Although he'd just given President Obama a lesson on grilling steaks, Bobby Flay was back on the burger track at his seminar in Aspen, where, like fellow Iron Chef Michael Symon, he had plenty of his own venting to do. "I've never met a vegetarian burger that I like," he declared, as he wowed the crowd with a Cheyenne burger (barbecue sauce, bacon, cheddar, and onion rings), garlic-parsley bistro fries, and a chocolate milkshake. "And I can't stand a cheeseburger that's not fully melted." To right all the world's burger wrongs, Bobby offered plenty of pointers for plating the perfect burger patty. Be burger-equipped for the holiday weekend when you read more.
- Don't skimp on the fat: Bobby's ideal blend is 80 percent meat and 20 percent fat. When I asked him why he didn't prefer 70-30 burgers, as Tyler Florence does, Bobby said he finds overly fattening cuts of meat to be too rich to eat.
- Don't push down on your patty as you're cooking it; you'll drain all the juices out of the meat and wind up with a dry burger.
- Always season your burger with salt and pepper. It helps to form a crust, which seals in moisture.
- Cook burgers on a griddle or a cast iron pan rather than on the grill. This also helps the burger to form a crust.
- Turn burgers only once to get a nice crust from the direct heat and don't peek.
- Last, but certainly not least, be sure to melt cheese completely. Do this by adding a small amount of water to the grill, then enclosing the burger with a lid or a large bowl. This helps to add moisture to the burger as well.
What tips can you offer for making superbly succulent burgers?