Get Grilling for National Cheeseburger Day!
I know, I know. You can’t wait to sink your teeth into that perfect patty covered in cheese. But to make the perfect burger, you need to start with the perfect cooking surface. So, let’s prep that grill!
Bake It Off (Grillers Gonna Grill)
Start by turning the gas up to high (or getting the coals white hot) and cover the grill for 15 minutes. This will bake off anything that’s stuck to the grates from your last cookout.
After that brief burn, take a wire brush and work it up and down the grate to give it a good scouring.
Now, two tips from the pros:
1. Cut an onion in half and run the flat surface over the grates. This will pick up any leftover bits of food AND flavor the grates a bit.
2. Pour vegetable oil on a heavy rag and—carefully!—rub the oiled rag onto the grate to prevent food from sticking.
Now, About That Burger
What kind of burger are you making? Beef? Turkey? Pork? Veggie? No matter how you go, there are a few rules to achieve burger perfection:
1. Start by seasoning the burger with salt, pepper and any other dry spices you like. If you season after it’s on the grill, you just won’t get the same tasty effect.
2. Put the burger on medium-high heat (375°F). That way, you’ll get a sear but won’t dry it out.
3. Speaking of dry burgers, NEVER press a burger down with a spatula. Doing so squeezes out the juices, drying out the burger (plus, those juices are fat, and fat = flavor!). One flip halfway through the 10-15 minute cook time will do.
4. Personally, I’m a fan of medium-well burgers, but the folks at the USDA have guidelines to follow, so here’s are the suggested internal temperatures for a safely-cooked burger:
Ground beef, pork, lamb and veggie burgers – 160°F.
Ground chicken or turkey – 165°F.
5. Finally, add your favorite cheese a minute or so before you pull the burgers off the grill. And after you take them off the heat let them rest for 5 minutes. (For perfect doneness, pull them 5-10 degrees before the target temp as the internal temperature will rise a bit as they rest.)
Last Step: Dig In
We hope you enjoy National Cheeseburger Day this September 18 with a well-prepared grill and the perfect patty. Or two. Just don’t forget the cheese. It could be American. Or cheddar. Or blue. Mozzarella. Gouda. Smoked gouda. Swiss. Provolone. Pepper Jack. Brie…