The Perfect Burger {Just in Time for Labor Day}

The Perfect Burger

{Courtesy of Chef Bobby Flay- who just opened a restaurant focused exclusively on burgers, and definitely knows a thing or two about making them}

Ingredients: {makes 4 burgers, double the recipe accordingly}

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80 percent lean) or ground turkey (90 percent lean)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A few dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon steak seasoning (like McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak-optional)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine the meat, Worcestershire sauce, and steak sauce, mixing lightly with your hands until just combined, making sure not to over work the meat.
  • Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger and make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Season both sides of each burger with salt and pepper.
  • Get your grill really hot, and brush both sides of your burgers with the canola oil.
  • Sear the burgers on one side and cook for 3 minutes, the flip and cook for another 4 minutes for medium rare (add another minute for medium, and 2 more minutes for medium well)
  • Remove the burgers onto a platter, and tent loosely with foil to rest for 5 minutes.
  • If topping with cheese, put it on top of the burgers before you tent them with the foil, the residual heat will melt it.
  • While the burgers rest, toast the burger buns on the grill, and serve.

Perfect Burger Do’s & Don’ts

  • When you’re mixing your meat and seasonings, don’t work the meat more then you have to. If you squeeze and massage the crap out of it, your burgers will gave a texture more like a ground beef hot dog and less like the meaty, juicy burger you’re shooting for.
  • Make sure the grill is hot enough before you start cooking the burgers, otherwise you won’t get a good sear on the outside.
  • Don’t press down on the burgers as you cook them- this just squeezes out all the juices that make the burger flavorful and juicy.
  • Do buy the best meat you can afford- free range, organic beef raised without antibiotics and hormones tastes better, and is way better for both you and the environment then the hormone-loaded alternative.
  • Do make sure you buy the right percentage of fat to lean beef- too much fat and your burgers will catch flame and smoke up like crazy, too little fat and your burgers will turn out dry and crumbly.

Bonus Burger Toppings & Mix-Ins

  • California Burger: Top with cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, red onion, and salsa
  • Asian Burger: Top with hoisin sauce, sriracha, and chopped scallions
  • BBQ Burger: Top with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and BBQ sauce
  • Tropical Burger: Top with a diced mix of pineapple, jalapenos, fresh lime juice & salt
  • Blue Cheese Burger: When mixing your meat, add ¼ cup good blue cheese to the mix
  • Southern Burger: Serve on a split buttermilk biscuit with BBQ sauce and mayo
  • Italian Burger: Top with grilled eggplant, Parmesan cheese, and marinara sauce
  • Indian Burger: Top with spicy curry mayo and mango slices
  • Breakfast Burger: Top with a fried egg, crispy bacon, and ketchup

For the full article, see my post on Bachelor Kitchen.

Photo Credit: http://www.eumom.ie/blog/

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