Cooking hamburgers is one of the best things about summertime. You can just imagine the smell of a sizzling hamburger patty on the grill, blankets of melty cheese, a toasted bun, and endless options for toppings! Making the perfect burger is definitely an art form.
We like to think we make some of the best burgers around at The CookHouse. There’s our signature Cookhouse Burger made with Angus beef, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and garlic aioli on a toasted brioche bun, served with French fries. Or you might like the Triple Bourbon Burger. This Angus beef patty is covered in American cheese, bacon, bourbon BBQ sauce, and crispy onion straws served with French fries. Finally, we offer the El Diablo Burger for those who like it spicy. This bad boy includes melted habanero jack cheese, roasted jalapenos, fire-roasted bell peppers, garlic aioli, and onion straws on a toasted brioche bun. Of course, it is served with fries.
You can substitute a veggie patty of chicken breast for any of these delicious burgers.
Self-promotion aside, part of summer and camping fun is grilling your own burger. We have some tips on how you too can make a burger almost as delicious as what The CookHouse offers. Almost.
You’ve Got the Meat
The start of any perfect burger is the patty. Invest in quality meat – beef, turkey, or a veggie substitute.
Once you’ve made your “meat” selection, you have to prep the patty. The patty needs to be at least one inch thick so that it will remain juicy when cooked.
Next is seasoning. The simplest option is salt and pepper, but there are many grilling rubs to give you enhanced flavors. Sea salt is preferred over regular table salt, and garlic salt can be used for a nice flavor punch. If you like your meals spicy, there are dozens of pepper options to give your burger (and your tongue) a little kick. To add even more flavor and freshness to the hamburger, try adding herbs like basil or oregano.
Bring the Heat
Making a hamburger that is truly perfect involves more than just slapping some beef and cheese between two pieces of bread. It’s important to pay attention to details such as the temperature of the cooking surface, the size and shape of the hamburger patty, and most importantly, the cooking time.
Begin by heating your grill or skillet to medium-high heat before adding your hamburgers. Let them cook for around 3-4 minutes before flipping them over. Once flipped, add any additional toppings like cheese slices or bacon and continue to cook for 1-3 minutes until your hamburger is cooked through. This method produces burgers with a juicy interior, lightly seared exterior, and healthy flavor.
Never, and we mean never, press down on the patty when cooking. All you do is press out the fat and juices, resulting in a dry finished product. Also, be sure not to overcrowd your hamburgers. Use a thermometer to check that your hamburger patties have reached a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees before they’re ready. Of course, you’ll want to ask how everyone likes their burger from rare to burnt, so plan ahead.
While traditional toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and pickles will always be popular, there is no need to limit yourself. For the more adventurous foodie, toppings like grilled mushrooms, banana peppers, guacamole, and jalapenos can add a healthy kick of flavor. Don’t be afraid to experiment with healthy add-ons like spinach leaves, mushrooms, and low-fat cheese slices.
A hamburger isn’t complete without its condiments either. Try some spicy ketchup or Dijon mustard for a tangy surprise! To make sure your burger toppings aren’t overpowering the flavor of your patty, choose toppings that will complement it instead. And for an extra kick, get creative and try dipping sauces like sriracha or blue cheese.
With seemingly endless combinations to try out, there’s never any shortage of fun when it comes to topping off the perfect burger.
Check Out Those Buns
The finishing touch on the perfect burger is the bun. You have plenty of healthy and delicious options to choose from. You can opt for the classic sesame buns or add some texture with a sprouted wheat bun. A whole wheat bun is both tasty and nutritious, while an equally filling and flavorful option is buns constructed from flax seeds or almond flour.
For those looking for something unusual but still healthy, you can switch out buns entirely for portobello mushrooms. If you’re trying to cut down on carbs and calories, lettuce buns or bunless burgers can be delicious alternatives as well. If you’re feeling creative, why not try a pretzel bun or an onion roll? With so many choices to choose from, your options are practically endless!
Whether you eat a CookHouse burger or one of your own making, everything tastes better on a houseboat. Book your Bridge Bay Marina houseboat today so you can enjoy all the delicacies that Shasta Lake has to offer. Contact us for more information.