Coffee Is The Unexpected Boost Your Burgers Have Been Missing

We know that coffee grounds are the secret ingredient needed to amplify chocolate desserts, and that a little instant espresso powder will turn regular brownies into mocha-flavored goodies. But a dose of java isn't just ideal for sweet treats. It may sound surprising, but it can do wonders for your favorite burger recipe too. This makes sense if you think about it — coffee is a common ingredient in barbecue sauces, where it brings an earthy, smoky flavor and just a little bitterness to balance out sweeter elements.

When you add it into your burger, you'll get a similar effect. A little java is perfect in patty recipes because its flavor pairs well with the smokiness your meat obtains after being charred on the grill (or cooked in the smoker). But that's not all; because of its tannins, coffee can actually tenderize your beef and lock in moisture, leading to a supremely juicy burger. Plus, the acids in the java help bring out the flavor of the meat. You may not really taste the grounds when you take a bite, but you will experience a mouth-watering and flavorful burger.

How to incorporate coffee into your burgers

If you're ready to add coffee to your burger, there are a few different directions you can go in. First, you can try incorporating brewed coffee. Make sure it's fully cooled before you begin, and then all you have to do is mix it in with your meat and spices when creating patties. The more common way to use coffee, however, is to make a rub with the grounds and a variety of spices and seasonings, such as salt, pepper, oregano, coriander, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder. For a little complementary sweetness reminiscent of the aforementioned barbecue sauce, add in some brown sugar. You can also try using espresso powder, although, due to its strength you'll want to add less than you would regular coffee grounds. The rub will improve flavor and add a slightly crunchy texture to the end result.

Unlike with the brewed coffee, a rub should be added after you've formed patties. In this case, you may want to scale back on the seasoning in those meat patties since you'll be adding plenty with the rub. Generously coat each side of your burger patties in the coffee ground mixture and chill them uncovered in the fridge for up to half an hour; this will help them stay together on the grill. Once your burgers are cooked, why not top them with a coffee-based barbecue sauce to keep the flavor profile going?