The Caterers Corner
Raw -red looking burgers... what to do ??? Caterers Corner: Raw -red looking burgers... what to do ???
By Frontporchbbq (Frontporchbbq) on Thursday, October 21, 2004 - 08:28 pm: Edit

Question for the caters and concession people out there
I sell a charcoal grilled all beef burger. Sometimes... I canít seem to determine the conditions... but after the burgers are held awhile (5-15 mins) in the steam table, the outside and sometimes the inside is red, raw looking. These are cooked to 160, and donít look raw when taken off the grill. I think this a smoke ring of sorts. I put up a sign telling about the smoke ring, but this does not help. Customers think itís raw. I have two or three customers per festival return their burgers. I have held the burgers in a beef broth and just laying them in the steam table pan, with nothing on them. I still get a red burger. It seems to be something about a lack of air... sometimes the burger laying on the bottom of the pan will be red on the bottom side.
Any ideas on what to do to stop this? If I canít find a solution, I might just give up burgers.
Thanks in advance..
Steve in KY

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 09:06 am: Edit

What kind of meat are you using?? Are the Burgers you are using pre-made processed patties or are you forming the patties yourself and with what spices?? Once ground beef is cooked it never turns red again. Certain fast food joints hold thier burgers in steam tables for long periods of time as well as large resorts hold "Backyard BBQ" themed "cookouts" for 1000ppl plus with precooked burgers in hot boxes and have not seen it there either. I also use a Weber grill at home for the family and for neighborhood cookouts and have not noticed a "smoke ring" with a quick cooking burger. So this one perplexes me to thinking it is a spice issue.

By Snuffaluff (Snuffaluff) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

truely strange... i've never heard of this problem either. Could the water you are soaking/steaming them with be the problem? I'm a rookie ofcourse, but I can't think of anything that would turn cooked meat red again, especially inside and out.

By George (George) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit

The only think I could think of is you are using nitrates (or is it nitrites) TCM- Tinted curing mixture, in your seasonoing or as a cure. They keep pork red as in smoked ham. I have never heard of burger staying red when fully cooked well done.


By Chefmanny (Chefmanny) on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 07:13 pm: Edit

2 or 3 out of how many??????
you will never please everybody dude!!!!
When you get them brown looking you will have 50 people telling you they are overcooked!!!!!!!
If you really want to turn them brownish add some "gravy bouquet" to the mix if you make them yourself, if not get a spray bottle with the same product and water mix and spray them as you cook them.
Personally, I would not mess with it....

By Frontporchbbq (Frontporchbbq) on Saturday, October 23, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

Here is a link to a pic of what I'm talking about...

I use no spices or cures. The burgers look normal when coming off the grill. They are not red, they turn red after in the steam table.
Some times the burgers are red all the way through. about 25% have to be pulled because of the red. Burgers are from sams club, 80/20 frozen 1/4lb. Thanks

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 03:57 am: Edit

I think you may be cooking this too slowly.... and you are in fact getting too much smoke and not enough "sear".

try turning up the heat and getting it brown on the grill.

the burger in the picture looks like it has steamed on the grill. add the smoke and viola.

If you get a nice sear, you will taste an improved flavor.

are those 100% beef? I think nitrites may also be the culprit.

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 04:01 am: Edit

just thought of the best advice. try another brand. actually try fresh ground chuck. I personally dislike those Sam's burgers..... especially if they are slowly cooked without searing.....

By Chefgibz0 (Chefgibz0) on Sunday, October 24, 2004 - 08:31 am: Edit

I agree with Catergreat......Turn up that heat. When cooking a burger it is all about the sear. I saw little to no sear on that burger. Smoking is a long cooking item technique, like brisket or pork may do wonders for the aroma around your stand but the low heat and smoke does not do much for burgers. As far as the Sam's club product....ditch it. Try another product NOT sold or produced by the Walmart gang or talk to a local butcher and see if one of them can cut you a deal on formed patties. Good Luck.

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