When the weather heats up and the backyard barbecues begin anew, there’s one thing we crave: a big, juicy burger. Luckily, Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport is here to walk us through the process for grilling up the Double RL Ranch Burger, our cover recipe from the June 2015 issue. Read on for more best-burger-ever tips, then saddle up—we’re going to the ranch.
Meat Your Match
A burger is only as good as the meat you use to make it. At Ralph Lauren’s Polo Bar in NYC, they use a combination of ground chuck, brisket, and short ribs for the ideal fat:flavor ratio. Can’t get a custom blend at your butcher? Focus on the fat content. Buy beef with 20% fat content, and forget the word “lean” (at least for this meal). That percentage will ensure your burger is flavorful and juicy.
The enemy to any burger is overworking. Avoid excessive mixing when forming the patties, and use as light a touch as possible. Aim for about 6 ounces of meat for each burger, and use your finger to create a small divot in the center. The burger will expand as it cooks. And do your buns a favor: Resist the urge to overpack your burger. A dense burger is not a tender burger.
We can’t stress it enough: Once you place your burgers on a medium-hot grill, do not press or squish them down with a spatula. That releases all of the fat…right onto the flames. Not only would you create a potential fire hazard, but also you’d waste all that juicy goodness. Just let them do their thing for about 5 minutes, then gently flip. They’ll become beautifully browned all on their own.
Whatever kind of cheese you like (Cheddar, American; we don’t judge), add it on after you flip the burger, then cover the grill. Keeping the heat trapped in the dome will make the cheese melt faster and more evenly, meaning it’ll be perfectly gooey by the time the burger finishes cooking.
Don’t Forget the Special Sauce
Yes, your burger needs a special sauce. Here’s how we do it: mayonnaise, ketchup, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, sweet relish, cornichons, salt, and pepper. Is your mouth watering yet? The mark of any good special sauce is a little crunch and acid to balance out the richness—and this one has definitely got it going on. Any toppings after that? It’s all up to you.
Get the recipe: Double RL Ranch Burger
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from Bon Appétit http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/grilling-best-burgers