Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Be it ever so Humble...There's nothing like a good Burger!


Some of you may be thinking that a burger post is something that doesn't quite meet the high-standard of food that normally appears on this blog. Let me assure you that a burger made by hand and grilled to perfection is a thing of beauty, to be revered!

How do I make burgers? Well, there are a few tricks that I use to assure greatness every time:

Use the right meat - cut the fat, kill the burger
Use the patty press for consistent results
Direct, then indirect - keeps 'em hot and juicy

The first rule - use the right meat. So many times I hear of people buying the leanest ground beef that they can to make burgers and then wonder why the burnt, dry pucks that come off the grill aren't getting very much love. And they shouldn't - if you use the right meat. Try to get the fattiest ground beef that you can buy - 30% fat by weight is optimal. I find that the ground beef you get from the local ALDI comes very close and is of good quality. I also do not salt and pepper my beef as I feel it leaches the moisture out of the patties during cooking and the pepper just burns. Season your meat AFTER you cook.

Next - use the patty press. Now, some of you may be balking at the idea of making a burger patty in a machine but I can assure you that this way you get the best use of your ground beef and have a consistent weight and size to your patty.

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I got this little gem as a Christmas gift from my folks - I thought I would never use it but now I find that it is a irreplaceable tool when it comes to burger-time at the Rattlesnake Grill. There are countless versions; the one that I use allows me to set the size/weight of each patty. find the one that works best for you and go for it!

Finally, grill direct and then indirect. What this means is that you should first put the meat directly over the coals, which should be very hot. Let each patty sear on both sides until you have good grill marks - about 2 to 3 minutes a side. Once this has been achieved, set the burgers to the side and then close the grill lid for 7 to 10 minutes. This allows the burgers to continue cooking without burning and does not cause them to get dry. While you are waiting, have a beer...

I feel that if you follow these steps, you will achieve the best results possible and people will sing songs of your grill prowess and tell everyone they know about how great it was. I believe it in my heart!

Having followed all the aforementioned steps, I began grilling my burgers.

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We weren't the only ones who couldn't wait for the food to be done - Una was in the kitchen.

"Are you making hamburgers? I really like hamburgers."

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You will give me all the hamburgers...

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Look into my eyes, human, and give us the meat!

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Fortunately for all, I was able to resist the Jedi mind tricks from the various animals.

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Gotta have homemade fries!!! Burger without fries is like a day without sunshine!

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Before I started to make burgers - I made Chipotle Garlic Mayonnaise.

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I know - not the most spectacular photo but I can assure you that you want to make this magical condiment!


2 roasted heads of garlic
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Chipotle powder
1 Tbs Jalapeno powder
500 ml Mayonnaise


To roast garlic, you need to do the following - Set your oven to 180' C. Cut off the top 2 cm of each head of garlic. Drizzle olive oil on the top of each head of garlic and then wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Place in your now-hot oven and let the scent of roasting garlic fill your kitchen, making it a magical place to be for the next hour. Once complete, allow about 15 minutes to cool - trust me on this, the burns you get from hot garlic sticking to your fingers are impressive. Once cool, take the head of garlic and squeeze it into a bowl, like squeezing the toothpaste out of a tube. Add the remaining ingredients and mix very thoroughly - I use my kitchen wand to make sure that the garlic is very small and well-distributed.

Once finished, place into a jar or bowl or squeeze bottle and refrigerate. This is one of those things that gets better with time so I suggest making it the night before.

Side note: for those of you in Germany who may be wondering where to get some of these ingredients, I suggest Chili Food in the 'Net for getting good quality for a fair price.

All that was left to do was enjoy...

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Go make some smoke!!