When you close your eyes and picture a burger, that is, just the meat patty, it’s probably a medium shade of brown with a series of darker parallel stripes running through it. These scratches are, of course, grill marks from where the grill touched the meat. But, if you were to deconstruct your favorite fast food burger and look at the patty, chances are you’d see those etched marks. Most burger chains don’t grill their burgers.
In fact, most burger joints cook their burgers on large hot steel plates usually called a griddle and sometimes called a flat-top grill. Griddles are a great way to cook burgers, both because they allow a restaurant to cook a large number of patties quite efficiently and because of the way they cook the meat. Less fat is lost on the griddle because it can’t fall through the grates like on a grill, which means more flavor. And the greater amount of direct contact a burger gets on a flat-top grill as opposed to grates means that more of the meat experiences the Maillard reaction, which modernist cuisine says is the rearrangement of amino acids and simple sugars in a cooked protein that creates delicious flavors.
So when considering which burger chain to visit next, keep these places on the list. Unless you fancy a flame-grilled burger, in which case be sure to visit one of these popular places that use real fire.
Have you ever wondered why White Castle’s delicious little burger patties have those holes? That’s because White Castle burgers aren’t broiled or broiled, they’re steamed. By Thrillist, the slider patties are laid on a layer of onions that sit directly on the surface of the griddle, and the steam rising from the cooking onions is what cooks the burgers. This all happens a little faster and more evenly because of these holes.
Why are Smashburgers burgers called smash burgers? Because the cooks smash the patties on the griddle. Pretty simple explanation, actually. But because said griddle is very hot and covered in butter, the result is a complex-tasting and delicious burger, thanks in large part to the aforementioned Maillard reaction, which is fully effective with these pressed burgers.
The burgers at McD’s are cooked on what is essentially a double-sided griddle often referred to as a clamshell grill. According to a former restaurant equipment service technician sharing on Quora: “[The grill] has two cooking surfaces, an upper and a lower one, [that] are connected at the back by a hinge. The meat patties are placed on the bottom surface…and the top surface is lowered into place. This is about the fastest possible way to cook a patty.
Five Guys burgers are cooked the same way as Smashburger, with one exception – by Initiated, the burgers are cooked on two different griddles that are heated to different temperatures. First, the burgers are cooked, pressed (e.g. mashed) and turned over on one section of griddle, then when the outside is properly seared, they are moved to a different griddle to be cooked to a temperature of well-fired finish.
Like McDonald’s and several other fast food chains, Wendy’s today uses a clamshell grill to cook its burgers. According to a former Wendy’s employee on Quora, the patties are baked in bulk in this two-sided griddle, then, if not immediately needed, placed in warming trays, where they can be kept for a while before being served. have to be downgraded. for use in chain chili.
Another example of smashed patties on a griddle is the famous Shake Shack burgers. Per Epicurious, in this case, they’re crushed to a maximum thickness of half an inch, and they’re more scraped off the griddle than simply flipped. That’s largely because the chain doesn’t use oil or fat to coat the flat cooking surface, instead letting the fat from the burger do that job. This means more effort for the cook but more flavor in the food.
In-n-Out’s world famous burgers are cooked on a griddle, but not mashed. By Mashed, the patties are pressed fairly thinly before being cooked, then placed on the hot plate. The patties are flipped once and take four minutes to fully cook.
According to several Whataburger employees sharing on Reddit, this Texas-based burger chain is another place that relies on the griddle for cooking. The burgers are placed on the hot cooking surface and then seasoned, and the fact that they are seasoned while cooking means that very little liquid content is extracted by the addition of these dry ingredients, which means a juicier and juicier burger. tastier.
Steven John is a freelance writer for Eat this, not that! based just outside New York. Learn more about Steve
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