So what are the best hamburger recipes and burger recipes? I do not know the statistics, but I would venture to say that hamburgers are likely the most grilled food in the US of A. And not just beef is going on the bun either. Everything, from Buffalo burgers, salmon burgers, Ahi, veggie burgers, chicken burgers; the selection and list is now as long as our imagination.
Restaurants specializing in gourmet burgers have sprung up all over. From the fairly traditional Red Robin chain, the benchmark In-Out-Burger to the more ethereal gourmet places. Check these out for some pretty delicious gourmet hamburger recipes from some fun restaurants in Hawaii. Our days living of living there: The Counter and Burgers on the Edge.
Celebrity chefs have dedicated entire books to the art of all things burgers and their hamburger recipes.
* A note about burger recipes, this is a particularly well-covered topic. Everyone has a burger recipe. On our signature burger recipes, we strive for originality. We will give credit to where it is due, however, somewhere someone has likely done it and published it too.
We will start with the basics. What makes the best traditional Hamburger? What are the best sides?
Do you remember the Wendy’s ads in the 70’s (dating myself here); Wendy’s hot and juicy burgers. Well, great job of turning a liability into an asset. They were selling the fat. For a great juice burger you do want some fat! Later we will discuss some healthy and lighter ways to get that flavor in a healthier manner.
There are many options on the beef for your hamburger recipes these days. From the non-specific pedestrian supermarket ground beef that is from who-knows-what-cut of beef to gourmet cuts and varieties. At my restaurant in San Francisco we used Certified Angus ground chuck with a lean to fat ratio of 80/20. This seems to be a good middle ground of price, and lean to fat ratio. A good second choice on the cut would be ground sirloin. Now these days you can buy some really fancy burgers, Waygu, Kobe and what have you. They can be great to if you are willing to pay the price.
Hand formed patties are superior to those machine processed patties that you see. You can tell the difference by looking at the surface, if it has “tire tracks” it is machine formed. Unless you are feeling really lazy, go to the bulk ground beef.
This recipe is basically the standard hamburger or cheeseburger recipe.
4 6-ounce ground beef patties 80/20 hand formed
4 fresh buns with or without sesame seeds
4 tablespoons of Thousand Island dressing or as In-and-Out calls it “The Spread” recipe. *This has pickles in it.
4 onion slices ¼ thick
4 tomato slices ¼ thick, if you are using small tomatoes you may need to increase the number of slices.
8 Iceberg lettuce leaves, nice and crisp roughly the size of the bun.
4 slices of cheese your choice. Optional
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil
Form your patties, I do not like to press them too hard, it changes the texture. Molds are ok as long as you don’t press too hard.
Have your Thousand Island or “the spread” ready to go. Everything should be ready to assembled
Salt, pepper and oil your patties, to avoid sticking. Grill your patties on a hot direct fire. Since these are hand formed be gentle on the turns. As usual I like to put nice grill marks on the burgers. After the third turn, place your cheese on top and cover the grill to melt.
If you like you buns toasted on grill’em while you are doing your burgers. For me if they are really nice and have good texture, it is less or not important. If the standard white buns, it give them some character. After toasting if applicable, put on “the spread” or Thousand Island dressing.
The amount of time on the turns really is dependent on the heat of the fire. However for a roughly ¾ inch burger to medium is roughly a total cooking time of 8 to 9 minutes. Well done is around 10 minutes. The USDA says that all ground meats should be cooked to an internal temp of 165 degrees, which to my taste is pretty much over cooked. But, if anyone has health issues or an immune system issue, “Cook’em Dano”. Sorry too much Hawaii 5-0.
Plate up the burgers with the onions, lettuce tomatoes and any other things you want to throw in there and enjoy!
Click here for this exotic twist on the classic Banh Mi sandwich - The Banh Mi Burger!
Pictured above is our Greek Style Buffalo Burger which we entered in the Los Angeles Times Burger Contest. Click here for the recipe.
Hot Dogs are another all American grill food. Typical of our foods it's roots are in other places but it has become one of our iconic foods. There are as many recipes as there are families in the US. Here are some of our recipes.
Click here to find out what a Quesadilla-Dog is and other great grilled hot dog ideas!