I follow a famous chef in Spain. He uploaded an Instagram Reel showing a quick recipe: Black Angus burger (smash burger), cheddar cheese, truffle cream, fried egg and chips. Watch short video in here.

So the thing is that on the first step, he says "Black Angus" (while putting it on the grill), "very well pressed so it can caramelize" (and pressed the burger to leave a thin and wide burger). He adds later the rest of the ingredients directly to the burger (bread, etc). But I am still curious about that caramelization he mentions. No sugar, nothing else added to the meat. I was looking at the comments of the video, looked for specific information about Black Angus but did not find anything relevant. So he either made an unlucky mistake while talking, or I am definitely missing something.

1 Answer 1


He's not referring to the kind of caramellisation you see when you make caramel, he's referring to the Maillard reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that is responsible for among other things meat and baked goods browning.

  • 7
    Caramelization and the Maillard reaction are distinctly different processes. Both are happening in the example that is supplied above (or whenever one is searing beef...among other things).
    – moscafj
    Nov 12, 2020 at 11:50
  • 6
    @moscafj this is true, but it's a pretty common shorthand to use the word caramelisation to refer to any sort of desirable browning, whether it is strictly caramelisation, or not
    – Tristan
    Nov 13, 2020 at 13:42
  • 1
    @Tristan perhaps, but on a site that is dedicated to asking and answering factual questions about food and cooking, the distinction is appropriate. In addition, suggesting that caramelization is not part of the process (as this response leans toward) is inaccurate.
    – moscafj
    Nov 13, 2020 at 17:18
  • 4
    @moscafj Why not post a separate, more detailed answer then? That would be a great addition to the q&a.
    – Joe M
    Nov 13, 2020 at 19:24
  • @JoeM searching Maillard reaction and caramelization will yield numerous questions and answers on the topic.
    – moscafj
    Nov 13, 2020 at 20:18

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