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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Presto! - And Now You Have A perfectly Cooked Burger

    Many years ago I was finally allowed to go home after school without supervision. My Mom didn't want me to use the stove because it had a gas pilot that had to be lit and she was concerned something would go horribly wrong. At the time, I thought that was silly. In retrospect, she was right. With today's safety mechanisms it would likely have been OK, but then....not so much. Where is all this leading? Well a boy's gotta eat, so we found a solution that would allow me to cook a hot meal and be safe from accidental explosions.


The Hamburger Cooker
It's snowing here in Upstate new York today, so no work on the RV and being cooped up always gets me twitchy. I've been cleaning out the kitchen cabinets and stumbled across my old PRESTO! Hamburger cooker. This was the solution to my boyhood cooking problems. Still works! Man, does it make a tasty, perfectly cooked burger every time. Not even sure they are still available, but I'll wager they can be had cheaply on E-Bay or Craig's List or some similar online site. Likely, you could find one at a flea market or garage sale too.


How's it work? Well, it has two sides that come apart for easy cleaning. One side has the heating element embedded inside it. The cooking surface is a Teflon coated half burger shape. The other side has an top  aluminum "platter" with the other half of the burger mold and a bunch of drain holes. It fits into the bottom plastic housing that will catch any drippings. That makes for a juicy, not greasy burger. Bear in mind this predates the Fat Draining grills that are everywhere today.



Simply plug it in to preheat for a few minutes, put in your favorite ground beef (I like 80%/20% for this, though 90%/10% is OK as well)  or pre-made burgers, close the lid and latch. Depending on how you like your burgers, 3 minutes is rare, 4 minutes is medium, 5 minutes is well done. Open the lid and just like that a perfectly shaped, perfectly cooked burger. Everything but the cooking side is dishwasher safe. I usually just wipe out the Teflon coated cooking element side and it's clean. Pretty easy. Since it's small, it takes up very little space.


It uses 400 watts at 120V for 3-5 minutes translating to about 3.8 amp/hrs from a battery bank on an inverter. Obviously it's easily used with a generator or shore power. Like I've said before propane has to be bought, electricity can be made on the spot. Great for boondocking.

I'll bet you could also make other kinds of patties...chicken, veggie, lamb....with varying cooking times. I look forward to trying them all this coming RV season.

Be Seeing You...Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com


6 comments:

  1. all good except the Teflon part! If you scrape teflon you will ingest some mighty bad chemicals, somewhat habitually if you really like your Presto cooker. I know its wonderful in every other way, but telfon should not be a part of anyone's diet. sorry...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bluemtwellness,
      Yes, Teflon is bad. All you need to do is be careful and use non-metallic utensils and cleaning tools.

      I've been using it for MANY years and it's still scratch free.

      Thanks for the advice!

      Rich "The Wanderman

      Delete
  2. The equivilant today is the George Forman cooker. We have one of the smaller ones, barely fit two burgers on there, but it works great. Gotta have 110volt though...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anon,
      This little cooker uses relatively little amp/hours for its 3-5 minute cycle. The Forman grills seem to have large heating elements. STill will work with an inverter, just make sure you don't draw more than you have!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  3. Is the element on the top or the bottom, I can't quite tell from the pictures :).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt,
      It's on the top. The fat drains through holes on the bottom non-stick plate and into the plastic base. Works pretty nicely!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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