Home-Built Burgers

Anyone can choose a burger from an endless stream of great diners, pubs and restaurants, but there is something about the satisfaction of building your own that can’t be beat. Homemade burgers can become a passion, just like making the perfect home-brew or chocolate brownie.  One of the great American classic dishes, I think it’s worthy of time spent in the kitchen.  

Beef Patties, Not Meatloaf

I like to use 80/20 ground chuck as it has enough fat for great flavor.  5 ounces patties are weighed up on my kitchen scale.  I add a touch of seasoned salt and fresh cracked pepper, form the patties and let them sit for 10-15 minutes before they hit the hot pan. Some people add eggs, bread crumbs, ketchup, and the kitchen sink.  That is fine, but they are making meatloaf patties, not burger patties.

Cast Iron, Not Grilled

I break tradition and do not use the back yard grill. I prefer to do the grilling on a cast iron skillet in the kitchen, year-round.  I think this method replicates the classic Diner-burger almost perfectly.  

Bread Matters

I’m also all about the buns.  Yes, store-bought work well.  They’re inexpensive and consistent.  But, if you want to take it to the next level, make your own!  A quality bun takes the burger to another level.  

Scratch-made buns


My favorite condiment is a Red Onion Chipotle flavored jam made locally, Bill’s Best Jam (and yes, they ship!).   I had their jam on a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich at a local restaurant a couple of years ago and I’ve not been the same since!  Using unique, quality condiments things to a new level.

From there, typical toppings are usually cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato.  Served up with homemade fries (these are baked, by the way) and a beverage of choice, life is good.    Enjoy! 

Life is too short to spend it grabbing your food from a sliding window into your car.  
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