Happy National Cheeseburger Day! Here we give you some tips on making one of your best cheeseburgers yet, loaded with all kinds of tasty toppings. Cheddar cheese is the classic choice, but use American, provolone or even blue cheese if you prefer. For the freshest flavor, grind your own meat (a stand mixer meat grinder attachment makes it easy). You’ll get fresher flavors, and you can create a proprietary burger blend of different tough cuts, like 50 percent short rib and 50 percent brisket. Or, for a bacon cheeseburger, replace half of the beef with 1/2 lb. (250 g) bacon, coarsely chopped by hand and then finely chopped in a food processor.
Classic Beef Burgers with Lots of Toppings
- 2 lb. (1 kg) ground beef chuck, 85 percent lean
- 5 Tbs. (3 fl. oz./80 ml) ice-cold water
- 1 Tbs. tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 12 slices good-quality Cheddar, American or provolone cheese
- 6 hamburger buns, split
- Ketchup or mayonnaise (optional)
- 6 thick beefsteak tomato slices (optional)
- 6 crunchy iceberg lettuce leaves (optional)
- 18 pickle slices (optional)
1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill (400° to 450°F/200° to 230°C).
2. In a bowl, combine the beef, water, ketchup, salt, and pepper and mix with your hands until well blended; do not overmix. Gently form the meat into 6 patties no more than 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Refrigerate the patties until the grill is ready.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Put the patties on the grate, cover the grill, and cook for 7 minutes, turning the burgers after about 4 minutes for medium (150°F/65°C). They should be slightly pink at the center. Add 1 minute per side for well-done (160°F/71°C). One minute before the burgers are ready to be removed from the grill, put 2 slices of cheese on each burger.
4. To toast the buns, place them, cut side down, on the grate over the fire 1 minute before the burgers are ready. Spread the bottom of the buns with ketchup or mayonnaise, if desired. Place the patties on the bottoms of the hamburger buns and top with the tomato slices, lettuce leaves and pickle slices, as desired. Top with the hamburger bun tops and serve immediately. Serves 6.
For this recipe and other secrets on how to make fabulous food
on the grill, check out our essential guide to cooking on fire,
Grill School, by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim.