Hudson Valley Burgers 2011: How to Make the Perfect Burger, According to Joshua Applestone of Fleischer’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats, Kingston, NY
We asked Joshua Applestone of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston for tips on how to cook the perfect burger
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The Perfect Burger
If you like a flat top on your burger, use your thumb to make a divot in the middle of your patty. It will puff up as it cooks, giving you a nice surface on which to rest your (pastured) bacon, your heirloom tomato, and your local cheddar. Pressing the burger flat while cooking makes the juices run out — don’t do it. Kosher (or sea) salt liberally, then sear in a steel pan for two minutes per side, and transfer to a 325˚F oven until it reaches your preferred doneness; check with a thermometer after three minutes in the oven. I like them bloody — I want it to look just spray-painted brown on the outside while still raw on the inside.
The USDA suggests that you cook your burger until the internal temperature reads 160˚F. That’s because they want you to cook the sh*t out of it — literally! But remember, cooking does not destroy the prions that cause mad cow disease (nor does chemical disinfection or irradiation), and nothing can remove hormones and antibiotics.