Today is National Cheeseburger Day. Cheeseburgers are a staple of the backyard BBQ and camping. They are easy on the budget, simple to make, and folks can build their own, which satisfies the picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions. Burgers are completely customizable. And, you don’t have to have it the same way twice. You could probably build your burger different every time and never run out of options.
So how do you build your burger?
You need to start with a good bun. Something sturdy that won’t turn to mush or fall apart in your hands. You need a bun that will stand up to the moisture from the condiments and the juice from the burger and keep its structural integrity. Options include, white, whole grain, gluten-free, brioche, kaiser, pretzel, and others. Serve them fresh out of the bag or spread on a little butter and grill them.
You need a nice patty of protein. You can go with beef, turkey, pork, chicken, vegetarian or a combination. You can make thin patties and stack on a couple or go with thicker patties. Depending on the thickness, you’ll want to grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read meat thermometer through the side of a burger into the center. The internal temperature should be between 145°F and 165°F, depending on how you like it.
Season your patties with just a little salt and pepper or kick it up with some seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, ranch dressing dry mix, onion soup mix, and other spices. Make your patties like you would make a meatloaf or a meatball, using breadcrumbs and an egg. You could add a little Worcestershire, liquid smoke, or even beer.
The condiment combinations are endless. Here are just a few ideas:
Thousand Island, aka, Special Sauce
Again, endless combinations.
Cheese (too many to list)
Pickles (Sweet or Dill)
Onion Slices (white, yellow or red)
Mushrooms (sautéed or fresh)
When we camp, we like to cook and eat well, but nothing beats a good cheeseburger with a side of potato or macaroni salad, baked beans, or a handful of chips.
However you build your burger, make it a good one!
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