All-American Grill Burgers
Last Friday, a couple of guys from work and I were walking across the street to a local pizza joint to grab some lunch. On the way, we started talking about different places close by to get lunch and Hugh mentioned a burger joint he had been to in North Buckhead. Well, that started a whole new conversation about burgers. We bantered back and forth as to who had the best burger and was it ‘pre-formed’ or hand-patted? Then the question was raised about how it was cooked; was it done on a flat-top or was it actually over a flame grill? ‘How do you like your burger?’ is often an open-ended question that allows some people to go on endlessly about their opinion of the best burger around.
That conversation had me thinking about burgers, even while enjoying my pizza for lunch. I decided then that I would have friends over for dinner that evening and grill some homemade burgers. I always begin with some ground hamburger meat, usually two pounds of beef, which will yield about 6, 1/3 pound burgers.
In a large glass bowl, I first massage the meat to break it up and get it ready for my ingredients. Next I add Worcestershire sauce, A1 Steak Sauce, Liquid Smoke, and a small amount of spicy (hot) brown mustard. Once all of this is mixed, I add my dry fillers.
NOTE: Because of all the liquid I am adding to the mixture, I need to balance it out with a proper proportion of binding agents to prevent the patted burgers from falling apart.
For the dry ingredients, I use, onion chips, garlic powder, Weber Blazin Burger Seasoning, and red pepper flakes. If you have folks that don’t like the ‘heat’, feel free to leave out the red pepper flakes. Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients into the beef. Make sure you get everything coated; using a glass bowl makes it easier to check the bottom of the mixture to ensure everything is thoroughly mixed. One last ingredient that I’ll add right before I start patting out the burgers is BACON! I use Kirkland Bacon Crumbs because they are real chunks of bacon already cooked.
Now it’s time to get the patties ready for the grill. I use a burger press. If you’re using a burger press, I found that it is good to spray the surfaces with non-stick spray before you press as well as a few times during the process. You’ll know when you need to re-coat the surface as the burgers will not fall out of the press as easy as the first.
Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with plastic wrap and spraying lightly with non-stick spray. Tear off or weigh out 1/3 pound of the beef mixture and roll it in your hands for about 30 seconds. This helps to mold the burger and get it to adhere to itself. Place the ball of meat in the burger press and press out the patty. Place the burger on the sheet pan and repeat the process. I try to use a sheet pan that will hold all my burgers on one level so I don’t have to stack them. This way they stay perfectly flat and won’t begin to break apart. Once all the burgers are ready, cover them with plastic wrap and place the sheet tray in the fridge for about 30 minutes to an hour to let their flavors meld together.
About 30 minutes before you are ready to grill your burgers, remove them from the fridge and let them start to come to room temperature. Make sure your grill plates are VERY hot and carefully place each burger on the grill.
NOTE: You will have flare ups if you use these ingredients.
Once the burgers start to flare, I’ll turn off the gas down and let the flames from the dripping juices cook the burgers for me. I usually flip them after about 4 to 5 minutes; careful not to burn all the hair off of my arms.
Once the flames die down and the burgers are at the temperature you desire, dress them with cheese if you like, and once the cheese has melted, remove the burgers from the grill and let them rest for about 5 minutes. Just because it is ground beef, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t let it rest like you do with any other cut of meat! Prepare your bun with all the ‘fixins’ of your choice. Or, just eat it like I do…Meat and Bread…no need for condiments on a burger this juicy!
Grill Master Daman
- 2 lbs. ground beef
- ⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tbs. sweet/hot brown mustard
- 1 Tbs. A1 steak sauce
- 1 Tbs. chopped dried onion
- 1 Tbs. Weber Blazin' Burger seasoning
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. Liquid Smoke
- ⅓ cup bacon bits
- In a large glass bowl, mix the ground beef with all ingredients. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Then, 30 minutes prior to grilling, line a baking sheet with plastic wrap and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- Divide the mixture into six equal parts, or use a kitchen scale to weigh out six ⅓ pound pieces.
- Use a burger press to press each piece into a patty. If you don't have a burger press, form each piece into a patty, leaving a slight indentation in the middle so the patty will cook flat.
- Place the patties on the baking sheet and let them continue to come to room temperature.
- When ready to grill, place the patties on a super hot grill for about 4 to 5 minutes. Don't touch them until you are ready to turn them.
- Cook for 4 to 5 more minutes on the other side. Use a meat thermometer to check for desired internal temperature.
- Top the burgers with cheese, if desired.
- Remove the burgers from the grill and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Dress your bun with condiments you desire.
- Eat and enjoy!