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Around Our Town: Cooking

It's BBQ Time

05/01/2012 - Many in Wyoming BBQ all year long, but most begin this cooking art once the days are longer and the temperatures are warm. One of the most cooked meals on a barbeque is the all-American hamburger.

Barbeques come in all shapes and sizes, a range of qualities and features. Components of a great BBQ are: the ability to adjust and maintain a temperature and easy cleanup both are greatly affected by the quality of the steel in the unit. For instance stainless steel made in the US is a higher quality than stainless manufactured elsewhere; therefore lasting much longer and making for easier cleaning. A well made barbeque will be expensive but will last decades.

Basic Burger recipe: Ground chuck and a pinch of salt (I prefer kosher salt) don't overdo the salt in the meat mixture.

Form a ball then make this into a inch patty. Make an indentation in the center of the patty (this will help keep the patty flat).

Whether you prefer charcoal, pellets, propane or natural gas, there are a few suggestions cooking experts recommend when grilling a burger. Brush your grate with oil and heat your grill on high. Start cooking over direct heat, and then move them away from the heat source to finish cooking. Turn your burgers only once and don't flatten (you lose all the flavorful juices). Cook approximately 4 minutes per side. The internal temperature as recommended by the USDA should be 160 degrees.

You can also add anything else you enjoy to your burger mixture, or you may choose to leave those choices to your guest by offering loads of toppings.

If you are a cheese lover add a slice on top during the last minute of cooking. For soft cheeses and even blue cheese, spread it on the inside of a warmed bun.

Switch-up that burger by changing the cheese you choose, try Munster or Brie. Use a bagel, focaccia bread or a French bread roll instead of a regular bun. Try a topping of pesto, provolone cheese and roasted red peppers or mushrooms pre-cooked in butter and Worcestershire sauce. Add green chilies or caramelized onions during the last minute of cooking time. Offer salsa or BBQ sauce instead of catsup. Create a special topping from your favorite vegetables and spices, such as capers, chopped tomatoes and chopped fresh basil or carrots, onions with Asian spices.

The ideas are endless and only require a bit of creativity. So enjoy your next grilled hamburger with a new flare.

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