Perfect Burgers and Liquid Nitrogen?
Summer has arrived all at once in Wisconsin. For many, thoughts of burgers on the grill are merely part of the summer tradition. But if you ask Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, author of the six-volume scientific cookbook collection called Modernist Cuisine, grills are over-rated. His perfect burger recipe involves a deep-fryer and, yes you are reading that right, liquid nitrogen. To optimize the Maillard reaction (the delicious browning process that good burgers undergo while cooking), he recommends using high quality ground beef with a high level myosin, the protein found in muscles. This gives you tender meat that is easy to bite through, but enough protein to form a good bonding gel when heated. Once you've got the right raw materials (pun intended), slip your formed patty into a resealable plastic bag and cook it gently in warm water until the core temperature reaches about 130 degrees. Then, immediately give it a 30 second dip in liquid nitrogen to freeze the outer edge of the burger and follow that up with about a minute of deep-frying.
Complex? Sure. Does it work? Probably. Am I going to jump on the bandwagon and try it? I rather doubt there's much of a bandwagon to jump on, really. That said, if someone wants to make a burger like this for me, I'd absolutely try it. Until then, I'll be off firing up my grill. Stay cool!
Read the New York Times article here.