Archive for August 16th, 2011

The Great American Hamburger and Cheeseburger - BBQ And Grilling RecipesWhat makes a burger great? Let us count the ways. The meat must be flavorful, the fat content sufficient but moderate, and the seasoning apparent but not overt. The patty has to hold together but not be compacted. The bun should be soft enough so that it does not require greater biting pressure than the contents it holds, but not so fluffy that it soaks up burger juices like a sponge. The cut surface of the bun must be toasted, and the garnishes should be kept simple: The cheese barely melted, vegetables cold and crisp, and condiments applied by the eater, not the cook. If all these guideposts are met, you shall never eat better, my child.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

BURGER GUIDELINES
– Wet your hands with cold water when mixing the meat and when forming burgers. It will keep the meat from sticking to your hands.
– If using ground beef that is more than 85 percent lean, brush the surface of your burgers with oil before grilling to keep them from sticking and to help them brown.
– How well done you like burgers is not just a matter of taste. While roasts, chops, and steaks can be cooked to rare without raising food safety fears, burgers cannot. It is simply not safe to eat burgers cooked to less than 150°F. At that temperature, a burger will be very slightly pink in the center and will feel springy to the touch. For a precise temperature reading, insert an instant-read thermometer through the side of a burger into its center.
– The best garnishes are classic: a slice of ripe beefsteak tomato, a mound of sautéed onions, a leaf of romaine lettuce, a dollop of coleslaw, or a few slices of dill pickle.
– Try substituting kaiser rolls (or another crusty round roll) for hamburger rolls.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (425° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
2 pounds ground beef chuck, 85% lean
5 tablespoons ice-cold water
1 teaspoon ketchup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for coating grill grate
Oil for coating grill grate
12 slices good-quality American, provolone, or Cheddar cheese (optional)
6 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, water, ketchup, salt, and pepper in a bowl until well blended; do not overmix. Using a light touch, form into 6 patties no more than 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the burgers until the grill is ready.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the burgers on the grill, cover, and cook for 7 minutes, flipping after about 4 minutes, for medium-done (150°F, slightly pink). Add a minute per side for well-done (160°F).
4. If you are making cheeseburgers, put 2 slices of cheese on each burger 1 minute before the burgers are going to be done.
5. To toast the buns, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
6. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve on the buns. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the buns and burgers separate until just before eating.

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