Undoubtedly one of the most frequently cooked items of the summer grilling season, burgers are certainly an all-American food. Of course, there is a wide range of burgers, from simple to complex, and ‘perfect’ arguably means a different type of burger for each person. There are thin, flat griddle ones and thick, charred burgers cooked on the grill. They can be topped with Maine lobster, dipped in French onion soup, or served straight up with just the basics (and maybe some gooey cheese on top).
Many chefs out there have mastered the art of the burger, whether it’s Linton Hopkins of Holeman & Finch down in Atlanta or Minetta Tavern in New York City, relying on their superior skills or the unique mix of the high-quality meats. But since most of us don't grind our own beef or plan to mix short rib into our patties, how can home cooks create this perfect burger at home?
We’re not talking about getting complicated, just the all-American basics to help you achieve that juicy, flavorful hunk of meat that satisfies like nothing else can. From finding the right ratio of lean to fat meat, mastering the technique of properly melting cheese (and avoiding the drip over into the grill), we’ve got tips and tricks from grill master Jonathan Waxman.
Celebrated chef and co-owner of Barbuto in New York City (and former Top Chef Masters cheftestant), Waxman shares his tips and advice on cooking the perfect burger so that any home cook can learn to master the art themselves.