10 Chef-Approved Tricks to Make Your Burgers Taste Awesome

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Red Boat. It works like liquid magic. It’s so good, you’ll start adding it to many dishes.

*Worcestershire Sauce: Who doesn’t recognize the logo of this amazing condiment? Like many great steak sauces, it contains tamarind. A little (a teaspoon or so) mixed into your ground beef is a good place to start.

*Miso: Google the word umami and miso, aka soybean paste, is likely to turn up on the first page. It packs incredible flavor, but can be salty. We like to mix a spoonful with a bit of warm water or beef broth, then combine it with the meat.


*Soy Sauce: Well, this is easy: Almost everyone has soy sauce in their pantry. Use two forks to mix a tablespoon or two into your ground meat. The soy sauce will both flavor the meat and keep the burgers moist.

*Mushrooms: Clean a couple of ounces of mushrooms (regular button or cremini mushrooms). Chop fine, then stir into the meat. The mushrooms give off liquid as the burgers cook, keeping the meat moist. Of course, for a real umami bomb, you could dust your burgers with porcini mushroom powder.

Burgers on Tray

*Rubs: Seasonings—and that includes salt and pepper—are best applied right before grilling the burgers. Applying them early will draw moisture out of the meat and give the burgers a dense, rather spongy texture. Do use rubs that play up the beef flavor, like Steven’s Santa Fe Coffee Rub.

*Bacon: Okay, this veers rather close to the toppings topic. But if your ground beef needs a bit more fat, you can add chopped or ground bacon to it before cooking.

*Butter: Freeze butter, then grate it into your beef. Two ounces per pound of meat should be enough. The butter will baste the burger as it cooks. (Watch for flare-ups.) Or, bury a tablespoon in the center of the burger before chilling (for at least an hour), then grilling.

Burgers on the grill

*Marmite or Vegemite: Mostly unknown to Americans, but very popular in the U.K. and Australia, this is incredible—if you use it sparingly. Mix a teaspoon of this bouillon-like paste with a spoonful of hot water and stir to combine. Your beef will be beefier!

Watch Steven make this Big Bosnian Burger from Season 3 of Primal Grill



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