“At the base level, a burger is a piece of meat and a bun with something on it. It’s simple but it seems to make a lot of people happy.” – Danny Meyer
Hamburgers are the perfect food. In Greek Mythology, when a person ascends to Mt. Olympus, they may be given Ambrosia, the food of the gods, and they are accepted into the ranks of the Gods and made immortal. I assume this means they lit up the mighty Grill of Olympus, burning with the perpetual fires of Hades, and cooked up a tasty burger. You ever have a burger cooked over open Hades flames? Delicious.
More importantly, these hamburger patties can easily be added as a staple to every bulk cook day. To keep up with a healthy lifestyle, you must work to foster a new habit of cooking for yourself. You must do the work. There are no “fit” meal delivery services or diet plans that can replace the work you put into yourself. If you rely on others to do the work for you, then you will never reach or maintain your fitness goals.
It is a matter of taking personal responsibility. If others are doing the work for you, then you haven’t taken the responsibility and you will have learned nothing. Having learned nothing, you will most certainly fall into old habits at the first chance, but if you do the work, if you create a habit, then you have that habit or that skill for life and you are more likely to succeed in your endeavor. So get in the kitchen. Learning to cook hamburgers in bulk is one of the first steps in this process.
For Burger Patty
5 Lbs Extra Lean Ground Chuck
1 7oz Can Chipolte Peppers in Adobo Sauce
5 Egg Yolks
2 Cups, Grilled Pineapple, diced
1/2 Red Onion, minced
1/2 Bunch of Cilantro, minced
Juice of 1 Lime
2 Jalapeno Peppers, minced
1 Cucumber, Sliced for Bun
Typically, connoisseurs of delicious burgers use a nice and fatty portion of ground round or ground chuck for their burgers. They are not wrong. The fatty meats make the best burger patty. However, for our goals we want to limit the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol being added into our diet from our meat, so you always want to use the leanest meats possible. Which is why we eat so much chicken. So for these burgers you want to ask your butcher for the leanest meat they have. Our local butcher has Ground Chuck that is labeled Extra Lean, which has almost all of the fat cut out. The problem with using beef that is this lean is that your hamburger patties will come out super dried out. So we need to help these patties stay juicy. To do this, I just added a different type of fat back into the meat in the form of egg yolks. By choosing the leaner meat, you have greatly reduced the amount of saturated fats and bad cholesterol associated with red meat, and we have replaced that with the abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids and good cholesterol found in the egg yolks. This will help keep these patties moist during their time on the grill.
Now, for these patties, I wanted to kick up the flavor a little bit. So I added a can of Chipolte Peppers in Adobo Sauce right into the patties themselves to add spice and taste.
Place the 5 lbs of meat into a very large mixing bowl. In a blender, dump in the entire contents of the 7oz can of Chipolte Peppers and blend until smooth, then put that in there with the meat. Separate 5 yolks into the meat as well, discarding the whites. Now, using your meat mitts (your hands), fold it all in together. Just enough to make sure its all evenly mixed together. Don’t massage the meat too much. You’ll go blind doing that.
I like to use a burger press to shape the patties. Its just a little plastic device that you can get from any local supermarket, Walmart, or Bed Bath and Beyond, and it will give you perfectly sized and shaped hamburger patties that are ready for the grill. You could try making them by hand, but in my experience almost everyone makes them too round or condensed and you end up with grilled meatballs instead. Make your life easier. Let go of your pride, and just pick up a patty maker. Here is a link to one.
Now, heat up your grill. Once the grill is nice and hot, cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes on one side, until it is just oh-so-slightly charred, and then flip. Some like to constantly flip the burgers, about every 30 seconds, and some like to only flip the burger once total. Which is better? I don’t know, man, you tell me! It’s really a matter of personal taste. Try it both ways and see which you like better. To me, however, the difference is miniscule enough that I don’t really care. So I flip them once, because then I don’t have to stand over them while they cook and I can start another task on my bulk cook list.
Try to cook the meat to medium at most. No more. You will be freezing these when you are done and then microwaving them when you are ready to eat them. If you cook these past a medium temperature, then they will cook further in the microwave and come out extra well-done and dry. Use your own hand to determine the temperature with this helpful infographic:
Place your ring finger and thumb together and feel the firmness of the muscle directly underneath your thumb. Now feel the firmness of the burger patty on the grill. If they feel the same then you have a burger cooked at medium temperature. This does take some practice to really get the hang of, so grab a knife and gently cut open one of the burgers to check the temperature by site as well, until you are comfortable enough with this process.
If you look close, you can tell that we use the hell out of this grill. This grill has seen some things man. This grill will mess you up.
If you don’t have a grill you can easily do this in a pan on the stove over a medium-high heat. There are stove-top accessories that simulate grilling that you could pick up as well.
Now, thanks to the chipolte peppers, this burger has some kick. So I wanted to put a cooling and refreshing flavor on top to contrast the heat and spice in the meat. So here we have a pineapple guacamole.
Since I had the grill up anyways, I went ahead and threw these pineapple slices on it to carmelize the sugars a bit and add a slightly different flavor to them. Now, dice up that pineapple. Mince the onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Throw into a mixing bowl with the contents of 4 ripe avocados. Squeeze in the juice from the lime. Mix together. Get that avocado good and mashed up.
Now slice the cucumber, and build yourself a burger. Add the parts in this order:
- Bottum Bun
- Yellow Mustard
- Pineapple Guacamole
- Top Bun
- Eat it
Stack the rest of the burger patties into a large gallon baggie. Once frozen, they will conveniently “click” right off each other, so they store pretty neatly in your freezer. You should have about a week or two of burgers now, depending on how big your family is.
Make sure the bun you use is strictly whole wheat. This can be fairly tricky, as food labels can use misleading titles to suggest that it is whole wheat, when in fact it is not at all. Join our next nutrition challenge to learn exactly how to read your food labels: