Sous-Vide Burgers

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Burgers cooked sous-vide are extremely juicy and evenly cooked.

The ultimate sous-vide method for burgers.
Why This Recipe Works
  • Cooking burgers sous vide allows for unparalleled control over cooking temperature and, therefore, level of juiciness.
  • Following precise temperature and time charts gives you the ability to get exactly the result you want.
  • Instructions for finishing the chicken in the pan or on the grill offer maximum flexibility on browning and crisping the burger before serving.
Notes:

Sous-Vide Hamburger Temperature and Timing Chart

[top]
Doneness Temperature Timing Range
Very Rare to Rare 115°F (46°C) to 123°F (51°C) 40 minute to 2 1/2 hours
Medium-Rare 124°F (51°C) to 129°F (54°C) 40 minute to 2 1/2 hours
Medium: 130°F (54°C) to 137°F (58°C) 40 minutes to 4 hours (2 1/2 hours max if under 130°F/54°C)
Medium-Well 138°F (59°C) to 144°F (62°C) 40 minutes to 4 hours
Well Done 145°F (63°C) to 155°F (68°C) 40 minutes to 3 1/2 hours

Sous-Vide Burgers

About This Recipe

Yield:Makes four 6-ounce burgers
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour 10 minutes to 4 1/2 hours
Special equipment:Sous-vide precision cooker, such as the Anova Precision Cooker
This recipe appears in: Equipment: We Test the $199 Sous-Vide Circulator From Anova The Burger Lab: How To Cook a Burger Sous-Vide (Without a Sous-Vide Machine)
Rated:

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces freshly ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (if finishing on stovetop)
  • 4 slices cheese
  • 4 soft hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • Toppings, as desired

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat a water bath to desired final temperature using a sous-vide cooker, according to the chart above.

  2. 2

    Divide meat into four equal 6-ounce portions and gently shape each one into a patty slightly wider than your buns. Season generously with salt and pepper. Place patties in individual zipper-lock bags. Remove air from zipper-lock bags by closing the bags, leaving the last inch of the top unsealed. Slowly lower into the preheated water bath, sealing the bag completely just before it fully submerges. Cook according to the chart above.

  3. 3

    To Finish in a Pan: Remove the burgers from the bag and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat is dry very carefully on both sides and season with additional salt and pepper. Before searing the burgers, have your toasted buns and condiments ready to accept it. Preheat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over with 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat until the oil starts to lightly smoke. Add the burger patties with Side A facing down and add 1 tabespoon of unsalted butter. Butter contains milk solids that will blacken and char, helping your burger achieve a dark crust much faster. Cook the burger, swirling the pan to distribute the butter, until well browned on the first side, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip the burger and add a slice of cheese to the top surface (if using). Cook until the second side is browned and the cheese is melted, 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Transfer the burgers to the prepared buns, top as desired, and serve immediately.

  4. 4

    To Finish on the Grill Remove the burgers from the bag and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Pat is dry very carefully on both sides and season with additional salt and pepper. Before searing the burgers, have your toasted buns and condiments ready to accept it. Light one chimney full of charcoal (about 5 quarts of coals) When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set half the burners on a gas grill to the highest heat setting, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Scrape the grill grates clean with a grill scraper, then oil the grates by holding an oil-dipped kitchen towel or paper towels in a set of tongs and rubbing them over the grates 5 to 6 times.

  5. 5

    Place the burger directly over the hot side of the grill and cook until a deep, rich crust has formed, about 45 seconds to 1 minute. Flip burger and add cheese. Cook until the second side is browned and the cheese has melted, 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. If the fire threatens to flare up as the burgers drips fat into it, suffocate the fire by closing the grill lid until the flames die out. Alternatively, transfer the burger to the cooler side of the grill using a long spatula until the flames subside. Do not allow the burger to get engulfed in flames. Transfer the burgers to the prepared buns, top as desired, and serve immediately.

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