One of the seminars I attended while at the Food and Wine Classic in Aspen was Bobby Flay's "Grill It!" The Food Network star was incredibly entertaining, rowdy, and funny. His demo consisted of a surf-and-turf theme: first he made lobster and clams then he made three types of burgers. The master of the grill, Bobby is particular about creating the perfect burger.
To check out his seven tips to burger heaven,
- The type of meat in the patty is important. Do not use extra-lean meat. Instead look for meat that is 80 percent meat and 20 percent fat. The ideal size for a burger patty is 6 ounces.
- When forming the patty, make an indent with your thumb in the middle. This will ensure that the meat plumps nicely. Flatten the patty before placing on the grill. Never press down on the patty or flatten it while cooking. This will release the precious juices that are essential to a burger's flavor.
- The best burgers are all beef. He prefers the purity of ground beef and dislikes "meatloaf burgers" in which vegetables and other ingredients are mixed with the ground meat. Use the toppings and condiments to make the burger more exciting.
- Only flip the burgers one time. To form a good crust, set the patty on the grill and leave it alone for several minutes. Over high heat, a burger usually cooks in about four minutes per side.
- Properly melt the cheese. There is nothing worse than a burger with half melted cheese. Trap the heat by closing the grill over the patties. If cooking indoors, place a metal bowl over the burgers to melt the cheese.
- Don't overlook the rolls. Ideally, the rolls should be soft and chewy with a light toast.
- Be aware of the four main factors — thickness of the patty, the fat content of the meat, the heat of the grill, and the condiments — that affect the burger. Take care when controlling these factors and you'll end up with sheer burger bliss.
What are your tips for making the best burger? Share your secrets with us below!