Seasoning food is difficult enough -- but what about when you can't taste it? Seasoning blended meats, such as meat loafs, meat balls, and burgers, can be a challenge for exactly this reason. Though you don't want something bland, you also aren't able to taste the end product as you go. So what can you do?
1. Keep It Simple
Most meat only needs a few seasonings, including black pepper and salt. When you're doing a dish that contains blended meat, the meat itself is usually a star. That's why it's advised to use as little binder as possible as well, such as seasoned bread crumbs.
2. Blend the Seasoning First
Don't just start adding seasoning to your meat. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the seasonings -- and then taste the seasonings separately. Naturally they are going to be strong, but it'll give you an idea of the flavor profile. Do you have too much of one spice -- is it overpowering? If it's overpowering in the bowl, it's going to be overpowering in your meat.
3. Be Very Exacting With the Salt
Most seasoning is very forgiving. Salt is not. Too little salt and the dish is bland -- too much salt and the dish is inedible. Luckily when it comes to meat, there's a generally accepted amount of salt that you really shouldn't stray from: about a teaspoon of salt per six to eight ounces of meat.
However, there's something else you need to worry about: when to add the salt. Salt actually changes the physical structure of meat, making it bind together more and making it more "gooey" in texture. Ideally, you should only fold in the salt just before cooking.
4. Keep Notes
Finally, this is an area in which cooking is a science. Rather than adding a dash here and a dash there, keep copious notes regarding what you've added to your meat -- so you have the exact amounts to follow next time.
There's a reason why seasoning ground meat tends to come with experience. Though much of it is very forgiving, getting it "just right" can take years -- simply because you need to do it over again to see where you went wrong the last time. But though it may seem easier, you should always avoid the compulsion to "try" any of your seasoned meat; nearly every type of ground meat can carry dangerous pathogens.
For more information, contact a business such as Riley's Meat Seasoning Co.