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Reach ‘Burgermaster’ status

The best burgers start with great ground beef

May 4, 2018
Farm News

May is National Hamburger Month and hamburgers are consistently a favorite for the grill. If you want to reach "Burgermaster" status, here are some tips to get you there.

There's no wrong way to cook a burgerOK, there is. Although delicious toppings like avocado, grilled onions or mango salsa can all add variety and taste to a burger, trimmings are only half the story. With a few simple tips, you can master both the prep work and grilling as well.

The best burgers start with great ground beef. Try 80/20 ground beef if you're going for a traditional burger. For a leaner - but equally juicy and flavorful - burger, use 93 percent lean ground beef, plus an egg white and a quarter-cup of bread crumbs.

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A great way to celebrate Beef Month and National Hamburger Month would be to make maple bacon burgers. Beer, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and maplewood smoked bacon give this burger some unique flavor.

Prep work is key to a tasty burger. Instead of sprinkling your favorite spice rubs on top of the burger, try mixing them in with the ground beef. When forming the patties, make sure to be gentle since over mixing the patties can actually result in dry burgers.

Grill time? Fire up to medium heat; at this heat level, the patties will brown nicely, adding deeper flavor to the patty. While grilling, only flip each burger once. Cooking times will differ depending on thickness of the burger, but the internal temperature should reach medium (160 degree) doneness.

Now comes the fun part - toppings. Don't be afraid to experiment. At first, it may seem crazy to add a topping like hummus to a burger, but it could be the condiment you've been searching for all these years. Or maybe goat cheese and corn salsa is more your thing. Every backyard barbecue across the country is serving burgers with pickles, ketchup and mustard. Stand out by offering jalapenos, grilled pineapple, or even kimchi as your burger toppings. Oh, the possibilities.

Maple bacon burger

1 pound ground beef (96 percent lean)

1/4 cup beer

1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

4 slices reduced-fat cheddar cheese

4 extra-thick slices maplewood smoked bacon, cut in half, cooked crisp

Combine ground beef, beer and Worcestershire in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange pineapple slices around patties. Grill, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 7 to 9 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees, turning occasionally. About 2 minutes before burgers are done, place buns, cut-side down, on grid. Grill until lightly toasted. During last minute of grilling, top each burger with cheese.

Cook's tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Place burgers on bottom of buns; top with bacon slices. Close sandwiches.

Cook's tip: Reduced-sodium or regular bacon may be substituted for maplewood smoked bacon.

Cheesy jalepeno

burger

1 pound ground beef (93 percent lean or leaner)

1/4 cup prepared thick-and-chunky salsa

4 frozen cream cheese or cheddar cheese-stuffed jalapeno peppers

1/4 cup prepared salsa con queso

1/4 cup chopped fresh plum tomato

2 tablespoons sliced pitted ripe olives

Garnish:

Prepared thick-and-chunky salsa (optional)

Combine ground beef and 1/4 cup salsa in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four thin patties. Place one stuffed pepper in center of each patty; wrap beef around pepper to enclose, sealing seams and forming ball. Flatten balls into patties about 4 to 5 inches across and 1 inch thick.

Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 15 to 16 minutes, until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees, turning occasionally.

Cook's tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Spread 1 tablespoon salsa con queso evenly over top of each burger. Sprinkle evenly with tomato and olives. Serve with salsa, as desired.

Sweet Hawaiian mini burgers

1 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

4 canned pineapple slices, drained

12 Hawaiian sweet or small whole wheat dinner rolls, split

Lettuce

Sauce:

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1/4 cup pineapple preserves

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

Combine ground beef and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into twelve 1/2-inch thick mini patties. Set aside.

Combine sauce ingredients in small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 9 to 11 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees, turning occasionally.

Cook's tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Meanwhile, brush pineapple slices with sauce and place on grid around patties. Grill pineapple 4 minutes, turning once and brushing with additional sauce. Remove pineapple, keep warm. Brush burgers with remaining sauce after turning.

Cut each pineapple slice into thirds. Line bottom of each roll with lettuce, top with burger, then with pineapple piece. Close sandwiches.

Zesty barbecue cheeseburgers

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

4 tablespoons barbecue sauce, divided

4 slices white cheddar, pepper jack, smoked Gouda or provolone cheese

4 whole wheat hamburger buns or pretzel rolls, split, toasted

Lettuce leaves, tomato slices and red onion slices

Combine ground beef, onion and 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 7 to 9 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees, turning occasionally. About 1 minute before burgers are done, brush with remaining 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce and top with cheese.

Cook's tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Line bottom half of each bun with lettuce leaves, tomato and red onion slices, as desired; top with burger. Close sandwiches.

Deli burgers

1 pound ground beef (93 percent lean or leaner)

8 ounces deli corned beef, coarsly chopped

6 slices Swiss cheese

3 tablespoons yellow mustard

2 ounces dill pickle slices

6 slices rye bread, toasted

Combine ground beef and corned beef, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into six 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 9 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160 degrees, turning occasionally. Evenly top with cheese during last minute of grilling. About 4 minutes before burgers are done, place bread on grid; grill until lightly toasted, turning once.

Cook's tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Spread mustard over each slice of rye bread and cut in half. Place burger on one side of bread; top with pickles. Close sandwiches.

Cook's tip: Reduced-fat Swiss cheese may be substituted in this recipe.

Russian dressing may be substituted for mustard.

Recipes courtesy of the Iowa Beef Industry Council. Check out their collection of burger recipes and additional grilling tips on BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com -search for Tastiest Burgers or contact the Iowa Beef Industry Council for more recipes at 515-296-2305.

 
 

 

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