Archive for August, 2011

Like all ground-meat dishes, burgers benefit from some filler. Fillers add flavor and creaminess, and because most contain some starch, and starch absorbs moisture, burgers containing a purée of beans, or bread or cereal, keep their juices better than plain old unadulterated naked ground beef alone. In this burger, the filler is bean dip, which adds a little heat and the fragrance of cumin as well as moisture.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for rub)
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

GETTING CREATIVE
– The spicy character of these burgers goes well with fresh tomatoes, caramelized onions, assertive greens like spinach or arugula, or a few slices of crisp cucumber.
– If you want to add cheese, make it something you’d add to a chili, like aged Cheddar, Monterey Jack or smoked Gouda.
– If you can’t find corn cakes (such as Thomas’), substitute kaiser rolls (or another crusty round roll).
– Substitute rehydrated powdered black beans or refried beans for the bean dip.

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
¼ cup finely chopped jalapeño en escabèche
(canned jalapeño), drained
½ teaspoon Cajun Blackening Rub
½ cup jarred black bean dip
Oil for coating grill grate
6 store-bought corn cakes
2 tablespoons butter, melted

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, jalapeño, Cajun rub, and bean dip 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. To toast the corn cakes, brush with butter and toast directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
5. If serving the burgers directly from the grill, serve each on top of a corn cake. If the burgers will sit, even for a few minutes, keep the corn cakes and burgers separate until just before eating. Serve with a fork and knife; these are not hand-held.

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Horseradish is related to the mustard family, which is probably why it works so well in this burger inundated with Cheddar and apple. If horseradish makes you wince, you can substitute spicy mustard, but the effect won’t be nearly as exciting.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

GETTING CREATIVE
– Because these burgers are sweet and pungent, they can be complemented with a wide variety of garnishes, from fruit (a few slices of apple or pear) to a selection of mustards (something aromatic and whole grain) or a garden vegetable, like a slice of sweet onion, a leaf of romaine lettuce, a dollop of coleslaw, or a few slices of dill pickle.
– If you want to add cheese, make it something that goes well with apple; an imported Swiss, some crumbled blue, or a slice of Cheddar all work well.
– Substitute pear for the apple.

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
3 tablespoons jarred horseradish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (1 cup)
½ apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
6 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, horseradish, salt, pepper, cheese, apple, and apple juice 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. To toast the buns, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
5. 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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The mustard seeds in these hearty, pungent burgers are soaked in balsamic vinegar, which softens their skins, giving them a resiliency that makes them pop between the teeth with every bite. The horseradish in the mixture underscores the mustard flavor, and the concentrated sugars in the balsamic vinegar naturally counter the slightly bitter aftertaste of the mustard seed.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

GETTING CREATIVE
– Because these burgers are pungent, it is best to keep your garnishes fresh: a slice of ripe beefsteak tomato, a round of sweet onion, a leaf of romaine lettuce, a dollop of coleslaw, or a few slices of dill pickle.
– If you want to add cheese, make it something assertive that goes well with mustard: an imported Swiss, a slice of aged Cheddar, or a smear of German Muenster.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (430° 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 teaspoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 pounds ground beef chuck, 85% lean
2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons jarred horseradish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Oil for coating grill grate
6 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Combine the mustard seeds and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to soak for about 10 minutes.
3. Using your hands, mix the beef, soaked mustard seeds, mustard, horseradish, and salt 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.
4. 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).
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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Szechwan peppercorns are rust colored with rough skin that splits open to reveal a brittle black seed. The spice mainly consists of the empty husks, which give it a rosy hue when ground. Szechwan pepper has a floral fragrance, and even though the food of the Szechwan province can be fiery, the peppercorn itself is not very hot. This burger is half pork, which gives it a smooth texture and a pleasant sweetness.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
(plus 5 minutes for Szechwan salt)
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

GETTING CREATIVE
– Because these burgers have a distinctive Asian flavor profile, it is best to choose garnishes that are complementary, such as a slice of pineapple, a mound of pickled ginger, a leaf of bok choy, a little teriyaki, or a dollop of chutney.
– Substitute a flatbread, like ciabatta, for the hamburger buns.
– Substitute any seasoning salt for the Sesame Szechwan Salt.

TIPS
– The easiest way to peel gingerroot is to scrape the skin with the edge of a spoon turned upside down.
– Don’t worry about the doneness of the pork in this burger; pork is fully cooked at 150°F.

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)
1 pound ground beef chuck, 85% lean
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled gingerroot
1 teaspoon Sesame Szechwan Salt
1 tablespoon sriracha hot pepper sauce
4 scallions, roots trimmed, cut into thin slices
Oil for coating grill grate
6 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, pork, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, Szechwan salt, hot pepper sauce, and scallions 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. To toast the buns, put them cut sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
5. 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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Steak sauce, that classic amalgam of Worcestershire, mustard, and tamarind, has the power to transubstantiate a humble burger to steakhouse eminence. In this recipe, the sauce not only flavors the meat, it also adds moisture and helps to increase the perception of juiciness even when the burger is cooked to well-done.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

GETTING CREATIVE
– Because these burgers have so much flavor, it is best to keep your garnishes simple: 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.
– If you want to add cheese, make it something assertive: an imported Swiss, some crumbled blue, or a smear of Brie would work well.
– Substitute about ¾ cup chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia) for the scallions.

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
1/3 cup bottled steak sauce
2 teaspoons jarred horseradish
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 scallions, roots trimmed, cut into ½-inch pieces
Oil for coating grill grate
6 hamburger buns, split

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, steak sauce, horseradish, salt, pepper, and scallions 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. To toast the buns, put them cut-sides down directly over the fire for the last minute of cooking.
5. 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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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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Basic Kebab - BBQ And Grilling RecipesGrilling small pieces of meat on a skewer has its advantages:
– The seasoning reaches all parts of every bite.
– Small pieces cook faster.
– Everything is bite-size, eliminating the need for excessive cutlery at the table.
– You can grill a whole meal (meat, vegetable, and starch) on a single skewer.
– Kebabs can be beautiful, juxtaposing vegetables, fruits, and meats of different colors, shapes, and textures.
It also has its disadvantages:
– Everything on a skewer has to cook at the same rate.
– Where pieces touch they will not brown.
– Turning skewers can be tricky.
As you can see, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages, and all of the potential pitfalls are avoidable (see “Troubleshooting Kebabs”). The big advantage of the skewer is speed; from the absorption of flavor, through cooking time, to plating and serving, everything is streamlined.
Use this basic recipe as a template. Add flavor with a brine or marinade, replace the salt and pepper in the recipe with a spice rub, brush the cooked kebab with glaze, and(or) serve them with a dipping sauce.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
Grill: 8 to 10 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 4 long, flat skewers or two-pronged skewers
– Long-handled tongs

TROUBLESHOOTING KEBABS
Trouble 1: Potato takes longer to cook through than steak, and a cherry tomato will turn to mush long before a wedge of onion loses its crunch. What’s a kebab maker to do? There are several strategies for lessening the disparities between skewer mates.
– Cut harder, longer-cooking ingredients into smaller pieces.
– Place faster-cooking ingredients near the ends of the skewers, where they are more likely to sit at the cooler perimeter of the fire.
– Precook tough ingredients so that they finish grilling at the same time as other ingredients on the skewer.
– Cook one type of ingredient per skewer. Obviously, the disadvantage of this is that you won’t be able to serve a skewer to each person.
Trouble 2: All food leaches moisture as it cooks. If there is not ample space for it to evaporate, as when two pieces of meat are packed together on a skewer, the moisture will get trapped, causing the meat to steam rather than grill. That is why there must be at least ¼ inch of space between the items on a skewer.
Trouble 3: As ingredients lose moisture during cooking, they shrink, causing them to pull away from the skewer and creating a gap. If your skewer is round, when you turn it, the ingredient will spin rather than turn with the skewer, making it cumbersome to get all of the ingredients to brown evenly. You can prevent this from happening by using flat skewers, two-pronged skewers, or twisted skewers, all of which grip the pieces in various ways.
Kebab baskets are long, narrow grilling baskets that allow you to line up precut ingredients as if they were on a skewer and cook them evenly by turning the basket as each side browns. Although they work well, to serve these “kebabs”, you have to empty the contents of the baskets before bringing the food to the table, which means you could have cooked everything on a large grill screen, gotten the same results, and dirtied far less equipment.

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 4 SERVINGS)
1 pound trimmed sirloin steak, boneless chicken breasts, or pork loin, cut into 16 cubes
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
Oil for coating grill grate

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Toss the meat, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil in a large bowl until uniformly coated.
3. Arrange 4 pieces of meat on each skewer, leaving space between them.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the prepared skewers on the grill, cover, and cook until browned on both sides and the pieces feel firm, 8 to 10 minutes, turning them halfway through.
Serve 1 skewer per person.

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Basic Burger Or Cheeseburger - BBQ And Grilling RecipesThere is something novel in this burger –  ice water. Adding more fat helps to restore some of the perception of juiciness, but for those who want less fat in their hamburger this is not an option. We opt for using burger with a moderate amount of fat (15%) plus some water. As the burger cooks, the fat melts and the water steams, helping the burger to cook through faster. The reason for using ice-cold water is to keep the meat chilled, and if you choose to eat your burgers rare, the cold water will migrate toward the center, resulting in a burger so juicy at its core that you will have to reach for a second napkin.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: 7 minutes

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula

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
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, or more to taste
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, 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 on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part, 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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