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1st Mushroom/Swiss Stuffed Burgers - let the adventure begin: Q-View

forluvofsmoke

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Hey guys & gals!!!

I planned on cooking (something) today, but didn't have anything in mind. Better half took out ground beef to thaw and wanted burgers, so I figured smoke & sear. Wife said my daughter was heading to her house from work to grab more GB to bring here and thaw. I went to the store to grab a couple things, and then is when it really started...the brain-storm. I texted my daughter as I was grabbing the cheese and asked her if they liked Mushroom & Swiss Burgers. The reply was, of course, Yes!!! She and her husband were both working today...I was planning to cook anyway (surprised that I even had the time to, as I'm running ragged lately), and figured I may as well spread it around a bit. About 6 milliseconds after we sent texts I realized that I hadn't made stuffed burgers in years...technically, probably never...I've mixed the fillings into the meat, but don't recall ever wrapping them in the meat. So, next step was to find a burger press...I'm missing 1/2 of mine, and it's not for stuffing anyway...time for another toy...er...um...tool...yeah, for food. Off to the local hardware store...grabbed the last one in stock, but, I'm ready for a new adventure!!!

This was another one of those spur-of-the-moment ideas, so I didn't make the time to do any research on the process. But hey, that's not my style anyway. I'm more of a figure it out and gitter done kinda guy...shooting from the hip most of the time. In some ways this is better for the learning process, not only for myself, but for others to see a different approach and gain more insight in how to accomplishing the same goal...so, let's get this burger stuffing party started!

Fillings on the left, garnish on the right...simple classics:


Chopped-up 6oz mushrooms for the pan:


There's absolutely no substitute for butter...the only thing better would be.....uh, huh...bacon grease!!! (thought saved for another day when I want that bolder flavor):


I let the chopped Baby Portabella Mushrooms sweat for about 10 minutes to reduce their volume to approx 1/3, then added the remaining 2oz of slices, and soon after I removed the chopped:


The slices will be filling along with the chopped...just a couple per burger for a firmer bite in the center here and there:


Here's the new toy:



And now, I get to learn how to use it in hopes of creating a truly unique (to us) burger from my outdoor kitchen. These are 1/2lb pre-cooked weight:



After, assembling 8 stuffed burgers, I wish I could say it was fast...maybe even easy...it was neither...took nearly 40 minutes due to meat mix sticking in the form. I thought about using cooking spray, but was concerned that the residue would carry-over onto the edge and reduce the effectiveness of sealing...I may be wrong. Seasoning was Ancho Chili-based (coarse), with garlic powder, minced garlic, fine ground black pepper, and coarse salt, applied at approx 1 Tbsp per pound of meat. I used a mix of 95% lean (custom ground), 80% lean and 70% lean at a ratio of 50/25/25 (85% lean, average, if my math is correct)...maybe too much fat...next time (yes, there will be a next time), I'll use a mix of around 90/10 or leaner and see how that handles the burger press. Then, I may go with the same lean/fat ratio with fresh ground, not frozen...see how many variables can stack up so quickly?

Oh, and the sealing function of the press? I didn't try it after the first burger...not a good option at all...fit a double burger, stuffed, into the press, to seal it up? I don't see it. Maybe I just don't have this gadget completely figured out, and a solid process developed for it (shouldn't be that complicated, though, right?), but I think it took longer than if I would have formed the cavity open-hand because it takes so long to get the patty out of the form...oh, well...I even tried a warm water rinse after each use to remove the fat residue...that helps for meat release from the form, but again, adds to the time in forming each patty. Oh, and all of the different GB was previously frozen...may or may not matter...I mixed the meats as they were just thawed, some still having ice crystals, but all purged juices were contained in the mix. In any case, my main goal with the press was to achieve a uniform thickness and shape in a stuffed burger...we'll see shortly.

Into my Weber OTG-26 with hickory and cherry for smoke @ 210-220* with smaller fires. I jacked the temp up to 300* after 15 minutes with more hot coals...that's what you're seeing now, with a smoke-wood flare-up...lid-down fixed the flare-up:


The big burger up front is an un-stuffed 1/2lbr...I called it the BFDB...D is for Daddy...you figure out the rest...



~150* I/T...so far, no leaks, but Swiss takes a bit higher heat to melt-down...time will tell if I got a good seal by hand:





Proof is on the plate...finished I/Ts were in the upper 150* range...served with mac-salad. The texture of the burger with the crunch of lettuce, juices of the tomato...oh, yeah...well, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, but maybe a gentle reminder that the classic burger garnishes still work, even with smoked, stuffed burgers:






Looks as if I could have put quite a bit more filling in them...possibly so, but shrinkage can cause distorted shape of the burger...smaller diameter and thicker, creating a cavity in the center...next round I may use about 40-50% more fillings, though. Hmm, even shows a bit of smoke ring. Oh, and the thickness of the burger meat on the edges was pretty close to the overall thickness of the top and bottom of the patties, with a good bond...no cheese was left behind in the grill...
Oh, in case you're wondering how the cheese stayed on top of the burger, it didn't...this one's upside-down...grill marks are on top of the patty...and yes, slices of cheese went on first, then mushrooms:


I haven't had a burger this DELICIOUS for a very long time. I ate 2, my son in law almost ate 2...wife had 3/4 and daughter had...uh...hmm, I actually don't remember if she finished hers or not...LOL!!! They're every bit as big in real life as the photos make them appear. Oh, these regular, softer hamburger buns were far out-matched, I will admit...they needed to be a bit more robust bun, for sure.

So, I when we sat down to eat at my daughter's house I asked myself: was it worth the effort and time? No hesitation on the answer, being YES!!!

There was a nice, mellow smoke flavor and aroma, even with the short duration of low & slow smoke temp before hitting the higher temps to finish. I though about smoking the mushroom slices before tossing into the pan to sweat them down, but I'm glad I didn't...the smoke could have been quite powerful....as is was perfect, IMHO...everyone else did, too.

Seasoning was surprisingly good...another example of less is more...in terms of number of ingredients. Fillings were, of course, a perfect match for the ground beef. I would have liked a bit of onion as well, but my daughter is not fan, unless they are literally pulverized beyond recognition. That said, use what YOU like...the sky is the limit. With a good patent seal and slower cooking you should be fine with soft to very soft cheeses, volumes within reason.

The main goal of reaching a uniform thickness with the stuffed burger patties was met, though I did have to seal the burgers by hand instead of pressing them to seal with the burger press...there was some value in having the press for forming the 2 concave patties. I just need to figure out how to make it work better to reduce assembly time...might want to whip together a few dozen of these some day...speed would be quite helpful.

If anyone has any tips on what works well for your stuffed burger press I'd love to hear about them.

Thanks for peekin'!!!

Great smokes to all, and to all a good night!!!

Eric
 

xray

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Eric those burgers look absolutely delicious. Great smoke ring too. Also, mushroom and Swiss are my two favorite burger toppings.

All these burgers are killing me, I really wish it were warmer outside.
 

SmokinAl

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Awesome looking burgers Eric!

Point!

Al
 

disco

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Great burgers, great post, great qview! Point!

Disco
 

browneyesvictim

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Good lookin patty to me! Mushrooms and Swiss is a winner.

Point!
 

forluvofsmoke

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Eric those burgers look absolutely delicious. Great smoke ring too. Also, mushroom and Swiss are my two favorite burger toppings.

All these burgers are killing me, I really wish it were warmer outside.
Thanks, but hey, why wait for the weather? I'll admit, it was (and still is) beautiful weather for early February in my neck of the woods...uh, I mean wind-swept plains. Mid-50s yesterday and today, but unrelenting wind. The nice part about a meal like this is it only takes a couple hours from the time you light the fire until you're sitting down to enjoy the reward for your efforts. Even in -20* or -30* weather I'd have a hard time passing up an opportunity to make these stuffed burgers, or any other shorter cook. Smoke & Sear is my usual route to get a quick fix for my smoke & grill cravings.
 
Awesome looking burgers Eric!

Point!

Al
Thanks, Al!!!
 
Great burgers, great post, great qview! Point!

Disco
Thanks, DIsco!!! Enjoyed tossing it up for your drooling pleasures!
 
Good lookin patty to me! Mushrooms and Swiss is a winner.

Point!
Thanks!

We still have 2 stuffed burgers, the BFDB, plus the garnishes in the fridge along with some white onion to slice-up...plus mac-salad...thinkin' dinner has already been planned for tonight. Hmm, I'm going to toast the buns this time...add some flavor, texture and rigidity to the delivery device...yeah!!! I won't tire of these burgers when eating them 2 nights in a row...they're too good. I opened the fridge to grab a soda after getting back from a short road-trip today...OH, THE AROMAS!!! It filled the entire dining room and living room with temptation in just a couple seconds with the fridge door open...and I just ate lunch a few hours ago...
...and it's not just smoke...it's the beef, the seasoning, the mushrooms...probably even a hint of Swiss. Took the wife by surprise, too.

Thanks again, everyone!!!

Eric
 

GaryHibbert

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Great burgers Eric. Stuffed burgers are always a big hit.

Can't give you any pointers on using your burger press. My "press" is a very old Katel Patty stacker. I just make up the burgers' stuff them and seal by hand. Simple is good.

POINTS

Gary
 

ab canuck

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That's awesome, We started doing stuffed burgers a couple years ago as well. I haven't tried swiss mushroom yet but I am now.....


 
 

b-one

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Looks tasty,haven't had any in a while. May have to remedy that we normally pass on the buns.
 

mr t 59874

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Eric, another fine thread and enjoyable read. Those burgers look fantastic. Point

T
 

forluvofsmoke

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Great burgers Eric. Stuffed burgers are always a big hit.

Can't give you any pointers on using your burger press. My "press" is a very old Katel Patty stacker. I just make up the burgers' stuff them and seal by hand. Simple is good.

POINTS

Gary
Thanks, Gary! I know what you mean about simple is good...figured this burger stuffing press would be the way to go, being you only use one piece to do it all. Hand-formed and sealed may have some some merit.
 
That's awesome, We started doing stuffed burgers a couple years ago as well. I haven't tried swiss mushroom yet but I am now.....


 
Thanks, AB! Mushroom & Swiss was the first thing that came to mind when I had the idea. I think the Portabella carries a strong enough flavor to compliment the GB. Medium Cheddar would do justice for the cheese, too...hmm...got me thinkin'...smoked Cheddar with smoked Bacon crumbs...ah, man.
Looks tasty,haven't had any in a while. May have to remedy that we normally pass on the buns.
Thanks, yeah, I can understand why you don't mess with buns. These things were huge, and of course I fell to the temptation of piling on plenty of garnish into the sandwich. I know I'll never look at a plain burger patty the same again. I may never make anything but stuffed burgers going forward from here. Seems such a shame that I let so much time pass before I finally tried them!
 
Eric, another fine thread and enjoyable read. Those burgers look fantastic. Point

T
Thanks, Tom! Glad you found my presentation worthy for a sit. If you haven't yet, I highly recommend you try stuffed...puts a surprisingly delicious twist on that lowly ground beef patty.

I've realized that there is an endless list of candidates for stuffing ingredients, just like seasoning ingredients. I've tried my hand a few times on stuffed chicken breast, and I've stuffed a pork loin or two (not rolled, a stuffed cavity), but burgers bring out a whole new world of creativity.

Thanks everyone!!!

Eric
 

mr t 59874

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Well, it just so happened that we had my version of Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage, stuffed with American cheese, accompanied with eggs for breakfast. For supper, we are having stuffed elk burgers using your recipe.

Thanks so much,

Tom
 

forluvofsmoke

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Well, it just so happened that we had my version of Jimmy Dean’s hot sausage, stuffed with American cheese, accompanied with eggs for breakfast. For supper, we are having stuffed elk burgers using your recipe.

Thanks so much,

Tom
Nice!!! How'd that Elk Burger work out? I mean, it is Elk, after all...how can you go wrong. I'm sitting here in envy as I didn't harvest one...oh, wait a minute...daughter and son in law brought some of theirs over a while back. I guess I'm set!

By the way, you're most welcome.

Eric
 

mr t 59874

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Nice!!! How'd that Elk Burger work out? I mean, it is Elk, after all...how can you go wrong. I'm sitting here in envy as I didn't harvest one...oh, wait a minute...daughter and son in law brought some of theirs over a while back. I guess I'm set!

By the way, you're most welcome.

Eric
I think you have a very good idea how it was. 


T
 

fwismoker

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Looks great, I've been thinking about mushroom and swiss lately. If I do stuffed I'm still gonna have to still have some more shrooms and cheese on top so it'll be double the goodness!
 

forluvofsmoke

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Looks great, I've been thinking about mushroom and swiss lately. If I do stuffed I'm still gonna have to still have some more shrooms and cheese on top so it'll be double the goodness!
Thanks, yeah, I followed suit from my daughter and added a slice of Swiss to my second burger that night. These burgers were just so big that they did seem to be lacking a bit with fillings. Double the goodness...I'm with ya!!!

Eric
 

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