Summer grilling and chilling series on Flavor
City rolls on. This week, we’re in River North in Chicago in one of the nicest rooftops in
the entire city, talking about something near and dear to my heart, the burger. Now, I know
a good burger. I’ve been to the South Beach Food and Wine Show, to the Burger Bash, every
year it’s been there. Here in Chicago, I’ve been to the Hamburger Hop, at the Chicago
Gourmet Festival, so I’ve tried hundreds of burgers from some of the best chefs in the
country. Along the way, I’ve picked up some burger do’s, and some burger don’ts. I’m going
to show you how to grill the ultimate burger today. Let’s hit that grill.
If you want to make a good burger, it’s all about the beef, baby. Check these out. These
are USDA prime steakhouse steak burgers from Allen Brothers. These ain’t your normal patties.
These are ground from prime chuck meat. This is like eating a prime steak ground up into
a burger, and the flavor is unsurpassed. Now the first tip is you got to cook these burgers
cold out of the fridge. Now I know that flies in the face of everything I’ve told you about
prime steaks, but unlike a steak, you want the fat to stay nice and cold. Otherwise,
the texture might be a little mushy. Now when it comes to seasoning, I like to
go straight up kosher salt and pepper. Remember, this is a ground steak burger. The flavor
is there. I just want to enhance it a little bit with salt and pepper. I’m not a big fan
of putting chopped up onions and green peppers. We’re not making a meatloaf here people. We’re
making a burger. Going to give a few cracks of black pepper here. Remember, you want to
season a little more aggressively than you think because some of that seasoning is going
to stick onto the grill. Before we season the other side of the patty,
let’s move on to burger tip number 2. You got to dimple your burgers, just like a dimple
on a cheek that’s so cute. What this is going to do is going to prevent the burgers from
plumping up on the grill and looking like a football. Now, there is a commercial out
on tv with one Mr. Adam Richman from Man Versus Food, and he tells you to dimple your burger
also. He says that’s going to prevent the burger from shrinking on the grill. I got
news for you guys. The meat is going to shrink on the grill no matter what. That’s just physics.
What it’s going to do though, is prevent the meat from plumping up like a football, so
let’s just set the record straight there. Now, let’s hit the grill.
Now, like I said, my grill’s pre-heating over medium-high heat, and if it’s the proper temperature
it’s going to make that sound that all grillers like to hear. Let’s get the second burger
on the grill here. All right. Now comes the time to season the other side of the burgers.
Let’s just go a little more kosher salts and hit it with some more cracked pepper. Now,
let these burgers do their thing on the grill for about 3 to 4 minutes. Resist the urge
to poke, to prod, to peek. You’re not going to get those grill marks, and you’re not going
to be a happy camper. What can you do in 3 or 4 minutes? Head over to the pool and have
a cannonball jumping contest. Whatever it takes to stay away from that meat.
All right. It’s been 3 1/2 minutes, and check it out. You can see the juices are pushing
up on the top side of the burger, and that’s a sign to you, the cook, that it’s time to
flip. Check out those beautiful grill marks. That’s because we didn’t touch and prod the
meat. We left it alone to do it’s beautiful grilling magic. I like to put the burger on
a different part of the grill. That’s going to be hotter. If you put it back in the same
place, it’s a little cooler, you’re not going to get that nice sear mark.
That brings us to our next burger tip. You see this spatula right here? If you take this
spatula and press down on that burger, all those juices are going to run out, you’re
going to end up with an overcooked, dry burger. Now listen, this ain’t Mickey D’s. These are
prime steak burgers. Treat them with love, and they will love you back. Don’t smush your
burger. It’s time for the cheese my friends. Now,
let’s not make a rookie mistake here. Don’t you hate when you go to a burger place and
the cheese has not melted, and you pick it up and the cheese falls right out? We ain’t
going to do that. The key is to put our cheese on the burger after it’s about 3/4 of the
way cooked. That way, the cheese is going to melt nice and evenly. I’m using old school
American cheese. No fancy gruyere, brie, no. Throw it on the burger. I like to close the
lid, let it go another 1 minute, and it’ll be ready to go.
That cheese has melted perfectly. It’s been 1 minute since I put it on, and they are good
to go. I’m going to take them off here. Nice char marks, ooey, gooey cheese, and just like
a steak, I actually like to rest these about a minute. If you put it on the bun right now,
all the juices might make that bun pretty soggy, and that’s not burger 101 philosophy.
Now, there’s a few things to consider with burger construction. Now, I’m going to put
a layer of ketchup on the bottom because I don’t want my bun to get soggy from the juices,
and nobody likes a soggy bottom. Next up, I’m going to put my lettuce on the bottom,
and that’s like double insurance to make sure those juices don’t run down into the bun.
Now, on top of my perfectly melted cheese, I’m going to put a little bit of pickles.
Now, you can go crazy here if you want. If you want to do balsamic caramelized onions,
if you want to do tomato confit, if you want to do fig jam, go crazy. I’m doing old school,
classic Americana burger here. The kind you would get back at the diner.
Let’s cut this burger in half, and take a bite. Perfectly juicy burger, seasoned nicely.
The condiments just complement the flavor. Where’s the beef? It’s right there baby. I
can taste that prime steak burger that’s unlike any other burger I’ve had anywhere else. Grilling
and chilling done right. I hope you enjoyed my burger tips, and once
you try them out, make sure to leave a comment below and subscribe to my channel. Now, go
do some grilling and chilling, and I’ll see you next time, only on Flavor City.