It doesn’t matter if it’s 4 a.m.and you’re at the country’s best fast food joint, Cook Out (we are willing to defend this one to the death), or it’s just the end of a long day of work, a cheeseburger makes a pretty perfect meal. The mix of carbs, fats, and meat highlight the holy trinity of goodness, and if you add accouterments like lettuce, tomato, pickles, or onions, you’re basically hitting every element on the food pyramid/food plate.
Not all cheeseburgers are created equal, though. With so few ingredients, it’s amazing how quickly things can go downhill. No, we’re not talking about feeling terrible after deciding that four double cheeseburgers was a good idea — we’re talking about how your choice of seasoning and the method in which you cook the burger can dramatically alter the final product.
To avoid any such errors now that grilling season is upon us, we reached out to some people that know a thing or two about cooking burgers — Char-Broil grills — to get a simple burger recipe. It’s pretty amazing how something so easy can be so delicious, isn’t it?
The Perfect Grilled Cheeseburger
For the burgers:
- 1/2 lb ground beef (no less than 20% fat)*
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1/3 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chipotle, ground
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pro tip: Buffalo is a great alternative to beef. If using .5 pound ground buffalo, add in 2 tbsp minced bacon fat, trimmed before cooking.
For the toppings (optional):
- Slices of cheese of choice (cheddar works great)
- Lettuce, cleaned with stems removed
- Red onion, sliced
- Tomato, sliced
- Ketchup, if desired
- Mustard, if desired
- Place the ground beef in a bowl with all seasonings. Mix the seasonings evenly throughout the meat. Divide into four equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Press each ball into a flat, round patty about 3/4-inch thick. Pro tip: Press your knuckle into the center of each burger making an indentation. This will prevent the burgers from bulging during the cook. If made ahead, place the uncooked burgers on a baking sheet or platter, cover and refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Build a hot charcoal fire using a charcoal chimney. When the coals are burning and ash has started to form along the edges, pour the coals into the bottom of the grill. Place the grate(s) over the top. Pro tip: If using a gas grill, turn your burners to high heat and skip step No. 2.
- While coals continue to burn, gather all toppings together.
- When the grill is hot and the coals are covered with ash, place the burgers on the grill. Season the burgers with salt and pepper. Cook without disturbing until the meat easily releases from the grates. This should take about four minutes, give or take. If the burgers resist and stick, give them a little longer. Pro tip: Do not press your burger patties down with a spatula. This will release juices.
- Flip and sprinkle the top of the burgers with salt and pepper. Cook the burgers on the second side for two minutes.
- Top the burgers with a slice of cheese to melt. Close the lid for a minute or two. When the cheese is melted, the burgers will be done. Set aside to rest.
- While the burgers rest, get the plates ready. Split the rolls and lightly toast, if desired. Lay a lettuce leaf on the bottom halves of the buns. Place a burger patty on the lettuce and top with a tomato slice and a few onion rings. Spread your choice of ketchup or mustard, if using, on the top half of the buns. Serve immediately.
Need a grill to take around with you from picnic to camping to parties this summer? Check out these portable grills.