Creating memories in the kitchen...One meal at a time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Perfect Hamburger

Grilling season is in full swing and I've been on the hunt for the "perfect burger" recipe. 

My husband has become quite the grill-master but he's not always around when the dinner prep begins and I like having a go-to recipe that I know is going to give me great results every time. After a few mediocre attempts, I stumbled upon this recipe. Just looking at it convinced me that this was "the one!"

Boy, was I right!  Classic seasonings and good old-fashioned ingredients, nothing fancy here, turned out some of the best burgers we've ever had. The only change I made was subbing out the ground sirloin for ground chuck. I'm usually a lean ground beef kinda girl but when it comes to burgers, if you want it  nice and juicy you need that extra little fat. These burgers were so  good in fact, that we ate them two nights in a row and my husband announced he will be eating them every night when the kids and I take our annual cousins trip to my Moms.

If you're a beginner at the grill, see the great tips below from the girls over at The Sister's Cafe. I'll just add my two-cents. If you want the "perfect burger" you gotta have a homemade bun. Just sayin.

The Perfect Hamburger

1 lb. ground chuck
2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
4 slices cheddar or Swiss cheese (optional.Truth be told Kraft singles are my absolute fav)
4 hamburger buns, split
Sliced tomato for serving
Sliced onion, for serving
Torn lettuce for serving
Sliced dill pickle for serving
Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or other condiments of your choice for serving

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, yellow onion, garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each 3⁄4 inch thick.

Grill the hamburgers directly over medium-high heat, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Check for doneness by cutting into a hamburger near the center or testing with an instant-read thermometer. No pink should show on the inside, and the internal temperature should register at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. If making cheeseburgers, place a slice of cheese on top of each hamburger during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, toast the hamburger buns, cut side down, on the grill. Serve the hamburgers on the buns with tomato, white onion, lettuce, dill pickle and condiments. Serves 4.

A Few Tips for the Perfect Burger:
1. Brush your grill with oil and then heat to medium.
2.  Put  all the ingredients together in a bowl and add any “stir ins” your heart desires:)
3.  Using your hands or a fork, gently stir together.  Be careful to handle the meat as little as possible–the heat from your hands will start to melt the fat creating a dense and tough hamburger.
4.  Gently create 4- 5 patties that are 3/4 inch thick. (per pound of meat)
5.  Have you ever had your burgers form rounded tops when cooking, causing your condiments to slide off?  Well, the smart people at America Test Kitchens found if you use your thumb to create a small depression in the center of the burger, it will prevent that during cooking.  I have done this ever since I read that –and it works like a charm!
6.  Place hamburger patties on the preheated grill and close the lid!  Do not poke, smash or flip more than once!  This will make all the juices to come out and your will be left with dry as a bone burgers!  Leave on the grill until no longer pink inside, turning one time!  Usually this is 5-7 minutes per side, depending on how thick you made your patties.
7. The last few minute of cooking put a slice of cheese on top your patty.
8.  While the cheese is melting, toast your buns on the top rack of the grill.
9.  Gently place your perfect burger between your lightly toasted buns, and pile with your favorite toppings.  

                                      Stay tuned next week for the best hamburger buns ever!

Recipe Source: slightly adapted from Williams Sonoma via Annie's Eats

Posted by: Sallie
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