OK — topless grilling is not really a thing. Or maybe it is, and if so, I don’t really want to know about it.
But when summertime rolls around (yes, I know that summer doesn’t officially start until the solstice on June 20, but summer-like weather has finally arrived), there are two sure signs of it at our house. The tops come off the Jeeps, and grilling becomes the preferred means of cookery
Both those things happened today, with the second consecutive day of warm weather.
The panels on the four-door Jeep that I drive come off quite easily, so they have been removed for the sporadic nice days we’ve experienced thus far, but have been quickly been put back when showers and cooler days have threatened. Hubby Bryan’s Jeep, however, is the standard model, and takes a bit more time and effort to remove the lid. But today the top came off and will likely stay off for the duration. (There is a smaller top that can be deployed in the case of sprinkles and a full cover for when harsher weather hits.)
Like the removal of the panels on the four-door Jeep, the cover has come off the grill sporadically over the last couple of months, but we hadn’t gone into full-on grilling-every-day mode. But I think that will change now, and tonight we had some delicious burgers for supper (see picture above). Hubby Bryan is the grill master — Burger Master, in particular — at our house.
Here are some of the techniques HB employs to get the best-tasting burger.
- Don’t use extra lean ground beef. Fat is flavor, and if too lean, it is dry and tasteless when grilled.
- Form the burgers lightly — don’t pack them — and use your thumbs to form a dimple in the middle of each patty. This will keep the meat from forming a dome while it cooks.
- Shape the burgers to fit your bun or bread. With the burger pictured above, Bryan went for an oval to better fit the bread he used in lieu of a bun.
- Never use the spatula to “smash” the burger while grilling. This forces out all the juices
- Don’t over-grill your burgers. They are best left a little bit pink in the center for optimum juiciness.
- Experiment with toppings. Tonight we had caramelized onions and mushrooms on top of our burgers, along with a dollop of beer cheese spread. Yes — the beer cheese spread that comes in a plastic tub melts quickly and makes for a really tasty burger.
- And don’t forget that ground meats besides beef make good burgers. Watch for my favorite turkey burger recipe in an upcoming blog.