Juicy Grilled Burger

Juicy Grilled Burger

For someone who has an Instagram feed of mostly vegetable dishes, you may be surprised to know, that I make a killer burger! Seriously!

This recipe, with all its touches and tips and techniques was born a couple of years ago, when a friend of mine who runs a successful burger joint, handed me a burger dressed with some fry sauce.

Cheese or no cheese on your burger? Up to you!

I was furious. How dare you assemble my burger? I know what I like. I like Ketchup on my burger and that’s it! After some convincing, I did end up tasting the burger and… Well, I think I cried a little. I thought of all the years wasted on eating burgers without this saucy deliciousness! It was amazing. I would never make another burger without this special fry sauce on it.

You see, in Canada, medium or medium rare burger is not a thing. Although there are a few loopholes and exceptions, generally, you cannot get anything but a well done burger here. As such, strictly from the scientific point of view, when your burger is cooked to 160° a lot of moisture has evaporated no matter what you do. So adding something like juicy, rich, flavourful fry sauce really makes a huge difference. Here are my other tips:

  1. Shape your burgers uniformly so that they cook evenly. Make them close to 1″ wider than your bun (they will shrink.) Make the middle of the burger overall thinner than the outside. Generally, I suggest making burgers around 1/2 inch thick.
  2. Be gentle with the meat, don’t overwork it or squish it to much. Form it into a patty as gently as possible.
  3. Do not salt the inside of the burger or add anything else to it. You will salt the burger right before cooking.
  4. Make sure your burger patty is cold before cooking it. It’s NOT one of those things you want to bring to room temperature before cooking.
  5. Use the fry sauce. Obviously, this is a matter of personal choice and taste, however, it makes a huge difference.
  6. If cooking to the safe government suggested internal temperature of 160°, do not overcook past that point. Insert the instant-read digital thermometer from the side of the burger into the middle. Once it starts getting close to that temperature, be ready. Remove it immediately after that temperature is hit (or even a few degrees below as it will continue cooking and come to that temperature.) There’s no need to make the burger any drier!
  7. Toast your buns well and scoop out some of the bread from the bun! Seriously, this makes meat to bread ratio so much better.

Okay, let’s get cooking!

DifficultyIntermediate

This recipe if for one burger. Feel free to scale it up as many times as you like! I just found that about 1/3 pound burger works best. So make 3 burgers per pound, 6 per 2 pounds, etc.

Yields1 Serving

 5.50 oz ground beef, ideally freshly ground, per portion
 kosher salt, to taste
 freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 bun split in half per portion
 sliced cheese of choice
 Fixins of choice: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, Ketchup, mushrooms, etc.
Fry sauce:
 ½ cup Mayo
 1 tbsp Ketchup
 1 tbsp whole pickle, pickle slices or pickle relish
 pinch of garlic powder
 pinch of cayenne, chopotle and or paprika for colour and heat, optional
 ½ tsp yellow mustard, optional

1

For the fry sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust according to taste, season with salt. Cover and let sit at room temperature for half an hour for flavours to meld as you make your burger.

This amount will be enough for a few burgers. Refrigerate unused sauce.

2

Options for the burger meat, starting from the best:
- Grind your own.
- Get your butcher to grind it for you.
- Regular package of store-bough ground beef will do.

Push the meat together into a patty that's about 1/2 inch thick. Each patty should be bigger than your bun by about an inch. Make sure not to overwork the meat and not to press it too much. The goal is to pack the meat loosely, yet somewhat firm enough that it mostly holds its shape. Make an indentation in each burger patty. And I don't mean a tiny little one. The burger patty should be shaped thinner in the middle, with this "indentation" being 1-2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate the patty for at least 15 minutes. Do not salt it inside or outside at this time.

3

Preheat the grill.

Create low heat and high heat zones on your grill. Turn all the burners but one to medium high. Clean and oil your grill. Let the grill preheat for at least 7 minutes.

4

When your grill is ready, salt the burger patties on one side liberally and place on the grill salted side down. Salt the other unsalted side. Leave the burger undisturbed for the first 4 minutes to get nice grill marks, just watch closely not to burn. Flip, top with cheese if desired, and continue cooking on the other side. Generally, a burger of this size should take around 8 minutes (it may be more or less, but won't be much longer, be careful not to overcook.) Be sure to grill the burger with the lid closed.

Monitor the temperature very closely. Insert the instant read thermometer into the centre of the burger from the side. Remove it immediately as it reaches the safe Government-suggested internal temperature of 160°, or even a few degrees below (at your own risk.)

If any one burger turns too charred, move it to the low heat zone (where one burner is off) and finish cooking there.

5

During the last minute or two of cooking, toast the buns, cut side down for about a minute until golden. I scoop out some of the bread from the bun before toasting, to make bun to meat ration better.

6

Spread some of the fry sauce on the bottom half of your bun. Add the burger. Add the fixings of choice, more fry sauce and top with the top half of the bun. Dig in and devour!

Ingredients

 5.50 oz ground beef, ideally freshly ground, per portion
 kosher salt, to taste
 freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 bun split in half per portion
 sliced cheese of choice
 Fixins of choice: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, Ketchup, mushrooms, etc.
Fry sauce:
 ½ cup Mayo
 1 tbsp Ketchup
 1 tbsp whole pickle, pickle slices or pickle relish
 pinch of garlic powder
 pinch of cayenne, chopotle and or paprika for colour and heat, optional
 ½ tsp yellow mustard, optional

Directions

1

For the fry sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust according to taste, season with salt. Cover and let sit at room temperature for half an hour for flavours to meld as you make your burger.

This amount will be enough for a few burgers. Refrigerate unused sauce.

2

Options for the burger meat, starting from the best:
- Grind your own.
- Get your butcher to grind it for you.
- Regular package of store-bough ground beef will do.

Push the meat together into a patty that's about 1/2 inch thick. Each patty should be bigger than your bun by about an inch. Make sure not to overwork the meat and not to press it too much. The goal is to pack the meat loosely, yet somewhat firm enough that it mostly holds its shape. Make an indentation in each burger patty. And I don't mean a tiny little one. The burger patty should be shaped thinner in the middle, with this "indentation" being 1-2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate the patty for at least 15 minutes. Do not salt it inside or outside at this time.

3

Preheat the grill.

Create low heat and high heat zones on your grill. Turn all the burners but one to medium high. Clean and oil your grill. Let the grill preheat for at least 7 minutes.

4

When your grill is ready, salt the burger patties on one side liberally and place on the grill salted side down. Salt the other unsalted side. Leave the burger undisturbed for the first 4 minutes to get nice grill marks, just watch closely not to burn. Flip, top with cheese if desired, and continue cooking on the other side. Generally, a burger of this size should take around 8 minutes (it may be more or less, but won't be much longer, be careful not to overcook.) Be sure to grill the burger with the lid closed.

Monitor the temperature very closely. Insert the instant read thermometer into the centre of the burger from the side. Remove it immediately as it reaches the safe Government-suggested internal temperature of 160°, or even a few degrees below (at your own risk.)

If any one burger turns too charred, move it to the low heat zone (where one burner is off) and finish cooking there.

5

During the last minute or two of cooking, toast the buns, cut side down for about a minute until golden. I scoop out some of the bread from the bun before toasting, to make bun to meat ration better.

6

Spread some of the fry sauce on the bottom half of your bun. Add the burger. Add the fixings of choice, more fry sauce and top with the top half of the bun. Dig in and devour!

Burger

Make it Gluten-Free: as with all gluten-free recipes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated. Serve with Gluten-Free buns. Fry sauce ingredients are typically Gluten-Free, but as always, check the labels closely to be sure.

Make it Low Carb/Keto/Paleo: skip the bun, consider using lettuce leaves instead of the bun. Skip the fry sauce. Skip cheese and ketchup for Paleo version. Skip Ketchup for Keto version. Only add diet approved vegetables.

Make it Dairy-Free: skip the fry sauce, ensure your bun is dairy free. Do not top with cheese.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.