The Best Burger

Honey Mustard Baked Beans with a Smoked Gouda-topped Buffalo Burger (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger with sharp cheddar cheese, grilled onions, sliced tomato, baby lettuces and my Special Sauce.  Served with oven-roasted rosemary garlic potato fries.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger with sharp cheddar cheese, grilled onions, sliced tomato, baby lettuces and my Special Sauce. Served with oven-roasted rosemary garlic potato fries. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The Best Burger. Anytime anyone mentions grilling, a tasty burger comes to mind! Whether you are a fan of beef, chicken, venison, or any other ground meat, a grilled burger is a fabulous way to enjoy summer all year ’round! I’ll show you how to make The Best Burger!

Grilled grass fed beef burger with Swiss, grilled onions, ripe tomato, and arugula.  Served with onion rings.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grilled grass fed beef burger with Swiss, grilled onions, ripe tomato, and arugula. Served with onion rings. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger: A grilled D'Artagnan buffalo burger with smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mayo on a toasted wheat bun (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger: A grilled D’Artagnan buffalo burger with smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, mayo on a toasted wheat bun (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My favorite national burger chain got its start locally here in Virginia: Five Guys. The Five Guys burger chain became extremely successful almost overnight. With a very simple menu, just basically burgers and fries with a few other additions, the quality and consistency is easily maintained. You know your Five Guys burger will taste exactly the same no matter which location you visit. The hand-cut fries, with each potato shipment’s origin noted on a chalkboard daily, come plain or with Cajun seasoning. One day, potatoes from Idaho, another day, potatoes from Iowa. I don’t order the fries much anymore. They are a treat once or twice a year.

A tasty burger from my all time favorite burger chain started locally in Virginia -- Five Guys! This burger is topped with mustard, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A tasty burger from my all time favorite burger chain started locally in Virginia — Five Guys! This burger is topped with mustard, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Burgers don’t require a whole lot of finesse. My only “secret” is to keep from overmixing the ground meat. I think the best burgers have few additions – maybe a little salt and pepper. Lightly form meat patties and chill them a bit before cooking. Grill over high heat on your barbeque and you’ll get a tasty burger. Don’t press down on the burgers with a spatula or you will risk drying them out or catching them on fire from escaping juices.

Buffalo burgers searing in a grill pan on the stove (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Buffalo burgers searing in a grill pan on the stove (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Buffalo Burger with sharp cheddar, tomato, arugula, and mayo on a sesame seed bun served with sweet pickles and my Honey Mustard Baked Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Family wars have started over burger meat preference, as well as on which burger buns to serve them. Toasted burger buns? Sure. Some folks like to butter their burger buns, too. Others prefer to go bun-less. And then there is the discussion whether to cook over gas or real charcoal. Outside, we have a nice gas grill that does the job. In colder weather, I tend to grill burgers inside on our professional range’s grill, or in a grill pan.

Lamb burger on the grill  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb burger on the grill (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Hamburger -- ready for fixin's -- served with my Honey Mustard Baked Beans  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Hamburger — ready for fixin’s — served with my Honey Mustard Baked Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

What to serve with the burgers? How about my Honey Mustard Baked Beans, my Creamy Coleslaw, or my Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing? A nice green side salad will please your “healthier” diners. And of course, potato chips, regular or sweet potato fries and battered onion rings are favorite accompaniments to burgers.

The Best Burger served with sliced ripe tomato and Secret Sauce! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger served with sliced ripe tomato and Secret Sauce! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A buffalo burger with smoked gouda cheese, grilled onions, lettuce and tomato (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
A buffalo burger with smoked gouda cheese, grilled onions, lettuce and tomato (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger with Honey Mustard Baked Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger with Honey Mustard Baked Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

What types of toppings do you like? Condiments such as mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup are pretty popular with most Americans. Add some sweet or dill relish. What about lettuce leaves, sliced tomato, or grilled or raw onions? Do you have a favorite cheese? Havarti, American, cheddar, Monterey Jack, and smoked Gouda all work well for me. I don’t usually melt the cheese on top of the burgers prior to serving — I just add the slice of cheese when assembling the burger. Also, I’m not a big fan of bleu cheese melted on top of a burger, but stuffed inside — it’s heaven!

Honey Mustard Baked Beans with a Smoked Gouda-topped Buffalo Burger (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Honey Mustard Baked Beans with a Smoked Gouda-topped Buffalo Burger (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Try different greens such as arugula or baby Romaine instead of the usual green leaf or iceberg lettuce. Use a nice thick slice of ripe beefsteak tomato! Grill some onions for that steakhouse burger flavor. See below for my favorite Secret Sauce for burgers. And remember to serve a whole or quartered pickle on the side!

Grass fed beef burger with smoked cheddar, arugula, tomato and special sauce on a sesame bun served with onion rings and homemade dill pickles (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Grass fed beef burger with smoked cheddar, arugula, tomato and special sauce on a sesame bun served with onion rings and homemade dill pickles (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Another favorite meaty burger is a nice ground lamb burger. Mix some minced sweet onion and chopped fresh parsley into the ground meat before cooking. Serve with a nice minty yogurt sauce or a garlic mayonnaise. For the recipe, check out my Grilled Lamb Burgers over Lentils with Minty Yogurt Sauce. Swap out the bed of lentils for a bun, and you’ve got a tasty burger!

Lamb burgers fresh from the grill!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Lamb burgers fresh from the grill! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Salmon or tuna burgers will please the seafood lovers. My favorite salmon burgers have feta cheese and fresh spinach mixed in. See my Sockeye Salmon Burgers for a tasty salmon burger!

Salmon burgers with spinach and feta on wheat buns with garlic aioli and shredded Romaine.  Served with sweet potato fries.  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Salmon burgers with spinach and feta on wheat buns with garlic aioli and shredded Romaine. Served with sweet potato fries. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Just enjoy your own Best Burger.

The Best Buffalo Burger with Mayo, Smoked Gouda, Caramelized Onions and sides of Honey Mustard Baked Beans, Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing and fixin's (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Buffalo Burger with Mayo, Smoked Gouda, Caramelized Onions and sides of Honey Mustard Baked Beans, Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing and fixin’s (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

The Best Burger

Ingredients:

1 lb ground burger meat (beef, venison, buffalo, lamb, chicken, turkey or a combination)
salt and pepper

Method:

1. Heat your barbeque grill to high heat.
2. Separate the ground burger meat into four equal pieces, 1/4 lb each. Lightly form each piece into a burger, taking care not to handle too much, but enough that the burgers won’t fall apart. Put a divet in the middle of each burger with your thumb so they don’t puff up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on each side of each burger.
3. Grill each burger for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side for medium. More for well done, and less for medium rare. Watch your burgers to ensure they don’t burn. Your grill may cook hotter or cooler so adjust the cooking time appropriately.
4. Remove the burgers from the grill and let them sit on a plate for a few minutes to rest.
5. Place each burger on a bun. Let guests assemble their own burger with their favorite fixin’s (see below).

Serves 4. Offer the burgers with a side of French fries, onion rings, my Dill Potato Salad with Greek Yogurt Dressing, or my Honey Mustard Baked Beans. My Special Sauce is a tasty condiment to accompany your burgers.

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The Food Lover’s Special Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c ketchup
1 T dijon mustard
1 T sweet or dill pickle relish (whether you prefer sweet or sour)
Dash of Tabasco sauce (one to two drops)

Method:

Mix together all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl.

Makes about 1 cup of Special Sauce. Refrigerate up to one week.

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Fixin’s

Slice of cheese (cheddar, Swiss, smoked gouda, American, Havarti, etc.)
Sliced tomatoes
Leaf lettuce, whole or shredded
Sweet and dill pickles
Grilled or raw onions
Mayonnaise or Flavored Mayonnaises
Ketchup
Mustard
BBQ Sauce
Relish
Bacon

Offer a big platter of fixin’s for your guests to top their burgers.

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For vegetarian burger enjoyment, take a look at my Spicy Black Bean Burgers recipe.

Veggie black bean burger with shredded Monterey Jack, tomato, and lettuce.  Served with a side of Caesar salad. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
Veggie black bean burger with shredded Monterey Jack, tomato, and lettuce. Served with a side of Caesar salad. (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)
The Best Burger with Swiss Cheese and Oven Fries (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2013)

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