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I have a friend that is about to open a food truck and he has asked me to use my burger recipe. I have spent a long time perfecting it, but I have always made it with thick patties meant for the grill and not for the griddle, which is all he will have inside the truck. Since the best griddled burgers are the smashed patty type, I want to adapt my recipe to work well with this new cooking method. Am I going to need to play with my seasoning/spicing ratio?

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I don't know about spicing, but I'd think that the meat you'd want to use would change, as with a grill, the melting fat could drip away, while that won't happen when cooking on a griddle. (I guess the dripping fat might carry away some of the spices?) This seems like a good opportunity for some taste tests ... make a few batches with different levels of (normal/over/under), then split each batch & cook on the griddle & grill, and compare. You might only need to grill the 'regular' spiced batch. You could also try how thickness affects things (other than cooking time). –  Joe Mar 14 '11 at 3:53
    
Oh we will be testing before hand, I was just hoping to get an idea in what direction to head in to save some time. You already have me questioning my mix of meats due to the lack of draining on a griddle. –  sarge_smith Mar 14 '11 at 4:07

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Does your burger recipe rely on the center of the burger being medium rare? If so, you may have a problem with the spice ratio because your cooking technique will produce different types of doneness on the grill vs. the griddle.

With the grill you get a higher quantity of crispy burny bits (the Maillard reaction) than you will on a griddle (temperature generally in the high 300s F, as opposed to much higher grill heat). With the grill at home you can go for a rare to medium rare center. with a lunch truck, you had best go for medium well for safety's sake (and possible legalities).

The easiest way to know how your recipe will work under griddle conditions is to test it. Make up your burger, pat it thin and cook it all the way through in a medium heat fry pan (not my favorite way to have a burger, but classic griddle approach). If all is well, you're done. If not, well, you've already perfected it once, you'll need to decide what changes need to be made.

But I'm betting that perfection will carry through to the griddle burger just fine.

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As it's supposed to be a gourmet kinda deal, I was going to default the burger to medium. I was also planning on smashing the burgers, in the shake shack/in-and-out tradition. My major question is will they be saltier due to the more extensive crusting? and how much should I reduce the fat content to make up for the fact that it's cookin gin the fat intead of the fat driping away? –  sarge_smith Mar 14 '11 at 4:05
    
If you are doing thick burgers on the grill you aren't losing as much fat as you'd think, so thinner burgers on the griddle should work fine with your existing blend. And griddled burgers will be less crusty, not more. If you are cooking to medium, you will still have most of the juiciness, so your salt balance should be fine. –  Doug Johnson-Cookloose Mar 14 '11 at 4:11
    
griddled burgers absolutely have more crust on them than an equivent grilled burger, there surface area is like twice of maybe even three times that of a grilled burger, all of it crusty. Mind you i'm talking about a comercial griddle here, lit by six gas flames easily churning out the same or more BTUS as my grill at high heat. At least this is my understanding, I haven't ever worked extensively with a griddle before. –  sarge_smith Mar 14 '11 at 4:18
    
If that's how you'll be doing it, then fine. Most griddle work that I have done required that I do multiple types of dishes on it, so the temperature was definitely not as hot as a grill or broiler. I did hamburgers next to pancakes next to eggs next to bacon next to toasted cheese sandwiches...all in the 375 griddle temperature range. But if you are going to use the grill at very high temperatures then you'll get a better crust. Just not my experience when working on the line. YMMV. –  Doug Johnson-Cookloose Mar 14 '11 at 4:24
    
I don't believe that we'll be doing eggs and such. I'm actually just relating research I've done and i'm sadly lacking in pratical expereince with this equipment. What I was envisioning was a super crusty burger, created by placing a rounded puck of seasoned beef on the griddle, smashing it flat with a spactula and then scraping it off the griddle to preserve as much of the crust as possible. Is there another method I should be exploring? –  sarge_smith Mar 14 '11 at 4:38

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