Posts Tagged ‘smoke’

So, I’ve been thinking, I can make the pizza burger without starting a fire. Maybe I should give some background. Last year, I saw a picture of a creation that I knew I had to attempt to make. This consisted of a massive burger patty, placed in between two pizzas. As Halloween was coming up, I coined the term “monster pizza burger” and decided to make it for my guests at our Halloween Party.

This seemed like a somewhat easy experiment, given that I make homemade burgers all the time. I made a three pound burger patty from high quality ground beef. As this was going to be a burger, I made sure to use medium ground beef, instead of that lean stuff, because any good burger needs a decent amount of fat for flavor. I knew flipping it on the BBQ was going to be impossible, so I decided to put it in the oven.

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Looks so harmless, doesn’t it? Well, I forgot to account for one thing. Three pounds of medium ground beef has a lot of grease in it. That grease has to go somewhere. And unfortunately, as you can see, I baked it in a fairly shallow pan. Everything was fine until I decided to take it out. I tipped the pan, dropping a large amount of grease. This resulted in a large fire forming at the bottom of my wife’s well cleaned oven.

I heard a little panic in the background from my wife and ours guests (which include our neighbors who we shared a wall with), and I even heard someone inquire about the location of our fire extinguisher (as if I was going to let someone ruin my creation because of a little combustion). Luckily, I have experience with fire. I slammed the oven door shut, and turned it off. What did catch me a little by surprise was that all that air had to go somewhere. This was released in the form of a three foot long jet flame from the bottom of the oven. Let me tell you, you have never seen a two hundred pound man jump that fast.

So the burger, the oven, my house, and my neighbour’s house, were fine at the end of the day. The smoke even created a nice ambiance for the Halloween party.

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But I could not let this go. I had to make this again, but learn from my mistake. So I decided that round 2 would be done on a three burner grill. I thought of everything. I created a drip tray, so that the fat flows consistently from the burger into a drip tray. I only turned on one burner, and cooked it on indirect heat to simulate the oven experience, and so I don’t have to flip the burger. Since everything was going to work out so well, I decided to grind in some pork fat into the mixture to give the burger an even better taste. Oops.

The experiment was going pretty well for a while. But it was taking too long to cook, and it was cooking on one side more than the other. Using a brilliant method consisting of the back of a baking dish, two oven mitts, a towel, and two guys not afraid of getting burned, we flipped the burger. It was still taking too long, so we turned on all the burners. What could go wrong?

Well, leaving it unattended was the first mistake. The second mistake was…well, only one mistake was actually needed. When I went back to check on it, the entire inside of the stainless steel grill was on fire. And I mean everything. The flavour bars, the sides, the grill plates, the baking dishes, and yes, the burger itself. The increased grease went everywhere. Again, through calm and collected reactions, we were able to dose out the fire without harming the burger, creating a very delicious result.

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So, the quest continues. To make this beautiful concoction without lighting the cooking device on fire. But I was thinking, next time, I want to make it a monster pizza big-mac.