George Motz's Great American Burger KitMADE BY GEORGE MOTZ
George Motz is more than just a good friend and a super dad – he’s our favorite hamburger expert, author and filmmaker. (Isn’t it so cool that that’s a job now?!) He’s endlessly experimented with the countless ways America’s most popular sandwich can be cooked, topped and presented. So you can imagine how thrilled we were to get our hands on George's second book, full of tips and recipes for the well known and the obscure-but-totally-delicious regional burgers across the nation.
We’re proud to offer this inaugural cookbook at Mouth, along with a George-curated kit of indie basics that guarantee a great American hamburger, every time.
This set includes bourbon-smoked sea salt for patty perfection; french onion confit to rival even the most caramelized grilled onions; classic grain mustard*; traditional dill pickle slices; and, of course, The Great American Burger Book: How to Make Authentic Regional Hamburgers at Home.
No matter what burger style your region claims, follow George’s foolproof method for all-American “pub burger” greatness at home. We promise you it'll make your mouth water:
1. Now you’re cooking!
“When you cook a burger on a flat-top griddle or in a cast-iron skillet, it cooks in its own juices – you can almost consider it hamburger confit – and the juice becomes the burger's own condiment. Your job, then, is to elevate that moment. You get these super beefy flavors happening and then the question is, ‘Where do you go from there?’ The simple answer is: salt.”
2. Earn your salt.
“Season the burgers after dropping them on the grill, to help the physical process of cooking. Bourbon smoked salt is packed with a lot of smoky flavor, but use it sparingly, because the crystals are huge! Salting too early will bind the muscle fibers together and make your burger tough (yuck).”
3. Flip it good.
“Flipping is the key to success, and also the part people screw up most often. Don’t be a hero and try to figure this out on your own – there is science going on here! Liquid inside the patties is trying to get away from the heat source, so it bubbles up through the beef. When the top of the patty begins to glisten with red juices, it’s time to flip and ‘seal’ the other side of the burger to keep those flavorful juices inside.”
4. Optional: Say cheese.
“As soon as you flip, slide a slice of Plymouth’s Hunter Cheddar on top of the patty. The aged Cheddar is excellent – its funky, sharp quality complements beef grease well. Cheddar doesn’t melt as well as something like American, though, so you may need to cover the burgers briefly for ultimate gooeyness.”
5. Get toasted.
“I usually go for a potato bun, but bigger burgers should be on a big, sturdy, seeded roll. And stay away from the toaster! Use my pan-toasting method instead: Spread a thin, even layer of butter on both bun halves, place them buttered side-down in a hot skillet and crisp to a tasty golden brown. My biggest tip here: Get someone else to deal with the buns while you focus on the burgers – gotta have a Bun Man. A Bun Woman…A Bun Person.”
5. Dope up.
“You have to dope the bun – that’s what it’s called when you prep it! Grab the bottom bun and layer the pickles on that to create a ‘barrier’ between the juicy burger and the bread. Spread a thin swipe of mustard on the top bun. Place the patty on top of the pickles, then add a spoonful of onion confit, Onions are as crucial as salt, in my opinion. Then finish with the top bun.”
6. From hand to Mouth.
“If you’ve followed the ‘hamburger architecture’ closely, the first bite should be about every element, with an even taste of everything. The goal is to build a solid burger that you don’t want to put down. The best burgers I’ve ever had? They don’t ever make it back down to the plate.”
7. Don’t take sides.“I’d rather have a second burger than fries! Fries are just extra calories.”
*Every time we talk burger, George is very adamant about this one point: “Ketchup does not come in.” Fair enough.