Friends, you can pretty much go anywhere in the world and find a place that will serve you a burger. But, is it a good burger? What I mean by a “good burger” is do you have to “hunch over” while biting into it? The juice running down your chin and you backing up so not to get your favorite shirt stained. The amazing flavor explosion in your mouth, that makes your eye’s light up with every bite!
But, where can a burger this delicious and juicy be found? In your own backyard! You do not have to go out just to stand in line and pay a fortune for the same deliciousness that can come from your very own grill. Here are the keys to making a top quality burger for yourself.
Start with some good quality ground beef. I prefer an 80/20 of meat to fat ratio, which you can find at your local grocery store or butcher. Season, season and season! Salt & pepper are the most common seasonings used in a chef’s kitchen. Salt is the best flavor enhancer in the world so do not be shy with it. Pepper will add a touch of spice to the meat while on the grill. I always use fresh ground pepper because the flavor is amazing opposed to pre-ground pepper. If you would like to add other spices feel free. But, I like to keep it simple and let the meat speak for itself for the most part.
How much you mix the ground beef is always a matter of choice. Some like the ground beef mixed lightly, which means it the burger will not be as dense. I happen to believe, the more you mix and work the ground beef with your hands the juicier the burger. If you have kids, forming the ground beef into hamburger patties can be fun. Make it a fun event by seeing who can shape a hamburger the quickest or in the best shape. Kids love to be involved when it comes to cooking with Mom or Dad. After shaping the hamburgers, be sure to put a dimple in the center with your thumb. This prevents the burger from becoming a meatball on your grill.
Cooking the burger. Let’s start with a really hot grill. Place the burger on the grill and leave it alone! Depending on the temperature you want your burger (rare, medium rare, medium, medium well or well done) you will only need to flip the burger once. Yes, I said just once. Also, there will be no pressing of the burger. The meat is already dead, there is no need to kill it again. Once flipped, start adding your cheese. The cheese should be completely melted all the way. Gooey and dripping on the grill.
(Internal temperatures. Rare= 135-145 degrees, medium rare= 150-155 degrees, medium= 160-165 degrees, medium well= 170-175 degrees and well done= hockey puck).
Let’s talk about toppings. There are always the good old standards. Crispy fresh lettuce, juicy garden tomatoes and a slice of a sweet onion. But, I say let’s change it up a little bit. Try adding some sliced avocado or guacamole with some Pico De Gallo for a Mexican twist. If you wanted to try one of my favorites! Pepper Jack & Provolone cheese with grilled Bell Peppers and Onions a slice of crispy Pancetta and an over easy egg. Now that is a great burger! Do not be afraid to experiment with different toppings. Use ham and pineapple. Blend some pitted cherries and add some Sriracha together to make a sweet and savory topping. Use the kitchen sink, you never know what you may discover. On a side note: Bacon, Bacon, and more Bacon!
The Condiments. Ketchup, mustard, and mayo are fantastic standards. But, I want to encourage people to look outside the box. Why not try a pesto mayo or a roasted red pepper spread. There are so many different things you can do to make your own condiments.
I bet you thought I forgot about the bun. No way! I love a soft hamburger bun that has delicious sesame seeds and is toasted just lightly. I’m sorry. But, putting a burger on a hard toasted piece of Brioche does nothing for me. Remember, keep it simple and it will always be a winner.
I want to thank you all for reading my blog and don’t forget to return for more cool idea’s!