Burger Genius Chris Kronner’s Tips for Making Your Best Burger

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Photo: KronerBurger Facebook, Graphic: Sam Woolley

If anyone could start a burger-centric cult, it would be Chef Chris Kronner of KronnerBurger. His obsession is our reward, and he’s poured years of experimentation and professional experience into A Burger to Believe In—a veritable opus of burger-focused recipes and tips.

Welcome to Burger Week! Grilling season is in full swing, and we’re flipping out over burgers. Whether it’s picking the perfect patty, stuffing those patties with molten cheese, or making a veggie offering that doesn’t suck, we’ve got the tips, recipes, and recommendations you need to build your best burger.

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Burger enthusiasts should definitely scoop up the book, but Chef Kronner was generous enough to hop on the phone and share some very tasty tips on how to make better burgers at home:

  • Grind your own beef: For the best burger possible, upgrade your meat, and avoid pre-ground, pre-packaged stuff. “With most industrial-made ground beef, they add water to prevent weight reduction through moisture loss,” Kronner explained. This means you’re paying for water, not meat. You can grind your own—if you don’t have a grinder, Kronner’s book has a recipe for a hand-cut patty, but it must be cooked in a pan—or you can ask a butcher to grind it for you. Ask for “a meat with 20-30% fat, such as fatty chuck,” but you can also use aged rib eye, rib meat, brisket, or New York steak. “Ask them to leave the fat cap on,” and to grind it with a medium-sized grinder plate (sometimes referred to as a 3/16ths plate).
  • Use more salt: “We season pretty heavily, and we only season the exterior of the patty with salt.” Use more than you think you’ll need; a scant teaspoon per patty is what you need to form a glorious salty crust.
  • Steam your buns: Kronner paints his buns with whole butter, and toasts them either on a griddle or in a hot pan. “The residual moisture will steam the buns.” If you’re working with less than fresh bread, add a splash of water to the pan or griddle, cover the buns with a cloche, and let the steam soften and revitalize them for a texture that’s close to fresh baked.
  • Don’t sleep on cheese mayo: The Kronnenburger is all about optimizing each aspect of the burger—from buns to pickles—but my favorite detail has to be the white cheddar cheese mayo (which you can learn to make here). If you don’t have time to—or simply don’t want to—make your own mayonnaise, you can emulsify cheese into store-bought mayo with a food processor. “Store-bought mayo is shelf stable enough that you can add cheese without breaking it.”

Employ these tips, and you might be able to start your own burger cult, just make sure hang a pic of Kronner in your compound; it’s important to give credit where it’s due.

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The Japanese ensemble making music from old tape reels

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Credit: Mao Yamamoto

Open Reel Ensemble doesn’t play conventional instruments, like guitars, drums and keyboards. Instead, the Japanese band uses reel-to-reel tape recorders built by Pioneer and TEAC in the 1970s and ’80s. They weren’t designed, of course, with musical creation and manipulation in mind. Ei Wada, the leader of Open Reel Ensemble, discovered their performative qualities by accident. More than 15 years ago, he was given a couple of tape recorders by a friend of his father who worked at a radio station. He tripped over them one day and, in a mixture of panic and sadness, tried to rotate the broken reels with his hands. To his surprise, the sound changed.

“I felt exoticism,” Wada said through a translator. “And [realized] this was a kind of musical instrument.” The technically-minded musician started modifying reel-to-reel recorders and, later, founded Open Reel Ensemble at university with a small group of friends. Today, the band is a trio. They learned to perform by recording a mixture of sounds and then, in real-time, stopping and turning the reels by hand. It creates a DJ-like scratching effect that’s hard to replicate with digital tools alone. “Depending on what you record and how you touch and rotate the reels,” Wada explained, “the playback sound will vary in many ways with different expressions.”

There’s something clearly refreshing about the Znth AR Telescope. Its exterior looks so organic, it feels less like a highly precise piece of stargazing equipment, and more like a beautiful tool the examine the mysteries of the universe. Mounted on its natural-looking noded mount is the lens, with its own mirrored-telephoto attachment that lets you see even further than before.

What’s marvelous about the Znth aside from its stunning design (available in some dazzling colors) is the fact that it isn’t an ordinary telescope. Armed with AR capabilities, the telescope can motion-track its position, and identify cosmic bodies like galaxies, nebulae, planets, satellites, stars, and constellations. It then uses its AR chops to layer meaningful content over what you see, allowing you to observe and study objects in the night sky with the power of information attached to it too. The design also uses Vantablack’s super-black pigment to coat the insides of the scopes, letting your imagery be clearer than ever, uncorrupted by the scattering of light.

The Znth AR Telescope is a winner of the Red Dot Design Concept Award for the year 2018.

Designer: Raymond Ng

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