A great burger for the 4th of July

Jun 30, 2015

It's just not July 4th without a burger on your plate.

Credit Clint Cantwell

To help us have a perfect burger this holiday weekend, I asked Clint Cantwell, Editor of Grillocracy.com, to share some tips on making a better burger.

“It all starts with the beef. I suggest an 80/20 blend meat to fat ratio.” Also, skip the pre-made frozen patties and use high quality freshly ground beef.

“Don’t overwork the meat. People tend to add all sorts of binders to their meat, but keep it simple. Shape it and go from there.” Salt and pepper are your best friends when it comes to seasoning ground beef.

And here’s a tip I am going to start using. “Make sure the meat fits the bun. I recommend adding an extra 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter all the way around the burger to allow for shrinkage.”

Another way you can keep your burger the perfect shape is to add an indention to your meat. “Press your thumb in the center of the meat and that will keep it from swelling up as it cooks.”

How do you make sure your burger is juicy? “Do not under any circumstance press the meat while it’s cooking. People love to do that but it lets all those wonderful juices out.”

And what does Clint put on his burgers at home? “Besides bacon, I love to make homemade jalapeno pimento cheese. The mayonnaise in it works perfectly with the burger. The cheese and the little heat from the jalapeno.”

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy 4th of July!

Clint’s Jalapeno-Pimento Cheese Burger

For the burger:

  • 1½ pounds ground beef (preferably an 80/20 blend)
  • salt and coarse ground pepper
  • jalapeño-pimento cheese (recipe follows)
  • 8 mini brioche buns
  • For the Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese:
  • 1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (ribs and seeds removed), minced
  • 1 (7 oz.) jar pimentos (drained)
  • 3/4 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

Jalapeño-Pimento Cheese Instructions:

Combine all ingredients and mix until well-blended. Refrigerate at least one hour to allow the flavors to combine.

Burger Instructions:

Fire up a full chimney of charcoal, or light a pile of about 100 briquets. Configure the coals for a two-zone fire, placing the briquets on one half of the charcoal grate to create a hot zone for grilling and a cool zone for moving the burgers during flare-ups. Adjust the bottom grill vents for medium-high heat cooking, approximately 400–425°F.

Gently form ground beef into eight 2-inch patties. Sprinkle both sides of burger patties liberally with salt and pepper.

Grill burgers until they reach an internal temperature of 160°F. Place burgers on the bottom buns, top each with approximately 2 tablespoons jalapeño-pimento cheese. Add top bun and serve immediately.

Tip: Clint recommends adding bacon to the burger as the finishing touch!

Recipe printed with permission from Clint Cantwell.