Swap out a traditional burger with a blended burger to spice things up on the grill. These special mushroom patties mix finely diced mushrooms and beef, creating one nutritious and flavorful combo.
Not only can blending mushrooms with meat help you receive Vitamin D, fiber and antioxidant-like benefits and enhance taste, but blended patties usually contain fewer calories than traditional burgers.
Before firing up that gas, prepare your burgers properly. Here are seven tips for grilling the best-blended mushroom burger recipes, all summer long:
1. Know the right mushroom-to-meat ratio.
When preparing your serving sizes, it’s important to create a balance between your mushrooms and your meat to create a smooth texture. A 70/30 mushroom-meat blend may provide a great base for hearty one-pot meals, however, this ratio contains too many mushrooms to form structured patties. Instead, try flipping the numbers!
A 30/70 mushroom-meat blend is oftentimes the perfect consistency for meat-heavy clusters like burgers, meatloaf or meatballs. However, don’t worry about being super precise, as some recipes vary in their recommendations. For instance, in our classic Blended Burger recipe, we mix a ½ pound of finely diced mushrooms with a pound of ground beef. As a general rule for blended burgers, never chop more mushrooms than meat!
2. Opt for fresh mushrooms, not frozen.
We suggest choosing fresh mushrooms for two reasons. Firstly, fresh mushrooms typically contain more nutritional value than frozen or canned mushrooms.
Secondly, softened or engorged mushrooms take on a different texture than raw mushrooms, and can affect the consistency of your blended burger recipe. While a can might work in a pinch, these mushrooms were cooked prior to canning, which leads us to our next tip…
3. Mix the mushrooms into the meat, uncooked.
You may consider cooking or sauteeing your mushrooms prior to blending them with your meat, but we say, “don’t!”
Remember, the mushrooms will cook on the grill when you heat up the patties. If you cook the mushrooms twice (before AND on the grill), you risk losing important nutrients and flavor— not to mention overcooking them and compromising their texture.
4. Finely dice the raw mushrooms.
In order to get your mushrooms to adhere and incorporate with your meat, you must dice them very finely. Chunks of mushrooms will throw off the texture and won’t stick as well to your ground beef.
To form a smooth patty, chop your mushrooms into the smallest pieces possible until they form a consistency similar to cauliflower rice.
5. Hold the salt!
While we do recommend seasoning your meat-mushroom blend before grilling, there’s one important spice to hold back on: salt! Mushrooms have a natural “umami” taste, which mimics the savory, brothy taste usually associated with salty foods.
That’s why eating mushrooms gives you a similar sense of pleasure and flavor as higher fat, higher calorie foods. In fact, it’s because of this that the Mushroom Council recommends not using any salt to season your mushrooms at all. Umami counterbalances sodium and allows up to a 50% salt reduction, without compromising flavor, they claim.
6. Season your meat and the mushrooms will absorb the flavor.
Even though you’re going to pass on the salt, feel free to season your blended burger patties with whatever other seasonings and spices you desire.
We recommend adding these prior to grilling, so that they can marinate until they hit the grill, and so that the heat can help the flavors fully absorb into the patty while cooking.
7. Press down on the middle of the mushroom burger before grilling.
Professional chefs and grill masters often recommend adding a small indent to your burger before grilling. It’s why cooks like Shannon from KISS in the Kitchen instruct you to create a “deep thumb-shaped well in the center of your patty.” This helps to create “a space for the juices to flow during cooking,” Shannon shares, “and helps the burger cook evenly.”
Others have benefitted from adding an ice cube on top of their indent, which slowly melts and adds moisture to your burger— to say goodbye to dry, chewy patties.
Fire Up that Grill!
Ready to sear up some steamy mushroom burgers? Here are five mouthwatering blended burger recipes to get you started.
Thinking about grilling your mushrooms alone, like Portabella caps or sliced mushrooms to serve as a side? Check out our blog on mushroom grilling tips for advice straight from the experts at Monterey Mushrooms. We’ll discuss the difference between direct and indirect heat, marinades and more.
Don’t forget to enter our Show Us Your Burger Love Sweepstakes! If you win, you could walk away with a portable gas grill, a new cooler and more. Click the link for contest details.