As winter loosens its grip and the grill emerges from under the snow drifts you neglected to shovel off your deck…one thing comes to mind. It’s time to grill some burgers!
The grilled hamburger is one of the most iconic American foods. We’re going to start with our classic grilled burger and then provide you four different varieties that will keep burgers on your menu throughout the whole grilling season.
The cut of meat used will have a big influence on the texture and taste of your hamburgers. ground sirloin is lean, up to 90%, while offering a classic beefy flavor. However, because of the lean content, it may end up dry, especially if the burger is overcooked. That said, grass-fed ground sirloin is an excellent choice for the lean-minded folk!
Ground chuck is a common hamburger choice. Ground chuck is often 80-85% lean. Between the tenderness, fat content and texture, you can’t go wrong with ground chuck.
“Ground Beef” is an inconsistent mix of a variety of beef cuts. The beef could be as much as 73% lean, which will lead to very greasy burgers and flare ups in your grill. Imagine spreading beef tallow on a burger patty. That’s basically what is happening here.
1.5 lbs of ground chuck (makes 4 pattys)
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. seasoned salt (Lawry’s)
Preheat grill to a medium heat. Scrape off last year’s remnants. Grab a wad of paper towels, a pair of tongs, and a small bowl of vegetable oil. Grab the wad of paper towels with the tongs, dip it in the oil, and rub it onto your grill grates. The oil should smoke a little. Let it burn off for 20 seconds and re-apply 3 or 4 times until those grates are shiny and ready to rock.
Back in the kitchen, break apart ground chuck into a bowl. Sprinkle seasonings over the meat. Gently combine and separate into 4 equal sections.
Form sections into flat patties, shooting for around ½” thick. Do not over handle. If you over-handle the patties, they will end up being rubbery. Nobody wants that. Form into a patty and make a slight divot in the middle.
Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Only flip once, and do NOT press the patties. This will cause the juices to run out, which dries out your burgers and sacrifices flavor to the flare-up gods. Of course, if you skipped my advice and bought the 73% lean patties, they’ll be sputtering out juices whether you press them or not. You’ve been warned!
Remove burgers onto a plate or pan and cover with tinfoil until served. Classic dressings include tomato, onion, lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and even mayo!
Tired of The Classic? Ready to shake it up and mix in some fun stuff?
Black & Bleu Burgers
1.5 lbs of ground chuck
Crushed black peppercorns (Use that pepper grinder!)
1 tsp. Lawry’s seasoned salt
Crumbled bleu cheese
Break apart ground chuck into a bowl. Generously sprinkle in the crushed black peppercorns and add the Lawry’s seasoned salt. Gently combine and separate into four sections.
Form two thinner patties out of each section. Put a small divot in one patty and scoop a heaping tbsp. of crumbled bleu cheese into the divot. Place the second patty over the bleu cheese and gently seal the edges of the patties to form one awesome super patty.
Handle gently. Grill 4-5 minutes per side to ensure that the cheese gets good and hot. Avoid pressing these bad boys. They are loaded!
When serving Black & Bleu Burgers, condiments and toppings can be limited. Let the burger shine. (Okay…maybe a little ketchup or mustard for those who need condiments in their life.)
Grandma Linda’s Meatloaf Burgers
1.5 lbs of ground chuck
¼ cup of Italian bread crumbs
1 tbsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
These burgers are hearty and bring you right back to Sunday Dinner at Grandma’s!
Break apart ground chuck into a bowl. Crack egg and drop it on the beef. Add in Italian bread crumbs, dried minced onion and the salt and pepper. Mix these until everything is just combined. Separate into four sections and form the patties.
Grill for 5 minutes per side. Serve with The Classic condiments.
Make The Classic burgers as described above. Experiment with these layers of sandwich goodness to take your burgers to the next level!
The “Farm to Table”
Over-easy fried egg
Avocado – fresh slices (about ½ of an avocado)
Green leaf lettmce
Place the grilled burger patty on the bottom portion of the bun. Start making the layers! Patty, fried egg, avocado, leaf lettuce. Put the mayo and yellow mon the bottom of the top bun, top it off and that’s it! Enjoy!
The “On Wisconsin”
Extra sharp cheddar cheese (apply generous slice to burger on grill 2 minutes after flipping)
Cooked crispy bacon (i.e. applewood-smoked, thick cut – cooked to crispy!)
Place the grilled cheeseburger patty on the bottom portion of the bun. Place a generous amount of bacon on the cheeseburger. What you do beyond this point is up to you. It doesn’t NEED condiments. Try shaking it up with a rich and sassy BBQ sauce!
What variety will you try first? Happy grilling season!