For this week's episode of Basics with Babish, I'm covering how to make a (not smashed) burger and fries.

Equipment List

Vegetable peeler

Meat grinder (I use the Kitchen Aid attachment)

Deep fryer (or vessel suited for frying)

Cast iron skillet

Instant-read thermometer

Shopping List

  • Russet potatoes
  • Peanut oil (or preferred frying oil)
  • Beef: short rib, brisket, and sirloin
  • Burger accoutrements: tomato, iceberg lettuce, red onion
  • Burger buns (plus butter to toast them in)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • American cheese (or your preferred cheese)
  • Special Sauce ingredients:
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • Garlic powder
  • Paprika (regular or smoked)
  • Sweet relish

Method: Burger

  1. Place your meat grinder parts in the freezer to begin freezing up. You want them to freeze for about an hour.
  2. Start by removing bones and silver skin from your brisket, sirloin, and short rib. Slice meat into one inch strips and then cut crosswise into 1-2 inch chunks.
  3. Place all the meat on a parchment lined baking sheet and put in the freezer and freeze for 15-20 minutes.
  4. While meat is freezing, prepare all of your toppings. Slice your tomatoes and onions, and chop up your lettuce. You can put any toppings you want, because it’s your burger!
  5. For the special sauce, combine equal parts ketchup and mayonnaise with a good sprinkling of garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika, followed by a hearty helping of sweet relish. Mix to combine.
  6. Remove meat and meat grinder parts from freezer. Assemble your meat grinder and start feeding your meat into the grinder. When you’ve fed all of your meat through, you should have some pebbly ground beef.
  7. Form into 4-5 inch pucks (or whatever size you’d like). Season with salt and pepper, and let rest in the fridge.
  8. Butter your buns and place them on a hot skillet to toast your buns. Remove them from skillet when golden brown and set aside.
  9. Heat up your skillet or pan to medium high heat and add some vegetable oil. Place your burger on the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes and then flip. Once you flip, add your american cheese to the burger. Add about 1 Tbsp water to the skillet and then cover. This allows the cheese to melt and the burger to cook more evenly. When internal temperature of burger reaches your desired level of doneness, remove from skillet.
  10. Assemble burger to your linking. I recommend bun, lettuce, patty, onion, tomato, then bun with special sauce. Serve and enjoy!


Method: Fries

  1. Start by peeling your potatoes. Slice into planks and then slice the planks into french fry-like shapes as thick or as thin as you’d like.
  2. Once your fries are cut, immediately put them into peanut oil (or vegetable oil) at 375°F and par-fry them for about 8 minutes. Lay them on a paper towel lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from freezer and place back in fryer for 4-6 minutes. Cook until golden brown. Drain for 30 seconds.
  4. Place in a bowl with kosher salt and mix until coated.
Devin Monaghan