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NORMAL CHEF: Stuffed Hamburgers

Summer time is a time filled with so much activity and bbq, and picnics, that I truly try to cook as easy as possible, with most of my cooking being outside on the grill or a really nice sandwich or salad. For today's article we are going to talk about stuffed burgers. When I make them no matter how hard I try to make them small they always end up being too big. The beauty of them is that there is nothing off limits with which to stuff them with, it it is totally up to you. The key is just to remember to seal the burger and let them set up in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you cook them.

Onion and bacon stuffed burger:

  • 1#  80/20 ground beef, you can use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork
  • 1/2# cooked bacon, drained and chopped into pieces
  • 1/2 yellow or white onion, grated right over the meat in the bowl
  • 1 clove of fresh garlic ( the bulb is the whole head of garlic a clove is one section of the bulb)
  • 2 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce

Using a big bowl add your ground meat, chopped bacon, grate your onion right over the ground meat in the bowl, as well as your peeled garlic clove this way you get all the juice into the meat as well, next add your seasoning and mix. Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 sections in the bowl with your hand, you are basically just scoring it. Remove one section at a time and shape into a patty, making sure to make a depression in the center of the burger so that when you grill it you dont end up with a big ball, but a nice hamburger patty. Then put it on a plate and put it in the refrigerator to firm up.
Now for the interesting part, some people are adamant charcoal cooks, others use propane and some smoke. For me it depends on what I am cooking I have all 3, but when it comes to a burger I want charcoal there is just something about the flavor. When I charcoal I for the most part use direct heat, and medium hot coals, as well as a grilling mat, which is my new favorite thing, to use, you still get the grill lines as well as the flavor.
Make sure your coals are ready to go, before you put the burgers on, season the side going down first with kosher salt and ground black pepper and then season the up side with the same thing. Grill 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on how you like them cooked. I am a medium person, so I do mine 4 minutes on one side, flip them and 3 minutes the other side because of the way I like them. Remove from heat let set 3-4 minutes and serve them on a fresh toasted onion roll, with lettuce, sliced tomato, and sliced red onion and let everyone assemble their burger.

Now for the stuffed part, if you are going to stuff your burger, and are going to make 4 burgers you will need to divide your meat in the bowl into 8 pieces. You can stuff the burger with a combination of cheeses, more onion, or bacon, even jalapenos if you wish, the sky is the limit. Lay the bottom of the burgers on a tray add whatever you are stuffing them with in the center of the patty, wipe the rim of the burger with water, top with the other half and using your fingers, press the 2 patties together forming a seal reshape into a patty, remembering to make the indentation into the center of the burger, and refrigerate them at least 30 minutes before grilling them as instructed above.

If you have the time and extra money in your grocery budget, buy some extra ground meat, and make extra burgers and put them in a freezer safe bag, and stick them in the freezer so you have some ready to go in spur of the moment for a quick meal, they are so much better than going out for a burger.
I serve my burgers with chips because I always make them bigger than I plan, and besides the lettuce, tomato, and onion that I serve them with, count as my salad. Lol.

Natilie Cavnar is a cooking fanatic who loves to try new recipes, and create some of her own, ask her what you want at thenormalchef@gmail.com.

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