Hamburger recipes for the grill

Thick juicy burgers on the grill, keep it simple or spice it up a bit, either way you'll have a meal that pleases the whole family.

Grilled food is always a favorite for the taste it creates, and the easy clean up for the cook. Ground beef is among the least expensive of meast. Hamburgers on the grill take advantage of both of these facts to create a family pleasing meal that is frugal, easy to prepare, and to clean up.

A few tips for preparing the grill

Clean off the grate. Use a wire brush to get off any burned food or grease from the last grill use.

Preheat the grill. Burgers cook best at medium hot. Easy to figure with gas, but for charcoal the coals will be ready when they are turning ash grey. Test the heat by holding your hand about five inches above the fire. At medium hot, you should be able to hold your hand there for five to six seconds.

Aim to turn only once. Your patties will fall apart if flipped too early. Quarter pound patties need to cook about six minutes on each side for medium.

Recipes

Burgers can be as simple as meat shaped into patties and cooked. They can be much more elaborate when made with different meats, spices, and condiments. Refer to the chart and ideas presented in simple meatloaf recipes, classic to exotic. Any of the ingredients and suggestions there can be used for hamburgers. Simply shape the mixture into patties instead of a loaf.

In addition to the items listed in that article, the flavor of hamburgers can also be changed by the condiments and toppings it served with, and by what the meat is served on.

Beyond the typical condiments and toppings, consider items such as guacamole, coleslaw, sprouts, avocado, bacon, pizza sauce, salsa, spinach, pesto, or horseradish to create new flavor combinations for your burgers.

Buns are wonderful, and come in a wide range of flavors, but think outside the bun for more interesting ways to serve your burgers. They can be served on rice, pita pockets, English muffins, French bread, sliced bread, tostados, or simply on a bed of lettuce or sprouts to match the flavors you have chosen for the meat mixture and the toppings.

The all American

1 pound ground beef
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 slices American cheese
4 buns
sliced tomato
sliced onion
lettuce
pickles
ketchup
mustard
mayonnaise.

Shape the meat into four patties. Sprinkle spices on both sides of the patties. Grill, at medium high, on one side for six minutes. Flip burgers and top with a slice of cheese. Grill another six minutes. Serve on toasted buns with a slice of tomato, onion, lettuce, a few pickles, and the remaining condiments.

Skinny burger

1 pound ground turkey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
lettuce
alfalfa sprouts
sliced tomato

Shape the meat into four patties. Sprinkle spices on both sides. Grill for six minutes with medium high heat. Flip burgers and grill another six minutes. Serve on a bed of lettuce, and top with tomato and alfalfa sprouts.

South of the border burger

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup salsa
4 tostada shells
shredded lettuce
shredded cheese
guacamole
salsa
sour cream
jalapeños (pickled or fresh)

Mix the salsa into the ground beef and form four patties. Grill for six minutes. Flip and grill another six minutes. Warm tostada shells in the oven as directed on the package. Top each shell with shredded lettuce, a burger, a sprinkle of cheese, a spoonful of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. Add jalapenos for those who like it hot.

Pizza burger

1/2 pound sausage
1/2 pound ground beef
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
sliced pepperoni
warm spaghetti sauce
pickled banana peppers (optional)
Italian bread
Olive oil

Mix the meats with the spices, and shape into four patties. Grill on medium high for six minutes. Flip and top with cheese, pepperoni and peppers. Cook another six minutes. Toast the Italian bread while the burgers are cooking. Slice the bread in half, brush with olive oil, and lightly toast by placing it on the grill. Place the burgers onto the bread and top with warm spaghetti sauce.

Burgers are a family pleasing main dish. Serve them in a basic fashion or mix it up a little using different spices, toppings, condiments, and breads. It is a quick, frugal, and easy meal everyone will be happy with.