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Basic Burger

Course: Meals

Products: Grills


1½ pounds ground chuck

¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

¼ teaspoon pepper

4 hamburger buns


1. Combine the ground chuck, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly, using your hands. Shape the mixture into four patties, each 3/4-inch thick in the center and at the edges. (Even thickness ensures even cooking and prevents the edges from the drying out before the center is cooked).

2. Place the patties on the grill. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes per side, turning once. (According to the US Dept. of Agriculture, all ground meat should be cooked to at least medium doneness -- 160 degrees -- or until the center of the patty is no longer pink.) Make a small incision in the center of the each patty to determine doneness.

3. Toast the buns by placing them, split side down, on the edges of the grill grid for about 1 minute until lightly browned.

4. Remove the burgers from the grill and serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Substitutions: Variations:

Italian Burger: Add the following ingredients to the ground meat mixture: 1 egg yolk, ¼ cup grated onion, 1 large clove garlic minced, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Place grated Parmesan cheese on top of each burger (if desired) about 2 minutes before the burger is done and grill until the cheese melts.

Mexican Burger: Add the following ingredients to the ground meat mixture: ½ cup finely chopped onion, ½ to 1 teaspoon seeded and chopped jalapeno pepper, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve on toasted buns or in warmed tortillas with a prepared tomato salsa or taco sauce, and slices of ripe avocado.

Asian Spiced Burger: Add the following ingredients to the ground meat mixture: ¼ cup finely chopped scallions, 3 tablespoons teriyaki sauce, 1 large clove garlic, minced, and salt and pepper to taste.

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