Why don't hamburgers taste the same???

Junior Burger
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2005/07/05 16:42:54 (permalink)

Why don't hamburgers taste the same???

I wonder if there is an old butcher out there that can help me out. I need to know something. When I was young many decades ago, I remember hamburgers when fried had a fantastic sweet flavor and were greasy. I am sure this grease is what gave it it's tasty flavor. For about 25 years or so, hamburger meat just does not taste the same. No matter what cut of ground meat I buy, the hamburgers are still not greasy and do not have that delicious sweet/greasy flavor. I even stopped ordering them out years ago, because NO restaurant can compare to the flavor of hamburgers servved at restaurants years ago. Could it possibly be the antibiotics they are injecting into the cows? I can't figure why hamburgers today have no flavor, ordered out or made at home. Maybe there is a butcher out there that can tell me what has changed the flavor of ground meat. I haven't enoyed a good hamburger in many long years. Thanks!

12 Replies Related Threads

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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 17:25:43 (permalink)
    I used to really enjoy a rare hamburger. That was years ago before you had to cook a burger well done. I like them rare and will never get used to them well done.
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 17:28:23 (permalink)
    I'm no butcher, but you'd be better off grinding your own beef... I think you hit it on the nose when mentioning Antibiotics, along with hormones and everything else modified they can add.. When I go to a butcher and get some fresh ground beef out in the country (Mainly Sand Lake or Lowell), they use locally raised, grain fed cows and let me tell you, you can definately tell the difference! The sweet flavor is there, you just have to find something homegrown vs. commercially grown.

    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 17:43:11 (permalink)
    I would grind my own if it weren’t for the fact that I can get good burger from the local Supervalu, they have had the same butcher ever since I can remember. I won’t touch hamburger from any of the other local stores. I’ve thrown out batches of chili and spaghetti thinking I could get away with using their burger. I have no clue what the difference is, I just hope they don’t change anything.

    I still should try grinding some though.
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 18:01:54 (permalink)
    Back in the olden days people used a higher fat mix. They also used a binding agent in the meat. A lot of hamburger cooks around here used bread or flour, but one special place used fresh eggs. They were all cooked on a flat grill in their own grease and only seasoned with salt and pepper. And it was required that the bun be toasted on the flat grill.
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 22:10:24 (permalink)
    Whole Foods sells organic ground sirloin that profiles the meat of my youth. I purchase their fresh ground patties and never freeze them. Add some salt before cooking and never, never flatten the patty. My mom used to prepare her burger meat by adding a whole fresh egg and some matzo meal. Back in the 50's, Velveeta was the choice of cheese. If I want the ultimate greasy burger, I purchase the exact burger meat directly from the purveyor of the Spot Drive-In in Kenosha, WI or the Kewpee Sandwich Shop in Racine, WI. These burgers cannot be broiled or grilled. They must be fried to replicate the original restaurant taste.
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/05 22:51:33 (permalink)
    One of the "secrets" of the best burger in our area from "Billy Rays" is bread....These burgers taste good and sweet like some of you mention...Don't know if it's the bread or what, but they are jaw-bustin'!...Stern's, come to the Eastern Kentucky mountains and try this special place!!!!!!...You won't be disappointed!!!!!!!!...Tom B.
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/06 00:17:07 (permalink)
    try mixing in a little sausage meat
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/06 03:04:03 (permalink)
    I used to frequent a place that had very sweet burgers... so sweet the place had a bee problem.. no joke... the burgers were very very inexpensive... turned out the reason behind all this was they were using horse meat...
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/06 08:05:50 (permalink)
    Adding, bread, flour, egg, etc... to burger in the old days was to make it stretch to feed the family. My grandmother did it that way all the time. I loved her burgers. I still do it that way on occasion. The additives in the meat ruins the flavor. We buy grass fed beef from a local rancher and have for years. Much better flavor

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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/06 08:31:31 (permalink)
    JoCall, a couple of possibilities suggest themselves to me as explanations for the difference in taste that you mention. First, your observation that yesteryear's burgers were greasier sugggests, as another poster observes, that they had a higher fat content than the burgers you have recently tried. Fat accounts for much of the flavor and juiciness of a burger, and I suspect that this is the most likely explanation. However, I also think that many of us look back on the foods of our youth with more fondness than they deserve simply because they were associated with a more carefree time, and I wonder if a bit of that might be coming into play, as well.
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/06 08:47:56 (permalink)
    Even twenty years ago, a lot of butchers were still breaking down whole sides. Now everything thing comes cryovac-ed in primals. The beef never gets to hang and dry, or even lose just a bit of mosture. I think a big part of the flavor we all miss is that the meat and the fat is just plain wet from the crovac process. There's been no concentration of flavors.
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    RE: Why don't hamburgers taste the same??? 2005/07/08 12:07:43 (permalink)
    I've noticed the same trend towards bland, dry and (blechh!) pre-cooked burgers. I am reluctant to order them out for this reason, as well. However, when I make them at home, they taste every bit as good as the ones I remember as a child. I start with ground chuck, NOT ground sirloin. I have nothing against ground sirloin -- I simply prefer chuck, which is about 15 - 20% fat. I cook it in a dry medium-hot fry pan and I stop cooking it when the internal temp reaches about 125 degrees. I leave it sit for about 5-7 minutes, covered, while I toast and butter a bun. Salt, Ketchup, and I'm done.

    Wars have been started over hamburger recipes and I have no intention of starting one now. I am not claiming this as definitive but simply what I enjoy.
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