designates products that are bio-dynamically manufactured, i.e. produced according to the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (founder of anthroposophy and the Waldorf schools).
- The exercise of the animals is required by law.
- Only organic feed is used, with more than 50% having to come from our own cultivation. Genetically modified grain, chemical plant fertilizers and pesticides are of course prohibited.
- No antibiotics or hormones are given.
You can see that there are serious differences when it comes to keeping animals. Now you can hear the phrase on every corner: "Take good quality meat!" I also like to preach this mantra up and down. Have you already noticed and asked yourself: "Yes, what does that mean now?". Rightly so! So how is “good quality” measured at all?
Several factors are decisive for the quality of the meat:
Age of the cattle
Mostly the meat is offered by young cattle, whereby "beef" is the umbrella term. One differentiates:
- Heifers (young, female cattle that have not yet calved)
- Young ox (male, castrated cattle)
- Beef ox (male, castrated animals bred for slaughter)
- Young bulls (uncastrated male cattle)
The quality of the grain naturally also has an influence on the taste and the ingredients of the meat. We also consume antibiotics, hormones, pesticides and the like. There is also a big difference between natural feeding or grazing, in which the animals eat grass and plants, and faster, industrial fattening of animals.
The less fear and stress the animals have before slaughter, the better the meat. Adrenaline released under stress, which leads to the release of lactic acid, and other hormones, to put it simply, make the meat cramp. Yes, I know this is a very uncomfortable subject, but: Animals are just as afraid as we humans. Everything is automated in large slaughterhouses. In industrial slaughtering, the animals sometimes never see a person, let alone put a calming hand on their fur. On a traditional farm, however, one person takes care of the animals. The farmer helps to give birth to her, sees her grow up and is a caregiver for the herd. When it comes to slaughter, they are accompanied by the person they have known all their lives. This reduces the stress level immensely.
Maturation of the meat
Fresh meat is tough and almost tasteless after slaughter. Lactate (the salt of lactic acid) and enzymes are only formed through “hanging out” or storage, which break down the connective tissue in the muscles and thereby make the meat tender and tender. Industrial meat matures for a few days in a vacuum bag (wet aging), whereas “dry aged beef” (air drying) undergoes a process of maturing in the fresh air for several weeks and requires traditional, craftsmanship. Due to the time and work involved, the latter is of course a lot more expensive.
The Director’s Cut - Which pieces of meat are suitable for my burger patty?
Now we are already one step or cut further and you know what defines the quality of your patty. But as soon as you arrive at the butcher's, you have to look at the display to see another problem. A variety of meat cuts (cuts) with a variety of names: bow, shovel piece, brisket, upper shell, sirloin, chuck, false rib, front hesse, etc.
Many of the terms that you read in cookbooks or guidebooks mean the same thing in different languages, but are given different names. In addition to the German, there are also US, French, Austrian and Swiss names that do not make it easy for the normal hobby cook to keep track of things. But not only the names are confusing, but also the cuts themselves. The cutting itself is a complex craft, no, rather an art.
The preferences of the culture area also play a role. For example, many names for parts from American or English cannot be assigned exactly to a German section, as there are simply very different ways of dissecting an animal. The umbrella terms or parts are easy to define. The cuts from these sections, however, vary greatly. For example: You may have heard the term “American Cut” before. This does not mean that the piece was cut off in the USA (which is usually the case), but the type of cut. Now the confusion is complete.
Which piece should I choose now? A cut astrophe!
Don't get confused. Help is near! Different countries, different styles. So it always depends on how and where you cut. The best thing to do is to ask your butcher which pieces he currently has in stock or which pieces he can cut for you. Alternatively, you can always pre-order certain pieces.
For a better overview and understanding, take a look at the graphic. I've tried to give you as structured an overview as possible of where the pieces come from and what the American name for them is (if there is one).
Infographic: beef cuts
Since the grill and BBQ culture spills over to us from the USA, the American names of the meat cuts are slowly becoming established here as well. The most common and now available from every good butcher are:
- Top Round Roast - roast from the top shell (leg)
- Bottom Round Roast - Roast from the lower shell (leg)
- Eye Round Roast / Steak - Nut / Ball (front leg), Roll / Tail roller (rear leg)
- Top Loin Steak / Strip Steak - Entrecôte / Roast Beef
- Tenderloin - fillet steaks
- Prime rib steak - steak from the high rib (e.g. rib eye steak)
- Brisket - chest
- Tri-Tip Steak / Roast - Mayor's Piece / Pastor's Piece
- Top butt cap - boiled beef
- Sirloin steak - rump steak, rump steak
Hackology - it's all in the mix
Well, now we're one step further and you know which sections of meat are cut from which parts of the beef. But do I only take one piece or do I mix several pieces? And if so, how many? And which parts are even available? The general rule is: Just try it out and see what you personally like best. The fat content of your patty should always be around 20-25%. Again, just ask the butcher.
Pay attention to the fat content when buying. Many butchers cut the required fat edge in advance before it goes into the display. This also has to do with the German way of cutting pieces. Always ask if the mixture is 25% fat. If he does not have any pieces with fat lids in stock, add a little extra fat individually (e.g. fat from roast beef).
Of course, you can also rely on a die-hard mixture that has proven itself to start with. Here is a little cheat sheet:
Joe Bloggs blend
- 100% short rib (cross rib / rear ladder section)
- 50% chuck (shoulder)
- 50% sirloin (hip)
Joe Bloggs is not a star chef or premium butcher. On the contrary! It's the English term for “normal consumer”, but it just sounds better, doesn't it? The shoulders and hips are some of the most strained muscles. They have a distinctive taste and are perfect for a juicy, down-to-earth burger.
Stomach, legs, buttocks!
- 50% Round (club)
- 30% Shank (back or front Hesse)
- 20% brisket (chest)
A popular class for girls in the gym is also a nice mix for your burger patty. Who would have thought that?! The fine taste of the brisket goes very well with the somewhat tart pieces of Keule and Hesse.
Pat Lafrieda-Famous Blend
- 50% chuck (neck, false rib or cross rib)
- 30% clod (arm)
- 20% brisket (chest)
Anyone who likes meat in the USA and lives on the east coast cannot ignore the name Pat Lafrieda - probably the most famous retailer and supplier of premium meat in New Jersey and the surrounding area. Pat and his cousin are now the third generation to run his grandfather's company. He invented this blend for the successful “Shake Shack” burger restaurant chain, which experts consider to be the “perfect patty mix” and can therefore be found on the plate in numerous restaurants.
- 50% tail (oxtail)
- 30% brisket (chest)
- 20% sirloin (hip)
It might sound weird at first, but the end of the ox is fantastic streaky, juicy and very fatty meat. In this country only used in oxtail soup or goulash, this end piece is literally intended to be used to make burger patties. The muscle is also constantly in motion (you have probably already observed: even if the cattle stare motionless monotonously and chewing grass into the meadow all day long, the tip is constantly wobbling). This mixture results in dripping, nutty tasting patties with juice.
- 50% Tri Tip Roast (mayor's / pastor's piece)
- 50% Top Butt Cap (boiled beef)
This mixture is not pickled, but padded! The mayor's or pastor's piece got its name because the butcher used to reserve this good piece only for the city regent or the ecclesiastical head. Boiled beef is usually served long cooked, but it has a delicious, characteristic taste of its own. Both cuts, minced, formed into a patty and fried medium-rare, are a privilege worthy of a city councilor.
Fine steak cuts - Of course you can also make incredibly delicious burgers out of rib eye, fillet, entrecôte and the like. However, this is the noblest of all variants, which is also reflected on the bill ... or. to you of you. With the other much cheaper mixes and sections you get just as good results in terms of taste and juiciness.
Grit - Burger Rubs
Rub means "to rub" in German and means dry marinades made from dried spices that are normally rubbed into meat for the grill. Tastes are different. While some love the pure meat flavor on their patty, others prefer it spicy. Shops and the internet are now full of rubs and reviews on these. As with many other things, you can make your own rubs with simple means, create them according to your own preferences and save a lot of money.
If you focus on meat and you paid good money to get your patty blend, I advise you not to rub it, as rubs cover up or change your own taste. However, if you want a special blend of spices that gives your meat a specific taste, I recommend you just try a few. The patties are sprinkled with the mixture on all sides or lightly rubbed. The spices are not processed in the mince. If you don't like rubs on the burger, you can easily save them for the next barbecue and give steak, chicken and the like a proper rub.
The following applies to all rubs: Roast the ingredients together over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the aromas rise. Mortar everything together or grind in a food processor. First, carefully season the meat. The rub remains in a dry place, well covered, for several weeks.
The mixes are enough for 8-12 burger patties.
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
Magic Johnson Rub
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
Formidable! - This is how you shape your burger patties
Roll up your sleeves, wash your hands and off you go. Shaping patties is a quick thing in and of itself. You can either make them by hand or invest a few euros in a burger press. However, with a little practice, you can make it quickly and you are more flexible when it comes to the size and consistency of your patties.
If you don't want to touch the minced meat for hygienic reasons, you can get powder-free latex gloves from the drugstore around the corner. This will keep meat and your hands clean.
Which patty size is the right one?
For a medium-sized patty and I recommend a portion that is not too filling 120 g. If you greater want to try it with 150 g, 180 g or 220 g. The latter, however, is a very nice Oschi. Smaller is always possible, of course. Small sliders (mini burgers) with 100 g or 80 g Patties are a great starter or finger food at parties.
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Tough guy or softy? - Firm or soft patties?
There are two ways to shape your patty. Either you work with a little pressure and shape your patty compact, or you treat it like a raw egg and just gently shape it with the edges of your hands. The "Hard pack" is denser in consistency and has a firmer, more compact mouthfeel. The "Soft pack" is slightly crumbly, loose and almost fluffy in consistency. Of course, this makes it a little harder to fry. But it's worth the effort. Try it out.
Shape burger patties - compact and fluffy
The Lord of the Rings - Tools to shape the patty
Burger presses - shaping tools into a patty
Yes I do! - serving rings
If you don't get even patties at the beginning, use a serving ring to help. This way you will definitely get an even, round shape (alternatively you can build a ring from a piece of aluminum foil. To do this, fold an approx. DIN A4 piece of aluminum foil lengthways until you get an approx. 6 cm high strip. Connect both ends to form a ring and staple the ends together. Of course, you can also make higher rings, depending on how many grams of mince you want to use or how high the patties should be).
Shape burger patties with a serving ring
Freedom of the press - burger presses
You can of course also use a burger press. No matter if mini patties with 60 g or presses for the big hunger up to 220 g. There are shapes for every need. However, it is difficult to form a "soft pack" in a press. Good old handwork is still the best choice for this.
Once the patty has been successfully shaped, it can be very difficult to remove it from the burger press. Before you begin, put a piece of cling film in the press. This way you can get your shaped meat out of the lower shell without frustration.
Bureger press - shaped burger patty
Hidden Delights - Stuffed Burger
An interesting and varied way of making patties is to "stuff" it or fill it. The ingredients such as cheese, olives, fried mushrooms, onions, etc. are in the patty and provide a pleasant surprise when you bite into it. The advantage is that all the ingredients mix with the melting cheese inside, creating fantastic new flavors. Fill your patty with anything you fancy. It is only important that the ingredients are already grilled or fried, as the heat inside is only enough to melt the cheese (at a cooking point of medium-rare or medium).
The easiest way to do this is with a special burger press for stuffed burgers.
Stuffed burger patty base
The burger press presses a large hole in the middle with an attachment, which gives you plenty of space for ingredients.
Stuffed burger patty filled
Fill the inside with everything your heart desires. In my case it was matured cheddar. Use the other side of the press to form the lid that fits perfectly into the rim. Then press the edges and put them in the pan.
Stuffed burger shaped patty
With a little practice, you can also shape the patties by hand. Make sure, however, that the base and edge are made from one piece and not placed on top of one another and that the edge on the sides is not too thin. Close all openings well with the lid and check again that no cracks can be seen. Otherwise you run the risk of the patty cracking while frying and the cheese leaking into the pan.
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