The almighty hamburger, when cooked just right, is juicy, packed with flavor, and easy to eat. Which is no wonder why it’s one of America’s favorite foods and we devote an entire month to it! That’s right, May is National Hamburger Month, and while we’re not exactly sure why burgers need a whole month long celebration, we’re certainly not upset about it! So today, let’s look at some hamburger history, how burgers grew to American fame and at the end of the post we’ll give you the recipe for preparing burgers with your AutoFry. “Wait, AutoFry can make burgers?!” Why yes, yes it can! So read on my friends, this is bound to be a tasty blog!
Let’s begin with some origin. Where the heck did hamburgers come from?! A common misconception about hamburger history that most people have is that hamburgers originated in Hamburg, Germany. And while Germans can take credit for bringing the Hamburg Steak to America, the real innovator of the hamburger is Genghis Khan, and you’re never going to believe how he made them.
Genghis Khan, the emperor of all emperors, known for his fierce horsemen and brute force, was the first real innovator of the hamburger. Khan’s cavalry-based army would ride on horseback for long stretches of time, often with little opportunity to stop and build a fire to prepare their meal. So, being the groundbreaking leader that he was, Khan figured out that he could wrap slices of raw meat under the saddles of his men. As they rode, the meat would crumble under pressure and motion and be cooked by heat and friction. Viola, the first ground meat patty! When Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan invaded Moscow, he brought the minced meat recipe to the people and soon enough steak tartare spread to Germany, where it is now a German staple.
Minced meat continued to be a delicacy for some time across the higher classes, as red meat was typically too expensive for an average worker. Around the 17th century, Russians bring the recipe for steak tartare to the port of Hamburg where is gains popularity. By the 19th century, Hamburg Port becomes one of the most used ports for emigrants coming to the New World, and as you can imagine, the recipe comes to America with them.
Hamburg steak, as it is called throughout the 19th century, shows up on menus in restaurants across the port of New York. This kind of filet, was beef minced by hand, salted and often smoked, usually served raw with onions and bread crumbs. But when does it get cooked and thrown on a bun? Americans have to wait another twenty or so years for one of the following three hamburger history accounts to happen first:
Option 1 – A Wisconsin food stall, run by Charlie Nagreen, is parked at the Outagamie County Fair selling cooked hamburger steaks as fair food, but with little success. Patrons want to eat as they move around the fair, so Nagreen has an idea. He flattens the hamburger steak and inserts it between two slices of bread, immediately his idea is well received and he becomes known as Hamburger Charlie.
Option 2 – A Texas line cook, Fletcher Davis, is preparing hamburger steaks as usual when a customer comes in and says he’s in too much of a hurry to sit down and eat. Davis has an idea to place the hamburger steak in-between two pieces of Texas toast and send the customer on his way with his new carry out meal. The customer is so thrilled with his meal-to-go that the item becomes a staple on the menu
Option 3 – German cook, Otto Kuasw, made a very popular sandwich: a beef patty, fried in butter, served with a fried egg, between two toasted buns, at a post in Hamburg Germany. The sandwich becomes popular with sailors and as they return to America they begin requesting a similar style Hamburg sandwich at American steakhouses across the country.
Which one happened first? Who knows! And does it really matter? The result is always the same, American’s are introduced to an easy to eat, cooked meat sandwich. The dawn of fast food joints takes hamburger history on the fast track to fame, and well, we all know the rest!
Of course the burger is still ever evolving. Today you can get it prepared with beef, chicken, turkey, buffalo, or no meat at all! Topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, bacon, fries, and more, the burger is the perfect pallet for a wide variety of flavors, making it so easy to customize! Perfect for any style eatery and easily evolved to match the flavors of every type of cuisine, it’s no wonder it’s America’s favorite.
Now I promised at the start of this blog that you could learn not only hamburger history, but also how to prepare a burger in the AutoFry, and I’m now going to tell you a little secret… You can still have a deliciously juicy and flavorful burger from a pre-formed frozen patty. Shock! Horror! A Frozen Patty?! Yes, a frozen patty.
Don’t snub the time saving frozen patty, instead, fry it for just 90 seconds in oil heated to 350° in your AutoFry. I promise you, it will be juicy, tender and full of flavor! Go ahead and try one today, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better burger in 90 seconds flat!