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The Perfect Hamburger

I'm a winter person, however once the spring season starts approaching I get so excited because I love the fresh flavors and the smell of grills in the neighborhood and fresh cut grass.  Ah, and rain too - I love the smell of rain this time of year.  With the start of Spring tomorrow I can't wait to break out our trusty grill (after learning how to check the propane levels) and start firing up some burgers, grilled chicken, fruits, veggies and pizzas! 

In preparation of spring I've been experimenting with burger recipes on my indoor grill trying to find the perfect recipe.  In my opinion, the perfect burger is one that can be adapted with a few subtle changes to the basic recipe because let's face it - sometimes you want it a little spicier, a little more earthy, etc.  I love to add flavorful herbs and spices to a burger to compliment the rest of the meal, or to just add a kick!


The Perfect Hamburger
Ingredients:

1 lb. ground chuck or ground lean beef
2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 or 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
4 slices favorite cheese (I used a soft smoked cheddar)
4 hamburger buns, split
For Serving:
Sliced tomatoSliced sweet white onion, such as Maui, Vidalia  or Walla Walla
Torn lettuce
Sliced dill pickle
Ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard or other condiments of your choice

** I omit all condiments and used 2 slices of bacon instead - I love bacon cheeseburgers and won't get in to my weirdness of condiments unless someone wants to know!**

Directions:
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, mix together the beef, yellow onion, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Form the mixture into 4 patties, each 3⁄4 inch thick.  Liberally coat both sides with remaining S&P.

Grill the hamburgers directly over medium-high heat, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Check for doneness by cutting into a hamburger near the center or testing with an instant-read thermometer. No pink should show on the inside, and the internal temperature should register at least 160°F on an instant-read thermometer. If making cheeseburgers, place a slice of cheese on top of each hamburger during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

During the last 2 to 3 minutes of cooking, toast the hamburger buns, cut side down, on the grill. Serve the hamburgers on the buns with desired toppings and condiments.

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

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