We form our patty just before we salt it, as noted in the last Theory Thursday post. But this isn’t just because we want to avoid a sausage like texture; it’s also because a formed patty is the best surface to evenly season. Many burger purveyors are doing ‘smash-style’ burgers these days – they take a ball of meat, usually 100g, and smash it on the grill. The good ones season this ball of meat just when it’s on the grill, for the reasons above. Not sausage texture…check! But what they miss is evenly seasoning the entirety of the meat, from one end of the patty to the other, which is essentially impossible with a curved surface. Is it easier to draw straight line on an orange, or on a DVD? Case dismissed. Freshly cracked pepper. End of story. That powdered ‘pepper’, which amazingly manages to be simultaneously insipid and acrid, is not even worth discussing. We do it on the meat after it’s cooked, because (debatably) it can get a bit bitter if cooked at too high a heat (heat we need for our burger patty to get the ideal sear).