and Hello Kitty - shaped burger(100% pure beef). We don't just put another shrimp on the barbie, we grill Instructables Robot Burgers, the RoboBurger.
Note: No robots were harmed in the making of this Instructable.
You could just have an ordinary round shaped burger from an ordinary ho-hum burger joint or a square-shaped one like the one from Wendy'sdad's place or the tiny square-shaped ones with the hole in the middle like those from White C@stle. We want something uniquely shaped and in order to do that we need a custom patty press.
And be sure to wash it down with a Brooklyn Egg Cream Drink.
Step 1: Press On...
We need to get some thin but sturdy aluminum stock to form our "cookie cutter" or die cutter. You could scavenge sheet aluminum from a soda/pop can or if you have on hand some leftover aluminum roll roofing flashing.
Tools for fools...
Use tin snips or aviation snips to cut your stock. A straightedge and a marker to mark your cutlines. A file or some emery paper to deburr the rough edges. Pliers to help bend the metal. A flat metal fabricator tool (HVAC duct hand seamer or a metal edge forming tool or a metal bending brake if you are lucky) makes things easier but you can just use a hammer and a block of wood to form your edges. A drill and a pop-riveter with aluminum rivets. Use gloves when handling the metal so as not to accidentally cut yourself.
Cut a strip of metal about 3 inches wide. The length should be longer than the perimeter of the shape you will be making. You can test fit or estimate the length needed with a strip of paper.
On both edges, we will reinforce the cutter with a folded over edge. Create a 3/8th inch bend along the entire length and bend it until it is flattened out on the other side. The metal forming tool is great for making that edge. A seam plier is great for crimping flat the edge. If you do not have these tools, use any pliers to start the bend or hammer over the edge on a block of wood.
Step 2: Follow the Curves...
Print out a picture of the shape you want your burger. Size it to correspond to how big your buns are. The burger will shrink when cooked so make it a bit bigger to fit when cooked. A normal sized patty is about 4 1/2 inches in diameter and should weigh about 1/4 pound. Please convert to metric measurements if so inclined.
With the bent edges on the outside, gently coax the strip and bend it to fit around the shape on your paper pattern. Use needlenose pliers to make the sharp bends or creases. You can mark the points where it needs to bend and do if freehand away from the picture. Use a hammer to pound the aluminum over a dowel to get a smooth curve. Use your needlenose pliers to crimp any kinks that develop on the edges. Overlap the end enough to place a rivet there to hold it together. Drill the pilot hole for the rivet and rivet together. If you don't have a hand riveter, just tuck one end under the folded edges of the other and crimp. It will be enough to hold it together but may spring apart when you fill the form.
Wash and scrub thoroughly before use to remove any non-edible foreign matter and ink.
Step 3: Get Your Fill...
Make sure you practice good food sanitation for outdoor grilling. Keep cold things cold till you cook them. Don't contaminate anything with raw meat juices. Clean often and keep the bugs away. We don't want any cases of Ro-Botulism.
So, any type of ground meat can be formed with this cutter. You can either roll out a flat mass of meat the desired thickness and press out shapes or just pack the cutter and push out the shape. I lay pieces of wax paper under the form so it is easier to move the patty out of the way and chill it so it holds it shape better.
Instead of ground beef you could also try sausage meat, ground chicken/turkey, ground seafood, or vegan alternatives. Experiment and make cutter shapes for grilled veggies or french fries (chips/pommes frites). Make smaller sized forms for sliders - miniburgers.
Grill, garnish, and enjoy!
This 4th of July was overcast with slight rain so we went with Plan B and did the indoor grill thing. Take your choice of bad particulates burning on the hot coals ignited with petrochemicals outside or superheated flourinated plastic grill coatings inside. Yum!
For that extra special treat, cut pizza dough with the cutters and bake your own foccacia bread to use as a gourmet bun that matches the burger.
Step 4: This Is Not the End...
So go slap a GorillazMeatBallBurger on the grill. You will have to poke at it to see if it is done or still raw in the center or just toasty and crispy around the edges.
We do not condone or encourage any practice of cannibalism though we recognize the sovereign right of those peoples who do.
With the basic shapes you can make anything you want.