TIP #1 GOOD MEAT Good meat makes a difference. For a few months, we’ve been devouring pound after pound of corn-fed, pasture-grazed locally raised beef. Honestly? With good meat, you could dispense with TIPS 2 through 9, it’s that good, even salt and pepper can be superfluous.
TIP #2 WORCESTERSHIRE Gently work a little Worcestershire sauce into the meat. It adds moisture and depth to the meat. Then season the meat with salt and pepper, no more.
TIP #3: MAKE 'EM THICK Form the hamburger patties quite thick, this helps the cooked burgers stay juicy.
TIP #4 ADD SMOKE About 15 minutes before starting to grill, place water-soaked hickory, apple or cherry wood chunks on the grill away from the meat. A log works too if one happens to be handy.
TIP #5 ICE WATER *
Dip each burger into a big bowl of ice water for 30 seconds before dropping onto the grill. Sound crazy? It sure does. We’re not sure what
it does, exactly, but it does something that sure works!
TIP #6 BUTTER *
As soon as the burgers are on the grill, brush the top sides with melted butter. When they’re turned, brush the flip sides with butter too. This adds both flavor and moisture to the meat. Be aware: as the butter drips below, flames will rise up. This adds flavor, a slight char that’s wonderful.
TIP #7 COOK SLOWLY Even on a hot grill, the burgers take 20 – 25 minutes to cook.
TIP #8 TOAST the BUNS Brush the cut side of the buns with olive oil (or leftover melted butter, if you like) and then toast, either on the grill or inside in a skillet. If needed, keep warm in a warm oven, just be sure to put the buns back together so they don’t dry out.
TIP #9 LIBATIONS Open a big zinfandel or a pinot noir.
TIP #10 SHARE WITH FRIENDS! Burgers this good create their own occasion! Invite a few friends for supper, see if they don’t just start calling your burgers the “World’s Best Burgers”.
TIPS #5 and #6 come directly from Food & Wine’s terrific June 2009 grilling issue. I can especially recommend the cover burger
(pictured with TIP #10) a small production to make which gathers big reviews. We especially like the tarragon-scented Russian Dressing.
YOUR BURGERS Do readers have tips to offer for making great burgers? Just leave a comment so that others can learn from your experience!
More Recipes for the Grill
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