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Best Burgers

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Best Burger

Best Burger

Here's a simple recipe for the best juicy burger, plus a selection of toppings and several cooking method options, including grilling, pan-frying and broiling. Here's a tip: There's no sense in trying to build a better burger if you don't start with the right foundation.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (30% fat, or at least 70% lean)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 hamburger buns

Preparation:

1. Gently shape the meat into 4 patties, slightly less than 1 inch thick. Don't overwork the meat or the texture will be tough.

2. To pan-fry: Lightly coat the bottom of a large nonstick skillet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Sprinkle the skillet with half the salt. Place over medium heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Put the patties in the skillet, close together but not touching. Sprinkle the patties with the remaining salt. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes on each side for well done, or until the juices run clear when the patties are pierced and the meat is no longer pink in the center.

3. To grill: Place the patties 4 to 6-inches above the coals. Cover and grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or grill uncovered for 7 to 8 minutes on each side for well done, (the juices run clear when the patties are pierced and the meat will no longer be pink in the center).

4. To broil: Place the patties on a broiler-pan rack. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat source for 9 to 11 minutes on each side for well done, or until the juices run clear when the patties are pierced and the meat is no longer pink in the center.

5. Serve on the hamburger buns with the topping of your choice.

Topping Variations

• Mediterranean Burgers
Sauté 1 1/2 cups sliced onion and 1 1/2 cups sliced green bell pepper in 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Spread the split buns with 2 tablespoons mustard spread. Add the hamburgers, top each with 1/2 ounce creamy garlic-and-spices cheese and then the vegetables.

• Greek Burgers
Line 4 whole-wheat pita pockets with shredded lettuce and 2 slices of tomato. Tuck in the hamburgers. Top with a sauce made of 1/2 cup fat-free bottled ranch dressing, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.

• Pizza Burgers
Split and quarter a loaf of Italian bread. Fill each wedge with a hamburger, 1/4 cup heated no-fat pasta sauce from a jar, 1/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella, and 1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese.

• Tex-Mex Burgers
Arrange 1/2 cup shredded lettuce on 4 split Kaiser rolls. Top each with a hamburger, then top each hamburger with 2 slices of ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons salsa, and 1 tablespoon sliced scallions.

•Caramelized Onion Burgers
Melt 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 cups thinly sliced onion and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until browned and tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place the hamburgers on buns and top each with the onions.

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