Saturday, September 5, 2015

Don't judge a burger by its grill marks




With Labor Day just a couple days away, I felt it would probably be best to do a grilling trial run this afternoon. I don't really need the practice, but I can always use an excuse to grill something. The grocery store had a pretty nice deal on hamburger that made it a no-brainer. (You buy eight pre-made hamburger patties for $10 and get eight brats for free.) I don't recall every buying pre-pattied burgers in the past. You would think it was really convenient, but I didn't find that to be completely true.

I had this grand idea in my head that I could open the package and thrown them on the grill. Yeah - not so much. Maybe I just happened to get a bad batch that wasn't packed very well? I had to repack every one of the patties. To top it off, they weren't as big as I would have made them had I been working from a bowl of hamburger and pattying them all up myself. I wasn't going to let that ruin my day though. I fired up the grill and got to work.

When the time came to flip the burgers, I saw what appeared to be "photoshoot-grade grill marks" on the burgers. (The photo about doesn't do it justice.) I even went back into the house and told Sarah that I think I just made the prettiest burgers of my life. By now I was getting hungry for a good meal. I even got the idea to grab a handful of the cherry tomatoes out of our garden to make a pseudo-salsa to put on the burgers. My wife added her two cents worth by suggesting we add some of the Feta cheese we had left over from a meal a couple days ago. We were now in business...

Everything looked amazing, but the flavor was mediocre. If it wasn't for the Feta cheese and salsa concoction we made, the burgers would have been downright bland. This would have been avoided had they not had that sale to lure me in. Crazy schemes to provide more value to my meat purchases?!?! Normally, I would have added a special mix of seasonings and worked it into the hamburger prior to pattying up the burgers. Obviously this step was skipped because they were already pattied up.

For any of you who have eaten my burgers, you know they are phenomenal...even if they don't always look very pretty. (I often make them too thick and they sometimes turn into a big meatball on the grill.) The moral of today's post is that you can't judge the burger by its appearance. Some of the best meals I've eaten looked like a sloppy mess. This weekend as you're firing up the grill for Labor Day, remember to follow whatever your standard procedure normally is for meat preparation. Don't be lured into a great deal and think the convenience factor is worth it. Grilling is a serious thing - not to be taken lightly. That's exactly why we have these grilling trials runs prior to any major holiday. Until next time....