How to Make The Best Tailgate Burger
Ground burger comes in a variety of fat percentages, generally between 80 percent lean to 96 percent. Most people prefer a burger with a slightly higher fat content for extra juicy flavor and a supple texture.
(Note: Our Kobe-crafted products are 80 percent lean)
The taste of the beef can differ dramatically depending on the type and blend, so choose your meat based on personal taste preferences. For example, grass fed beef typically has a leaner texture and a bit of a game-like taste, while Angus is more of a traditional flavor. For the maximum in robust flavor, try Kobe-crafted products or products that are crafted with brisket or Ribeye beef. These small changes in the crafting can provide distinct flavor differences in your burger that give it an extra "wow" factor.
To really wow your tailgate pals, you can accent the beef patty with a variety of add-ins. Worcestershire, onion or BBQ sauce are great add-ins for Angus or brisket burgers, while chilies, red pepper, bacon or hot sauce stand up to the boldness of Kobe-crafted beef. For grass fed beef, you can intensify and challenge the flavor with more unusual add-ins like cilantro, soy sauce, sun-dried tomatoes or herbs.
(Note: do not over-mix the patty, as this can lead to an undesirable consistency)
Most people consider the ideal thickness of a patty to be about 3/4 of an inch. Thinner patties have the potential to dry out and thicker ones might burn on the edges before reaching appropriate doneness in the middle.
(Note: never worry about making the perfect patty by selecting Steakhouse Elite pre-shaped burgers, available in your grocer's case)
To avoid the burger "puff" that happens when the beef is grilled, make a shallow thumbprint in the center of the burger patty. This will help produce a nice, flat patty.
Finally, season the burger with salt and pepper before putting it on the grill.
Make sure your grill grate is clean and free of debris, then heat your grill to a medium-high temperature of 400 - 450 degrees. Pre-heating your grill will create a nice crust on the patty that helps hold in juices and also produces distinct grill marks. Once on the grill, let cook for 4-5 minutes before flipping and try to avoid flipping your patty more than once. Generally, 4-5 minutes on each side will bring the doneness of the patty to medium (160 degrees).
(Note: Never press down on the patty with the spatula; this will remove delicious and savory juices from your patty)
While grilling, shut the lid of the grill to add a smokey flavor to the patty. This will also keep your burger moist and juicy.
Win or lose, it's about savoring the moments around the game, and making the perfect burger is a part of that! Grilling the perfect tailgate burger is easy: just follow these simple steps to choose the right patty, add-in additional flavors, prep it perfectly and grill it to perfection.
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