You have finally made the decision to register for your first cook-off. No matter how good you are at your craft, the thought of competition can bring with itself its own pressures. You have simply so many things going on in mind that it is possible for you to miss even basic things. But here is a list of some tips and tricks that will help you to ace that competition by grilling those perfect burgers. So let’s get started.
- MEET THE MEAT: First things first, you have to have the best combination of meat to present a mouth-watering burger. The ideal combination would be of ground chunk, brisket and short ribs. If these are not available (which should not be the case) you can settle for meat with adequate amount of fat. DO NOT opt for lean meat it will lose out on all the moisture, flavour and juices while cooking.
- TEMPERATURE: You need to know when exactly your patty is well done. Ideally, it should take around 7-8 minutes for the temperature to reach 145 degrees after which your patty is golden brown and juicy in the middle. So keep a constant eye on the temperature.
- AVOID BLUNDERS: Cooking is an art which requires patience. Do not lose patience when you want your cooking to be best among all others. Resist the temptation of pressing the patty using a spatula while it’s being cooked. This will do more harm than good by forcing out the juices. Let the patty become brown on its own. Also, only flip the patty once when you have seen the crust on the other side. This will ensure that your patty is well-done on both sides.
- ADD SOME CRUNCH: Competitions are the best places to get your creative self to the front. That little crunchy feel which you will add to your burger will make it stand out. You can do this adding the classic toppings- the dill pickles, lettuce and even potato chips! Yes, nothing is better than biting into a burger expecting tender meat but getting some crunchiness into the mouth.
- DO NOT FORGET THE BUN: While most contestants use the Squishy bun which are soft so as to minimise the bread content and shift the focus to the patty they forget that these bun have to be toasted well. Otherwise, the buns will straight up ruin your burger. The untoasted soft bun will fall apart due to the juices running out of the patty. Some contests directly disqualify the contestant with an untoasted bun.
Most competitions are judged on three aspects: the appearance, taste and tenderness. Do not overload you patty with anything and everything you have but keep it simple. The classic seasoning of salt and pepper is good enough for you patty. Do not make last-minute changes and cook the way you have practiced before. Keep in mind these tips which can help you to put your best foot forward. ALL THE BEST!