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The Perfect Cheeseburger

The Perfect Cheeseburger

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Divide the meat into 4 equal portions, about 6 ounces each. Place 1 portion on a work surface. Cup your hands around the meat and begin to gently shape it into a rounded mound. (Use light pressure as you shape so that you don’t pack the meat too tightly.)

Lightly press down on the top of the meat with your palm to gently flatten it. Continue rotating and cupping the meat, patting the top of it occasionally, until you've formed a 4-inch diameter, ¾-inch-thick patty. Using your thumb, make a small indentation in the center to help keep the burger flat as it cooks. Repeat with the remaining portions. Transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until ready to cook.

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill on high heat. Brush the grill grate with oil. Season the patties on 1 side with the salt and pepper. Place on the grill, seasoned side down, then season the other side. Grill until lightly charred on the bottom, 3-4 minutes.

Turn and top with the cheese. Grill to the desired level of doneness, 3-4 more minutes for medium-rare burgers. Transfer to the rolls and let stand for 3 minutes before serving.

How to Create the Perfect Burger (Seriously, Perfect)

The perfect burger is a feat of architecture. It’s built in the same way the Empire State Building or the Golden Gate Bridge was, piece by piece and with great thought and technical consideration. The only difference is that you don’t need an engineering or architecture degree to build a perfect burger.

Senior food editor Claire Saffitz worked long and hard to come up with the formula for the perfect burger. Here’s everything that goes into (and onto) a truly marvelous burger.

The Basically Burger

How to Make the Perfect Cheeseburger

Nothing says summer better than a thick, juicy cheeseburger sizzling away on the grill. But is your cheeseburger the best it can be? We asked our grilling guru, Fred Thompson, to share his expert tips — and his favorite recipe — so you can savor the ultimate cheeseurger experience.

The cheeseburger is an American culinary icon, and anyone who fires up a grill needs a recipe that honors that status. A good cheeseburger is a pleasure, but a great cheeseburger is an experience, and these tips will show you how to make the best.

The fat-to-lean ratio of the meat is critical for a juicy burger. After decades of testing, I have found that equal parts ground chuck and ground sirloin consistently deliver the best balance of flavor and fat. If you want a deeper, richer, beefier flavor, buy grass-fed beef.

Make good-sized patties

Gently shape the meat into patties just until they hold together, and make them thick enough so they will pick up a grill flavor without overcooking. My burgers usually weigh about 1/3 lb. and are 1 inch thick.

Cool down the patties

A burger picks up caramelized flavor when it hits a sizzling-hot grill, so I start with a hot fire. You can always adjust the heat afterward.

Let the cheese and the burger shine. I dress my cheeseburger with a little mayonnaise (I’m southern), a tomato slice and thinly sliced onions, which I caramelize if I have the time.

Toast the buns

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

6 slices of your favorite cheese

Ripe tomato slices crisp lettuce leaves red onion slices bread-and-butter or dill pickle slices and mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup for serving

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over high heat. Brush and oil the grill grate.

In a large bowl, using a spoon, not your hands, gently mix together the chuck and sirloin. Run your hands under cold water and then divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a patty about 1 inch thick, being careful not to compact the meat too much. (Check to make sure the patties fit the buns, too.) Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Make a depression in the center of each patty with your thumb. Refrigerate until the grill is ready.

Place the patties, indent side up, on the grill directly over the fire and cook, turning once, until they are nicely charred on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place a cheese slice on each patty and put the buns, cut side down, along the edge of the grill, then cover the grill. After about 2 minutes, the cheese should be melted and the buns toasted.

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and place the tops alongside. Set out the condiments for diners to add as desired. Serve at once. Serves 6.

/>Grilling authority Fred Thompson shares more than 100 delicious recipes in his book Williams-Sonoma Grill Master. The iBook version includes exclusive videos to buy, search “Williams-Sonoma” in iBooks on your mobile device.

How to Make the Perfect Burgers Recipe – Step by Step

  • STEP 1: Start with an 80/20 blend of ground chuck. (Photo 1 below)
  • STEP 2: Add homemade Burger Seasoning Blend. (Photo 2 below)
  • STEP 3: Form into hamburger patty using a burger press. (Photo 3 below)

  • STEP 4: Remove from burger press. (Photo 1 below)
  • STEP 5: If grilling the burgers right away, set on a plate or tray. (Photo 2 below)
  • STEP 6: If freezing for later, store in freezer bags with parchment sheets between them. (Photo 3 below)

  • STEP 7: Press a divot into each patty. Then brush one side with a bit of vegetable oil. (Photo 1 below)
  • STEP 8: Place, oil side down, on preheated grill and grill to 155 degrees (for medium-well). Allow to rest for 5 minutes or until temperature reaches 165 degrees F. (Photo 2 below)
  • STEP 9: Top with the BEST Burger Sauce or any of your favorite fixings. (Photo 3 below)

Keep Burgers Cold Until They Hit the Grill

DebbiSmirnoff / E+ / Getty Images

Unlike other meats that will cook up better if brought to room temperature before hitting the grill, you want those patties cold so they stay together and stay as juicy as possible. Put the patties on a tray or platter, covered, in the fridge while the grill heats up. This helps more of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the meat.

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Grilled Cheeseburger Nachos

It was determined in our test kitchen that it is legitimately impossible to be anything other than happy while eating these cheeseburger nachos&mdashdo with that information what you will. The cookout-inspired food mashup is as perfect served as a fun, grilled snack for guests (especially during tailgating season) as it is an easy, throw-together meal to use up leftovers from a weekend get-together. So while the cheeseburger recipe provided here does produce an extremely moist and flavorful patty, you can certainly use leftover cooked burgers if you already have them on hand. Same idea applies to the nacho toppings we went with a blend of typical Tex-mex toppers and backyard cookout accouterments, but you can vary things up however suits you. Your baking sheet will only be on the grill for a few minutes (just long enough for the cheese to melt) so you shouldn&rsquot experience any issues with the pan warping or taking on grill marks. However, for easy clean-up, you can certainly go ahead and wrap your pan in aluminum foil.

The Perfect Cheeseburger

1. The absolute best burger starts with freshly ground beef chuck. We bought our beef right from the butcher but you can also grind your beef at home if you have a meat grinder.

2. Separate your meat into four 8 oz chunks and form them into patties using your thumb and middle finger to maintain your sides, while using your other hand to flatten the burger to preference.

3. Salt and pepper your patties and let the seasonings set in like you would with a steak.

4. With the direct flame insert on, set your grill to OF 1 and arrange your burgers over the fire. You will know when to flip them when you see the sides start to brown.

5. When to take your burgers off the grill is based off of personal preference for doneness. A great way to check that is through the meat's internal temperature. A good medium-rare to medium burger ranges from an internal temperature of 130 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

6. Take your Memphis' temperature down to around 250, add thin slices of extra sharp aged cheddar, and wait for them to melt. We find this cheese melts nicely, like American cheese, but has an immense amount of flavor (cheese is optional, but very tasty).

7. For toppings, personal preference is, again, key. What we do recommend is that with burger toppings, thinner is better. Thin toppings layered together are much less likely to slip off of the burger when you're eating it.

8. Lastly, toast your favorite kind of bun (we prefer egg buns) and add your patty and all your toppings.

Four tips to make the Perfect Simple Cheeseburger

The best food is simple food. My favorite way to roast vegetables is with nothing but olive oil, salt, and pepper. My favorite way to cook a good steak is the same way. This way, you can really taste the food you are cooking rather than masking it. Same thing with a good burger.

When I make a burger, I season the ground beef with nothing but salt and pepper, and sometimes a teeny dash of Worcestershire sauce. I also add just a bit of olive oil, which helps the patty form a little better and not fall apart. When I buy beef, I always try to buy grass fed, which not only is much better for your health but also tastes SO much better than your average meat. Seasoning it simply will make the flavor of the meat stand out so much more.

Here are my four tips to making the Perfect Simple Cheeseburger.

1) Form six equal patties that don&rsquot crumble apart. I like my burger patties super thin (think: McDonald&rsquos. Don&rsquot pretend like you don&rsquot like McDonald&rsquos cheeseburgers. It&rsquos like saying you don&rsquot like bacon. I don&rsquot believe you.) so I make six patties per pound of ground beef. This enables me and Zach to have enough for THREE MEALS! First, I mix up the ground beef with seasonings and a little olive oil (to help bind the meat), then I mash it all together with my hands VERY well. Then, I turn it out on a cutting board and cut it into six equal portions, to ensure patties that are uniform in size. Then, I form the patties with both hands by moving in a circular motion, pressing down to flatten and pressing along the edges to maintain structural integrity.

2) I freeze them for other super quick meals: To freeze for later, I cut small pieces of parchment paper and place them in-between the patties and place them in a ziplock bag. Label if you want (exclamation point optional- I really like exclamation points, apparently [. ]) When you want them, take them out a day before to thaw in the refrigerator and cook as directed in step 3.

3) To not overcook your burgers: I use my cast iron skillet (my all-time favorite kitchen item) to make these. I turn the heat up super high, wait for the skillet to heat up, then place the burgers on. After cooking for only one minute, I flip and add cheese (I used smoked gouda this time&hellip yum!). Then, I turn OFF the heat (cast-iron retains heat well so it will continue to cook) and cover the burgers. You can use a large pot cover for this or, if you do not have one, flip another skillet upside down on top of it. This will retain the heat to melt the cheese without overcooking the burger. After another minute or so, check to see if the cheese is melted. If so, you are ready to serve! You literally will have dinner in only about two minutes, especially if you are using patties you have previously formed!

4) Serve with awesome fixings and a side. I topped my smoked gouda cheeseburgers with avocado, mustard, ketchup, a little mayo, and homemade dill pickles and served with homemade oven-baked french fries. Zach put avocado, mayo, and hot sauce on his, which was super delicious as well! Try carrot fries on the side for a healthy alternative to traditional fries.

If cooking on the stovetop, get your skillet HOT.

Searing the burger locks in juices and starts the process for a nice, caramelized crust. Unless your recipe instructs otherwise, cook over medium-high heat. And DO NOT use a nonstick skillet. Cast iron is preferable, but an heavy-bottomed pan will work.

Time each side.

Once you cook a ton of amazing burgers (which will be in no time, we're sure), you'll be able to tell when your burger is ready to flip or take off the grill based on sight and touch. But until then, it's time to break out your phone timer and/or meat thermometer. Follow our handy guide below to cook your burger just to your liking.

For medium-rare burgers that are about an inch thick, you'll need to cook for 4 minutes per side. Or until internal temperature reaches 130°-135°. We try not to judge people that prefer their burgers well done, but we seriously discourage a cook time of 7+ minutes per side.

Add cheese during the last few minutes of cooking.

Most slices take more than 60 seconds to melt, so don't be afraid to add them 3 to 4 minutes before your burgers are ready to come off the grill.

Most importantly, have fun with the toppings!

Truth be told, a good burger doesn't really need much. A swipe of mayo, a slice of tomato, some crisp lettuce, and a couple pickle coins should do the trick. BUT, we usually can't help ourselves. The topping possibilities are endless. Find inspiration from some of our craziest ideas below.


Place all the burger ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Using your hands, shape into four equal-sized patties.

Preheat the grill to hot. Cook the burgers under the grill for 15 minutes, or until cooked through, turning once.

Top each burger with a slice of cheese towards the end of the cooking time.

Before serving, mix together the mayonnaise and lettuce. Cut the ciabatta rolls in half and toast under the grill on both sides.

Top the bottom halves of the ciabatta rolls with the lettuce and mayonnaise, followed by a slice of tomato.

Arrange the burger and cheese on top of the ciabatta, followed by a slice of red onion. Top each burger with the other halves of the ciabatta rolls and serve.

Watch the video: Menchi Katsu. Minced Meat Cutlet Recipe (August 2022).