RECIPES: Burgers

The Detroit News

It's summertime and Memorial Day. Can't you just smell the mouth-watering aroma of burgers on the grill, wafting over the backyard fence? As we all know, a grilled burger is simply delicious. But sometimes you want a burger that is more — so for braggin'-rights burgers, add extra touches that are the hallmark of bistro-style cooking. You know — special sauces and condiments, intriguing flavors and bold colors that will transform your backyard burger into a signature dish.

Start off with good, premium beef and go beyond the standard ketchup and mustard. Complement the beef with crisp lettuce and juicy red tomatoes from the garden, bakery-fresh buns, chipotle mayonnaise, mellow or sharp cheeses, sautéed onions, strips of bacon, your favorite barbecue sauce or delicate shiitake mushrooms and grilled pineapple. For the best braggin'-rights burgers, as with any great dish, it's all in the details.

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Burger Tips:

  • Never season burgers with salt and pepper before cooking. Salt dries out the meat and pepper is a matter of taste — so let your family and guests put the amount of salt and pepper they want on the burgers after they are cooked.
  • Cook burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees; the center may still be slightly pink, but the juices will run clear. Avoid patting down burgers with a spatula because this will push out the juices and cause flame-ups.
  • If serving with cheese, melt on burgers for 1 to 2 minutes before removing from the grill.
  • Thaw frozen burger patties overnight in the refrigerator, or for a quick method, place the vacuum-packaged burgers in cold water for 30 to 45 minutes.