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Q: Can you help us with some simple tips for grilling great burgers?

A: First start with McCaffrey’s fresh ground Certified Angus Beef. Fresh ground chuck will make the juiciest burgers!

Next, form the patties by dividing 1 lb. of ground beef into 4 equal portions. When forming the patties, try keeping them the same size and thickness and form them with a slight dimple in the center and they will maintain their shape without bulging in the center. Keep in mind that you DO NOT want to overwork the meat; this will cause the burger to become denser and tighter. For the most tender burgers, form the patty as gently as possible.

Then, you want to season the burger liberally with freshly ground black peppercorns (it’s much more flavorful then regular ground pepper) and kosher salt. This is all you need to make a great burger; adding more ingredients turns your burger into a meatloaf sandwich. The best time to season your burgers is right before they are ready to hit the grill. Salt starts affecting the meat as soon as it hits it by dissolving proteins and drawing out moisture.

Pre-heat the grill and drop the burgers on! When grilling the burgers, do not worry about flipping them too many times; flipping the burgers repeatedly encourages a faster more even internal cooking, but keep in mind that you do not want to press down on the burgers, squeezing out the juices. Cook your burger anywhere from 140 degrees for medium to 160 degrees for well done.

Finally, add your favorite cheese, and you are ready to eat!

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Ken Toth

Director: Meat, Deli, Gourmet Cheese and Coffee