What’s Your Beef

The all-star of summer cooking is definitely a big juicy burger hot off the grill.  And if you are looking to claim the title as King of the Grill or simply reign over your kingdom a little longer I thought I’d offer some tips and suggestions for your next man or woman meets grill challenge. 

First off, get yourself familiar with ground meat.   With any ingredient you strive for consumption at the peak of freshness.  The best possible burger meat would be to have your butcher grind up ground chuck (80% lean) grass-fed beef.  Your next choice would be to select pre-packaged meat based on it’s ‘pull date’ striving for the date taht’s farthest from the present.  And if hell freezes over the meat department and you simply cannot go on without a hamburger, use frozen beef.  This is not recommended simply because as the meat defrosts it looses moisture and your burger will be dry. 

Ground chuck from the shoulder and neck area of the cow is usually very fatty but also has an immense amount of flavoring.

Ground beef it cheaper due to the extra fat (usually 70% lean).  This extra fat content can cause grill flame flare-ups, which makes for a temporarily amusing pyrotechnic show, but will resut in a charred burger with a raw interior. 

Burger Tips

  • Make all burgers equal size so they’ll cook evenly
  • Salt draws out moisture so season either right before hitting the girll or right after
  • NEVER press down the burgers with a spatual, this will only draw out moisture
  • Use a bun that will hold up to the juicy creation – Kaiser rolls or even whole wheat

Get creative with your toppings

  • Cheese – Monterey Jack, Mozzarella, Feta, Soft Goat, Gruyere
  • Lettuce – Arugula, Boston, Watercress, Radicchio
  • Veggie -Cucumber, Caramelized Onions, Grilled Peppers, Avacado, Pickeled Onion, Grilled Fennel, Squash, Eggplant 
  • Herbs and Spices – Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Cumin, Taco Seasoning, Coriander
  • Beef alternatives- Lamb, Turkey, Sausage


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2 responses to “What’s Your Beef

  1. sp

    Get creative w/your burgers:

    4 oz blue cheese, crumbled
    .5 c minced fresh chives
    1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
    1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
    1.5 tsp salt
    1 tsp dry mustard

    • This sounds delicious! I like the dry mustard addition! Although I’m still on a first name basis with blue cheese. I love lamb burgers with feta cheese, mix it right into the chop meat.

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