Get out of your burger rut! Of course it’s easy to season with plain old s&p. But with just a little more effort, you can serve up a burger worthy of a long weekend.
Here is some inspiration. I’m providing my basic burger recipe, plus 9 ways to polish it up. And if you’re ready to take it to the next level? Following the variations are 3 all-burger recipes: Tuna, Turkey and Sausage.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- Salt and pepper
Generously salt and pepper the ground beef, then form into 6-ounce patties and pull in the center. Grill over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Place cheese on the burgers in the last minute of cooking. Toast the buns lightly on the grill.
Serve burgers with pickles, mustard, ketchup, iceberg and red onion.
9 ways to improve your burger game
Build on the basic burger recipe with these inspiring flavor combinations.
Beef-lamb. Use 1 pound of beef and 1 pound of lamb. Mix together and season with salt and pepper.
Bacon-smoked gouda. Grate gouda cheese to make a cup. Place 1/4 cup on each burger. Top burgers with cooked bacon.
Smoky-spicy. Add 3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce and 1 teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika to the basic burger recipe.
Blue cheese topped. Top with blue cheese and serve on toasted English muffins.
Cheddar-filled. Make 8 thin burger patties, place shredded cheddar on top of one patty. Place another on top, then pinch around the edges of the two patties to seal.
Caramelized Onion Cheddar. Cook 2 sliced onions over medium heat with 3 tablespoons of butter for about 40 minutes. Turn up the heat and cook for a further 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top burgers with cheddar while on the grill and garnish with onions.
Special sauce. Whisk together: 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1/3 cup ketchup and 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon red wine, and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Brush onto toasted burger buns.
Rosemary-blue cheese. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 egg, 3 generous shakes of hot sauce, salt and pepper.
Pimento cheese. Shred 1 block of white Cracker Barrel VT cheddar and combine with 1 jar of pimentos (small dice), 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, salt, pepper and Tabasco. Stuff burgers in, or top them on the grill.
Instead of beef, try tuna, turkey or even barbecue sausage. Put it in a bun and call it a burger!
Ginger tuna. Use 1 1/2 pounds of sushi-grade tuna, cut into 1/8-inch chunks. Mix with ginger and garlic, mash into a paste and season with 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. Add herbs like basil or cilantro to suit your taste.
Turkey mushroom. Grate 2 medium-sized carrots, 1 medium-sized zucchini and approx. 5 ounces mushrooms in a food processor and mix with 1 pound ground turkey, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 cloves minced garlic.
Italian sausage-spinach. Remove sweet or hot (or a combination of both) sausage from casings and shape into burger patties. Grill and top with sautéed spinach.