Saturday, July 07, 2007

Condo-style Grilling

So far, I think one of the themes of my adult life (post-college... am I really considered an adult?) is "do the best with what you have".

As I've mentioned before, I have about 6 pots arranged on my already miniature patio, so investing in any kind of "real" grill would have been a mistake. This means I rely pretty heavily on my George Foreman (great for paninis!), pan-searing, and my most recent toy, my grill pan. But, there are times when the flavor of a charcoal-grilled burger just can't be beat... and for these times, we break out the mini-Weber. Each attempt at grilling with this little guy is an adventure in and of itself.

My plan was to re-create the tasty burgers that Andrea and Chris had fed me a few weekends ago. Eating with them had been both delicious AND a great learning experience because Chris taught me all about using the internal temperatures of the meat to test for doneness; it must work because his burgers were perfectly cooked!! I left vowing to break out my thermometer the next time but first, I had to research what the appropriate temps were!

*Anyone adverse to grilling temperatures, try this chart for approximate cooking times!

Since the heat that my little grill produces (and how long it takes to get there) is unpredictable at best, we decided this time to build our own chimney starter. This, I found out, is a great tool to expedite bringing your charcoal up to the proper temperature. I had an old (large) coffee tin, newspaper, and charcoal, and Chris did the rest!

As for the hamburger recipe - as my record currently shows, I just can't leave a good recipe alone. In my defense, however, I am always a little worried that my meat will dry out in the grilling process so I added some finely minced onion and a dash or two or Worchestershire sauce, and then for good measure, threw in a TBSP or two of grated Parmesan cheese. I also didn't have fennel seed which I know some people don't like but in this recipe, it's a keeper. The bleu cheese "stuffed" in the middle of the hamburger patty is delicious and I'd say to put as much cheese in there as you possibly can; if you have someone who doesn't love the taste of bleu cheese, feel free to substitute with any good melting cheese you like!

*I always buy the lowest fat percentage ground beef that I can but I'm finding more and more than the lower the fat, the less flavor. I haven't decided if it's worth it or not... or if I can otherwise season the there a trick? Also, the lower fat beef has a tough time staying together, especially in a recipe like this so be sure and refrigerate your burgers until they are very cold and firmly formed.
We were both full of yummy hamburgers by the end of the meal so my only comment would be to stuff that bad-boy full of cheese... there's never enough!!

*THANKS Andrea and Chris, for my first taste of a stuffed burger and lesson on smarter and safer cooking!


  1. That looks AWEsome. I love burgers, too, but I try not to eat too much red meat. I often use ground turkey for spaghetti sauce (blasphemous? dunno) but it cuts the calories and tastes good.

    (That goes along with your using turkey bacon. I actually never eat any bacon anymore because I'm losing weight, but I prefer the real stuff! Maybe I should give turkey bacon a try since I'm "being good" these days!)

  2. OH! I actually bought a real, stainless, grown-up grill this weekend - so watch for recipes from THAT soon!

    And as for you, check this out:

    I'd totally try that if I was still apartment living. It looks so cool!


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