Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Perfect Hamburger

Today brought the season's first grilling weather, so I assembled the Weber "Smokey Joe" ($29) and made my famous burgers for dinner. This is simple food that relies on the fundamental rule of American cooking:
Meat + Fire = Tasty
It's an easy recipe. Allow a half-pound of meat for each burger. Mix it with salt, ground black pepper, freshly chopped onion, and some crushed red pepper. Form the patties about an inch thick, and pat each side with more black pepper and olive oil. Grill them about two inches off the coals, and flip every 60 seconds. That's it.*

What makes the difference are the chopped onion and the red pepper. And be sure to flip them every minute: You won't get that perfect criss-cross pattern, but if you care more about how your food looks than how it tastes then my recipes aren't for you.

* You can't predict cooking time for outdoor grilling. There are too many variables — temperature, humidity, wind, atmospheric pressure. You have to learn to judge from experience.


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