This weekend is Labor Day, and there is no better way to end the summer than burgers and dogs on the grill! The last couple of years I have been doing a lot of research on how to make a better burger. There are a couple of tips that I employ that really seem to be a constant in my research for a better burger. Next time you fire up the grill for burger time, try these tips, and you will not be disappointed!
- Choose the right ground beef! You want ground beef that is around 20 – 25% fat. Most of that will burn of during cooking, but your burgers will be moist and flavorful because of it.
- Season the meat. A lot of people neglect to ad any seasoning at all. Always use salt and pepper. Ad it right to the raw meat and mix in. If you want to use other spices, garlic or onions etc that you to ad to the raw meat, cook them lightly in a frying pan to bring out the flavor before adding to the meat.
- Don’t overwork the meat. Try not to smash the ground beef up to much, or pat the burgers down too tight. This will give you dense drier burgers.
- Indent the tops. After you form your patties push your thumb onto the top of the patty to leave a good thumb sized indentation. This keeps the patties from turning into balls while you cook them, which allows for a nice even cooking.
- Let them sit out. Let your raw burgers get to room temperature before you put them on the grill. After you make your patties, cover them with plastic wrap, and allow them to sit out until they are room temp. This will allow the middle of the burger to cook evenly with the outside.
- Don’t squish. When you are cooking your burgers, don’t squish them with your spatula. All that does is dry them out, and makes more potential for a fire in your grill.
- Divide your grill. If you are using charcoal, pile your hot coals on one side of the grill. Put the raw burgers on the hot side of the grill, for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to char the outside. Then, rotate the burger a half turn and place them on the cool side. This will give you the crisscross pattern of grill marks. Then cover the grill and cook for another 4-6 minutes per side to “bake” the inside of the burger without overcooking the outside.
- Let them sit. Let the patties rest covered with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before serving. This will lock the juices into the burger.
I’ll be honest, I consider myself to be pretty good on a grill, but I have had very mixed results when it comes to grilling corn. Grilled corn is a flavor I truly love, so I attempt it all of the time. However, that being said, I have only tried to develop my own technique. I think this summer I am going to start with a tried and true technique, and then adapt from there. This is a recipe that is adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless, which is an amazing Mexican cookbook everyone should own.
I found this adaptation on ScarpettaDolcetto, and here is how they do it:
- 6 ears of sweet corn, in husks
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 C sour cream with enough milk or cream to loosen
- 1/3 C crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco, anejo or cotijia)
- 1 Tbsp hot chile powder
- minced cilantro
- 1/2 lime
Soak the corn for an hour in a deep bowl of water or a clean sink, weighted down with a plate. Grill in the husks over medium-high heat, about 15-20 minutes, until blackened. When cool enough to handle, remove the silk and husks. (Or remove the silks and use the husks as a handle.)
10 minutes before serving, brush the corn with butter and grill until browned. Remove from heat. Serve with the fixings or prep for your guests: brush the corn with sour cream; sprinkle with chile powder, salt, cheese and cilantro. Squirt a bit of lime juice over all. Serve warm with the remaining fixings.
What a dream this would be! When the weather is warm, you can find me outside just about any night, standing in the smoke of my grill, or my smoker. There is just something so special about cooking outside on actual fire (I have an electric stove and oven). Be on the look out for lot’s of outdoor cooking posts now that it’s warming up! So, one of the things about cooking outside is that I keep my grill on the stone patio where things are a little more fire proof (I cook with charcoal, not gas), and all of the tables are on the wooden deck. So, I would love to have something that I could keep all of my food and grilling tools on while I’m working the grill. Plus, this looks like it would be really fun to make. I would love to get my kids working on this with me. I think I could even get a lot of the lumber for it from old pallets, so it would be really cheap to make as well! The DIY instructions come from Home-Dzine.com They have a great tutorial with great pictures as well, so if you want to make this, go check the tutorial here.
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