Learn to cook with Chef Matt Starcher, aka “The Mattdad.” Chef Matt is a Johnson and Wales graduate, husband, dad and passionate chef. His roots go back to Appalachia in West Virginia where cooking on cast iron was a way of life. Matt has cooked for 25 years and has spent time in the kitchens of Washington D.C. at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel. He and his wife Rhonda, reside in Chesapeake, Va., where they are raising their four kids. Food has always been Matt’s passion. He is chasing his dream as he shares his knowledge teaching cooking workshops.
Its Burger time! July means it’s time for hot weather and grilling. We have all grilled hamburgers, but have they been the type of burgers where people say … “This is the best burger I have ever had!,” or “What did you do to these burgers?”. The worst question is when your family asks “what you did different?”. These 12 simple tips will help you become a burger master.
1. Use 80/20 ground beef. That is the lean to fat ratio. When beef is ground (in a grinder), fat is added. This number means the mixture is 80% beef and 20% fat.
2. Use the freshest ground beef you can source. Don’t be afraid to ask your local butcher when the beef was ground.
3. Keep everything super cold until you cook it. Remember – when you are pattying up your burgers and the fat gets on your hands, it is not in the burger. Do not let your burgers come to room temperature.
4. Try not to over handle the meat. Be tender when you handle the ground beef. Carefully shape them into patties.
5. Carefully press your thumb into the center of the patty after it has been formed.
6. Season after the patty has been formed. Season the MaD seasoning liberally.
7. Grill or sear on an extremely hot surface. This will aid in the searing process and lead to less sticking, if any.
8. DO NOT mash the burger with your spatula. Flip the burgers as often as you like, just let a seared crust develop. I prefer to limit my flipping because there is less of a chance of me dropping a burger and I feel I get a better sear.
9. Use a Thermometer- then let the burger rest for a five minutes. This is the only true way to know if a burger is ready.
· 120 Rare
· 130 Med Rare
· 140 Med
· 150 Med Well
· 160 Well Done
10. Mix your Cheeses. There is no rule for cheese, just make sure you use it! Allow the cheese time to melt.
11. Get a great bun – not the .99 cent pack. This is a huge level up in the burger world. If you are already doing all the work above, why put the burger on a mediocre bun? Toast the bun with butter. A toasted bun will not become soggy. The crust will help to keep the bun toasty and soft in the middle.
12. Add your toppings and don’t be afraid to try new stuff! Add different textures and flavor to your burger for a unique experience. Try the toppings below:
Mac n cheese
The list of burger toppings goes on and on!
Use these 12 tips and I guarantee you will make a better burger next time.
For questions and comments, get in touch with Matt Dad!
The Mattdad is on Instagram at www.instagram.com/themattdad/ and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheMattdad