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Old 07-24-2009, 11:09 PM  
Nestor_Kelebay
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Default Getting hamburger right

I've been dabbling in cooking as a hobby lately, and I'm running into a lot of problems with unco-operative food.

The problem I'm running into now concerns cooking hamburger in a frying pan.

Where I buy my groceries, they have 4 grades of "hamburger":
1. Ground Beef
2. Lean Ground Beef
3. Extra Lean Ground Beef, and
4. Ground Sirloin

Any recipe for Sloppy Joes I read says to brown the hamburger in the skillet and "stir until smooth", and the ground sirloin I'm using simply won't break up into small enough pieces that I can reasonably say I'm "stirring" it. When I stir my raw ground sirloin in a hot frying pan, then it just forms big pieces that don't break apart. Instead of the hamburger being like that in the picture below, I get big "chunks" of hamburger of a few square inches each no matter how much I stir. And, trying to break the chunks up into smaller chunks with a spoon or something doesn't seem to work well at all.



About the only way I've been able to get the meat to the consistancy shown above is to freeze the hamburger first, place the frozen hunk of hamburger in a hot frying pan and then to keep scraping the soft browned hamburger off the frozen hunk until it's all gone.

Is there an easier way? Would I get better results easier if I used a lower grade of hamburger with a higher fat content?



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Old 07-25-2009, 05:54 AM  
shan2themax
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higher fat content would help out... but... I bet if you turn the temp down to say 4/10 or medium (lower end of medium), you would have better results.... if you wanted to use higher fat content without the fat you could cook it in water and then drain (and yes that is gross but it does work) and it doesnt change the taste any.




(heeheheh... finally I get to be helpful)



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Old 07-25-2009, 11:45 AM  
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Thanks Shan.

I'm cooking on 4/8 now, with the 8 setting being the "locked on" or "continuous heat" setting.

I'll try the 2 1/2 or 3 setting on the switch next time.

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Old 07-26-2009, 02:12 AM  
shan2themax
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as an after thought, also try crumbling it as small as you can with the spatula when you first put it in the pan. Also, a lid helps keep it moist a little longer in case you walk away for a second.

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Old 08-19-2009, 01:15 AM  
macro01
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i put an egg to the patty to make it sturdier when cooked.. doesn't affect taste much

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Old 08-20-2009, 10:41 AM  
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lol. I'm with Shan2themax. Sloppy Joes are traditionally done using higher fat content/chuck ground. Or even chuck/pork mix. It's the fat/flavor of the chuck that adds to the dish.

But, in today's health conscious world... do as Shan2themax suggested by first adding water to the meat in the skillet, then letting it brown after the water evaporates off. It does work.

I make some killer SJ's, but I use a combo of chuck and deer meats. The chuck adds the fat that's needed and the deer adds tremendious flavor.

Have fun with it!

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Old 08-20-2009, 01:25 PM  
CraigFL
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In dishes like these, I found that the best way is to NOT fry the meat but put in several cups of water and boil it for a long time, adding additional water if necessary. When it's time to add the rest of the ingredients, boil the remaining water away and then add them.

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Old 08-31-2009, 01:14 PM  
Billvila
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Lower fat meats will have a hard time binding and browning. Try stirring earlier into the process look for "Greying" instead of browning. Your adding sauce, so that will dispose of any need for it. If your trying to use a leaner meat make sure it's cold and not room temp before frying it. It will bind easier. I'm curios how it'll turn out.



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