There’s a chance that you’ll see your cook or chef use a cover on your burgers in many restaurants. When cooking your burger patty, many places will put a lid on it. We call this the basting dome cover, and it affords burger enthusiasts some excellent benefits.
Using a basting dome cover when cooking your hamburger can help lock in the burger’s moisture and the juices. You can also use this to melt dry cheeses on top of the patty without putting it in contact with your flat top. The best time to use a basting lid is after the first flip, once the first side formed the crust.
Are you interested in using a basting dome for your next batch of burgers? Here’s everything you need to know about it, from its benefits to how to use it. We’ll even teach you how to pick the best one, from the right shape, size, and materials.
Use it to make the best-tasting burgers out there.
What Is Basting?
Before we learn how to use a basting dome cover, we need to understand basting first. Basting is a cooking method of cooking meat in its own juices. Many leave the meat to cook for a while, so basting it in its liquids can help infuse more flavor.
The reason behind basting is simple. The idea is to keep the burger moist, letting it stay tender and flavorful with every bite. People do this for specific dishes where meat exposes to dry heat, like turkeys, and pot roasts.
Another benefit that basting gives is evaporation. As the steam rises on top, the liquid evaporates and cools on the surface. This process locks in the flavors and cooks the meat more evenly.
What Is the Basting Dome Used For?
The basting dome’s use comes for many reasons. You will see it in restaurants, and more often in ones with an open-air grill station.
Most of the time, a basting dome is used to keep meats and veggies moist when grilling. If you’re making a burger, it’s best to use it on both your burger patty, cheese, and toppings. It’s excellent for infusing flavors to your toppings or combining them to have a homogenized taste.
Burger meats from beef to chicken to vegan can take advantage of the benefits basting dome covers give. A dome cover also widens your choice of cheeses so you can create an authentic, signature flavor. As for the toppings, it helps infuse a smoky taste on every piece.
How does a basting cover help your cooking?
First, the basting dome keeps any meat and veggies from drying out. With open-air stations like flat tops and grills, your number one problem is drying your ingredients. Meats, like hamburger patties, tend to dry fast, especially with super hot grills.
If you cook your patty a bit too long, you can evaporate all the juices out of it. This style results in a dry slab of meat, which is, in restaurant situations, unacceptable. If you’re doing burgers in big batches, you want to have more time to keep the burger moist.
With a basting dome, you get to keep the meat’s moisture for longer. It lets the burger patty sit in its juices and, once the juice evaporates, reinfuses it. This method will give your hamburger some extra smokiness and a very even cooking.
The Extra Benefits of Basting Dome Covers
Another benefit that a basting dome cover provides is when used with the cheese. Melting your cheese involves putting it either on your flat top or your burger. These methods present two separate problems.
Melting it on your flat top can result in an imperfect cheese. In professional settings, the last thing you want is a defective slab of cheese. If you’re using a grill, you’ll find it hard to heat your cheese straight up.
Putting it on top of your burger can help, but has its own set of challenges. Melting a hard cheese on top of your patty can be next to impossible. Your burger patty will be a burnt piece of meat by the time your cheese becomes gooey.
By putting a basting dome on top of your burger with cheese on top, you improve cheese meltability. If you use dry cheeses like sharp cheddar or pecorino romano, a basting dome helps melt it. The circulating moisture inside the basting dome cover can help infuse the cheese with more flavor.
As a bonus, a basting dome also keeps your cooking area free from grease stains. Many flat tops will have burger grease splatters, and it can be painful for you as they cook. The basting dome cover will hinder splotches, much like how a lid does it for you over a stove.
How Is a Basting Dome Used?
So, how is a basting dome used? The best way to use a basting dome depends on what you are cooking. Its use changes if you’re using it for hamburger patties, cheese melting, or even toppings.
For example, it’s best to add your basting dome cover once you cook the first side of your patty. Once you flip the burger, cover it with the dome cover, and that should be it. Make sure it’s as tight as you can, even going as far as putting weighing stones on top.
It’s best not to remove the cover until you think the patty is ready, which should be around three minutes. If you plan on melting cheese on top of the burger patty, add the cheese after you flip it. Once you flip, put the cheese and cover.
If you’re using soft cheeses, cover only after a minute of flipping. If you’re using hard cheeses, it’s best to cover as soon as you flip and add the cheese. This technique will give your hard cheese some time to absorb the moisture from the smoke.
For those using it to infuse your toppings, add some oil and mix your toppings. After you do some mixing, cover your toppings and let them sit in the oil and flavoring.
Funny enough, there’s no actual basting brush used for other meat products. This is because the burger does not have a lot of juices. This juiciness improves the taste profile of the meat, so what little juice we have is enough to make it moist.
Many try to infuse flavors through their toppings, and this should not be a problem. If you want to add your blends into your toppings, a basting dome cover can help.
What’s the Best Way to Use Basting Domes?
Basting domes are best only on flat surfaces with a continuous bottom. Pans and flat tops can take full advantage of a basting dome cover. It helps add a water circulation across the meat, so you can make sure that it has perfect covering.
Many basting domes will only work in a flap top environment where steam and pressure will do the trick. This can bring you and your job closer, trapping the juice’s flavor for later use and letting them dry off on the flat top itself.
The best place to use it is for flat tops and stoves. This will help lock in the juices and let your meat marinate in the meat drippings so far. It will also enable the even surface to create more contact with the edges of the lid, making a reliable seal.
Using it with a grill with slats can be a problem because you’re not creating an airtight seal. You also can’t build up the flavor on the marinade because it’s dripping to the charcoal.
If you have a pan, use a kitchen pan. It shouldn’t be a problem at all. Do a reliable seal, and you’re good to go.
Picking the Right Basting Dome
There are not many differences in picking between different basting dome covers. You can go as far as using a deep aluminum bowl to cover your burger, and you’re good to go. There are some details that you would want to remember when picking a basting dome.
First, you want something spherical. A sphere-shaped dome cover can trap moisture with more efficiency and reflect the smoke and heat to the meat.
The second tip to remember is to pick stainless steel or aluminum. These metals can take the heat without cracking up or chipping into the food. They also won’t add any weird tastes to your burgers.
Find a basting dome cover with a non-metallic handle so you can touch it even when hot. You want the handles non-conductive, so you don’t burn yourself.
As for the size, you want your burger to be smack in the center. A 12-inch (30 cm) diameter basting cover should do your burger enough justice.
A basting dome cover is a great extra tool when cooking a hamburger. It allows you to trap the natural juices of your burger, letting it cook evenly. You can also use it to infuse flavor with your toppings and your cheeses.
If you plan on using a basting dome cover, consider the size and the shape. A round basting dome that allows your burger meat to sit in the center is excellent. Find one that can create a near-seamless seal around the edges, and you’re golden.
Using a basting dome cover can only give you benefits if you use it right. See for yourself today if it’s useful for your purposes.
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