April 13, 2021
Now that spring is nearly here, with summer just around the corner, that means that burger season is nearly upon us. There are few things more enjoyable than sitting outside on a beautiful day while enjoying a burger and cold drink. While it’s easy to enjoy a burger, cooking one perfectly on the grill can be a bit of a challenge. The key is to start with fresh, high quality ground beef, or look for Only Alberta Lean Ground Chuck Burgers if you want that same level of quality ready for the grill!
Choose the Meat
The perfect burger has a moist and tender texture, with a rich flavor of beef. To achieve this you need the right balance of fat and protein within your burgers, which is why many chefs suggest using 80/20 ground meat (80 perfect lean content, 20 percent fat). This ratio has enough fat to keep the burgers juicy and tender, but not so much they become a greasy mess. Our Only Alberta Lean Ground Chuck Burgers balance the fat to lean ratio perfectly, meaning you’ll always get a tender burger.
Prep the Patty
The best way to ensure you have the perfect burger texture is to handle the meat as little as possible. While it may be tempting to add some extra items into your meat blend (like onions, eggs, spices, herbs, or bread crumbs) this only increases the amount of handling your meat undergoes. Resist the temptation to salt your burger before cooking! Salt dissolves the structure of the meat proteins and will change the texture and cooking behavior of the patty and can result in it becoming dry. If you do want some added flavour, consider sprinkling with a proper spice blend like a Montreal Steak Spice, as in our Montreal Steak Spice Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese. The caramelized onions add a beautiful sweetness that compliments the smokiness of the meat perfectly.
Cumin also makes a surprisingly lovely pairing with grilled burgers, and this Greek-inspired Cumin & Peppercorn Kofta Burgers recipe is a wonderful, tantalizing twist on simply using basic BBQ sauce!
Cook the Burger
Once you have perfectly formed patties, it is time to get cooking. Ideally your patties will come directly out of the refrigerator on their journey to the grill. You will want to salt and pepper your patties immediately before placing them on the grill. If you are using a gas grill, you will want it around 400-450℉ degrees, and for a wood or charcoal grill, make sure goals are thoroughly heated before placing patties on the grill. Once your patties are cooking, flip as often as you like, and despite what you may have seen on tv, never press the burgers as this will force the juices out. Use a meat thermometer to ensure you have safely prepared your burgers: 120℉ or below is rare, 130℉ for medium-rare, 140℉ for medium, and 150℉ for medium-well.
Top your burger
Now we get to the fun part; the toppings! While almost anything goes on a burger these days, we’re partial to the classic steakhouse pairing known as ‘beef and blue’. This recipe for our BBQ Blue Cheese Alberta Chuck Burger with Fried Onions tops the burger with a tangy crumble of blue cheese with the crunch of fried onions.
BBQ Blue Cheese Alberta Chuck Burger with Fried Onions
4 Only Alberta Beef Lean Ground Chuck Burgers
½ cup Cal & Gary’s BBQ Sauce
½ cup Cal & Gary’s Dijon Mustard
8 slices Castello Burger Blue Sliced Cheese
⅔ cup French’s Fried Onions
4 slices tomato
4 pieces of butter lettuce or arugula
4 burger buns or 8 leaves butter lettuce for wrapping
(try and have 4 larger pieces for the top to tuck edges around the burger)
salt and pepper
1. Preheat grill to medium high.
2. Season the burgers with salt and pepper and place onto the hot grill. Once you get a nice char and sear, flip the burger and slather with BBQ sauce to glaze and caramelize.
To build with buns:
Spread BBQ sauce on the bottom bun. Now top with lettuce or arugula. Add the burger, followed by the tomato. Drizzle a bit more BBQ sauce, and top with a hefty amount of fried onions. Smear Dijon mustard on the lid of the bun.
To build as a lettuce wrap:
Place burger onto one of the pieces of lettuce. Now add the tomato, followed by a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Top with the fried onions and place a piece of lettuce on top. Carefully tuck the lettuce lid under the wrap to make it a bit easier to eat.
Spring is finally upon us, with summer just around the corner. And that means only one thing: grilling season is here.
Sometimes you just don’t want to deal with all the steps necessary to make a full, healthy dinner.
Although it’s pretty tasty on its own, most meat definitely benefits from some extra flavour, but it’s all about getting the balance right.