My husband cooks one thing – burgers. And I happily let him because they’re that good. In fact, people come from miles away to eat his burgers.
I didn’t grow up eating burgers and I’ve never cooked them myself. Even though I was born and raised in the U.S., I don’t crave hamburgers and fries like most. But when it comes to my husband’s burgers, I’m first in line.
We planned to have them on Memorial Day recently. Then I got the brilliant idea to document what he does in order to share his recipe. He said he didn’t mind if I followed him around with my camera, but that “there’s really no recipe.” But there is.
Here’s what he does.
Before the burger-making process begins, he adds hot water to a 32-ounce cup filled with hickory chips.
The ground beef he uses is grass fed, 80% lean, 20% fat.
He makes the burgers all 8 ounces each, and 1″ thick.
The patties are formed by gently pressing the meat into shape. He presses a “well” on the tops of the patties.
A generous amount of Worcestershire sauce and coarsely ground pepper are added. Let them sit at room temperature until it’s time to begin grilling.
Then he starts the fire. He will only use charcoal for grilling, and he’s patient with the fire. Neither of us like “charred” or “flame-kissed” burgers.
Only after all of the charcoal is grey, after about 45 minutes, he spreads out the coals and sprinkles on the soaked hickory.
The patties are placed on the grill carefully and cooked for 7 1/2 minutes on that side.
The lid is propped open so that the fire doesn’t get too hot, yet the hickory smoke stays inside the grill.
After the burgers are turned over, more Worcestershire sauce and pepper are added.
After another 7 1/2 minutes, the burgers are ready to eat.
I like mine with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, ketchup and yellow mustard, but they would be fantastic any which way!
So, I don’t really know what makes these burgers so delicious. I think the hickory smoke is part of it, the Worcestershire sauce and pepper are part of it, using charcoal briquettes instead of gas, plus cooking only to medium-rare is also part of what makes these so good.