5 Tips For Getting Beyond a Better Burger
After recently announcing the arrival of the Carnival of the Grill, the idea of grilling as it can apply to everyone has been on my mind lately. Not to mention the fact that my article on making a better burger is a year old now. To this day, it is the most popular post on my site. Who would have known?
The spouse of one of my internet friends will be trying his very first attempt at grilling. I was very glad to hear this, being the proponent of gender equality in the kitchen, but also I like to hear war stories of the grill. And someone's first time is nothing to sneeze at. We should all be proud.
Burgers are usually the choice of novice grillers. After all, it's the great American food, right? Served up in hundreds of thousands of restaurants everyday. Easy, right?
Not really. You see, companies like McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's have everything premade, prepackaged, and predone for the "cooks," that there is almost no mental involvement. There are standards for the temperature of the griddles, standards of the time in which each patty is one the grill on each side, and standards for how everything is done. The "cooks" just follow the instructions and boom! You eat a Big Mac. There's a big difference between preformed 1/2 thick patties slapped on a giant griddle, and actually making the patties by hand and grilling them over charcoal.
We think we know how to make the burgers and how to dress them based on what we see on television commercials and at fast food restaurants. If we listened to television commercials, everyone would load up their groud beef patties with Worcestershire sauce and loads of seasonings. But that's all wrong. So here are some tips to go beyond better burgers and make them extraordinary. The first place to start is my article on making a better burger.
1. If you want some ideas on making your burger fancy, go to Chili's. You heard me right. Chili's. They have this thing now where you can "build your own burger" based on a list of 30 different toppings and condiments. Go with some friends and see how they build their burgers. Then go home and try your own interesting combinations. For instance, grill some burgers, and top them with sauteed mushrooms and chipotle dressing. Bleu cheese dressing goes great on burgers in my opinion.
2. Save some bacon from breakfast, then warm it up onthe grill before you dress your burgers. Bacon burgers are better than plain burgers. That's a law.
3. Instead of buns from the bread aisle, buy a package of round sourdough rolls or round hoagie rolls. Makes a delicious alternative to the fluffy white buns.
4. This may sound like too simple of a suggestion to be on this list, but you really should toast your buns. Before you dress your burgers, put the buns inside down on the hot grill and toast them. The toasting action makes a slight sweetness on the bread, plus it give it that delicious toasty crunch.
5. Less is more. I know people who pile their burgers high with lettuce, pickle, onion. tomato, and 4 different condiments that I wonder how exactly they can tast the meat. The problem with tomatoes is that they tend to overpower the flavor of anything they come near. I usually keep my toppings simple. Pick one or two and don't overdo it. The meat is the point.