A new toy

 

We added a new toy to our arsenal this past week…a Blackstone 17″ griddle. I wanted to get the 36″ cuz bigger is always better, but I reigned myself in as our back porch really doesn’t have the room and I knew if I stored it in the garage, it just wouldn’t get used. The 17″ will easily stow away in one of the cabinets that we are building into our outdoor cooking area when not in use. And 17″ will probably work out just fine for the three of us.

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Seasoning up the Blackstone 17″ griddle

I started off by thoroughly washing the griddle in hot soapy water, then heated it to medium to medium warm and applied grapeseed oil and wiped it around with a paper towel. I hear flaxseed oil is the best to season steel and cast iron, but my grocery store doesn’t carry it and grapeseed oil has a high smoking point so I figured it was probably good to go. I repeated that for around 30 minutes until it had started to get a nice color.

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Cooking some onions

After that, I threw on one chopped onion and started sautéing that. From what I’ve read, this step will take away the metallic taste and help further season the griddle. Throw away the onions when you are done and after the have cooled off.

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BACON!!!

The next step was bacon because it’s bacon and you really don’t need a reason to cook bacon and because we were making bacon cheeseburgers.

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Smashing the patties

Our first “official” cook was smashburgers. Not going to go into detail because it was our first try, and while they were great, I feel like we could do better and that we could should perfect the technique before sharing it.

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Cheese please

I also got the Cuisinart melting dome so that we could melt cheese. The description on Amazon said it had a 9″ diameter, so I only got one thinking that 9+9=18 which is greater than 17″, but either my math is wrong or the dimensions of either the griddle or the dome are wrong because I can easily fit 2 on there. I’ll have to pick up another one regardless.

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Yum!!

Mrs. G said that it was one of the best burgers she’s had in a long time. Now, she has always been a fan of a griddled burger and I can understand. All that contact with a hot surface produced a nice crust on the burger that is just so tasty. Don’t get me wrong…I still love a grilled burger, but a griddled burger is damn tasty too.

I can’t wait to do burgers again and to see what else we can whip up on this new toy…

 

FYI I picked this up at my local Ace Hardware for $79.99. You can order it online and have it delivered to your closest location and it should arrive in something like 5-8 business days. I can’t remember. Or for a bit more, you can have it shipped to your house. It’s also available on Amazon for over $100 with free shipping with Prime right now.

And as always, I have no connection or affiliation with either Blackstone, Cuisinart or Ace Hardware. I purchased these products with my own hard earned money and are not receiving any kind of compensation for this post.

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Elevate Your Burger This Summer

Umami Burgers

Summer time is all about grilling burgers and dogs.
Summer time is all about grilling burgers and dogs.

     We are deep into spring and summer time is almost upon us.For some, that means pulling out the grill, dusting it off and maybe doing a few repairs to it in order to get ready for the summer. And then there are others, like us, who grill all year round.  Regardless of which camp you fall into, we all need a good burger recipe that we can fall back on to “WOW” our family and friends.  On that note, I present to you…Fish Sauce!!

This is the brand of fish sauce we use
This is the brand of fish sauce we use

     Fish sauce? In a burger? What has this guy been smoking? Yeah, I don’t blame you for thinking those things, but hear me out. For years, I’ve been hearing on the Egghead Forum and on GreenEggers about people using fish sauce in their burgers and absolutely raving about it. Fish sauce brings that umami flavor to your burger. Not sure what umami is? It’s one of the five basic tastes…sweet, sour, bitter, salty and you guessed it umami. Translated, it means “pleasant, savory taste” and what it does to a burger? Trust me…you are going to want to try it and find out for yourself, but I will say that it elevates your burger to that next level and will make your friends think you are some kind of burger genius while at the same time wondering what you did to get your burgers to taste so good. I’ll let you decide if you feel like telling them. One word of caution, do NOT smell the stuff as you are adding it to your burger. It does NOT smell like flowers, but don’t worry. You won’t smell it in your burgers when they are done.

Burgers on the grill
Burgers on the grill

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • optional – dash of Stubbs Beef Spice Rub or your favorite beef/bbq rub

 

Munster cheese added along with the buns
Munster cheese added along with the buns

Directions

  1. Mix together all ingredients together handling the meat as little as possible. Place meat in fridge to chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat your grill to 350-400F
  3. Grill burgers 3-4 minutes per side or until desired temperature is reached
  4. Build burgers using whatever condiments your heart desires
Burgers served up with corn on the cob and chips on our "best China"
Burgers served up with corn on the cob and chips on our “best China”

     So why did I wait so long to try fish sauce in our burgers if I had heard so many people raving about it? Honestly, it was because I couldn’t find it at my local grocery store. It wasn’t until a few months back when we went to an Asian market for some items for a stir fry that we found it. My wife got it for a recipe she was going to make, but I knew it would make it into some burgers in the very near future. I don’t think I will make burgers without it from now on.

     A few words of caution when using fish sauce. The stuff does smell. I mean it SMELLS. Trust me. You might not want to breathe it in. Fish sauce is also lo-ho-hoaded with sodium. Ours had 1800 mg per Tbsp!! Using 2 tsp per pound of meat and making four patties is going to add an extra 300 mg per burger. But it’s worth it. Trust me. Try it once, you won’t be disappointed.

WHY NOT??

Old Skool Millet Lite Can
Old School Millet Lite Can

     The other day, the weather was beautiful here in the DFW. I figured I’d sit on the patio  with the dogs and enjoy the weather with a cold one. But what beer to get? The limited time old school can of Millet Lite caught my eye. Does the beer taste any different? Nah, but it does have nostalgia. WHY NOT??

Over the Top Burger
Over the Top Burger

A burger sounded good after a few beers. I’ve been losing some weight so I can afford it. Two quarter pound patties, Chihuahua cheese and two thick slices of bacon. Healthy? No! Tasty? Yes! WHY NOT??

P.S. I didn’t eat it all and I do plan on taking the dogs for a walk today after work. 😉

Bacon Cheese Patty Melts

Bacon Cheese Patty Melt

     Last week, my buddy Dyal made some Bacon Cheese Patty Melts on The Barbecue Bible Forum and they looked so good I knew that I was going to have to make one for myself. I like hamburger buns as much as the next guy, but sometimes I like my burgers on some grilled, toasted bread.

Fresh ground beef

     Do you like bacon? Do you like burgers? Do you like bacon on your burger? How about bacon IN your burger? I picked up 3 lbs of chuck to grind, some for these burgers and some just to have later on. When I was cubing up the chuck prior to grinding, I really wasn’t liking the fat content of this particular chuck. For burgers, I like to have about 20% fat and this wasn’t cutting it. How could I up the fat percentage? How about throwing some bacon in while the chuck was being ground up? This being the first time trying it, I only added in 5 strips of bacon. The meat got a double grind through the 3/8″ plate, with some Dizzy Pig Cow Lick and some Cluck and Squeal Beef Specific Rub mixed in after the first grind for some extra flavor.

Onion Patty

   For these burgers, we used 1 lb of meat to shape 4 patties extra thin. In hindsight, that was way more that we should have, but if you have a big appetite, knock yourself out. Mrs. G likes grilled onions on her burger and decided to press the onion right into her patties prior to grilling.

On to the Egg

     The patties went on to the Egg for a direct grill at 450F.

Halfway done

     Since we formed these patties pretty thin, I knew they were going to grill up pretty fast. I flipped them after 3 minutes.

Mrs. G’s burger

     A few minutes later, and the patties were done. At this point, Mrs. G was able to assemble her burger, but I had a few more steps to go. I started by warming up a pan and toasting lightly toasting two slices of bread on one side so it would hold up to the juiciness of the burger and wouldn’t get soggy. I then buttered the other side of the slices of bread, assembled my burger (with the toasted side on the inside of the burger) and grilled it just like you would do a grilled cheese sandwich.

Patty Melt with some tots

     The burgers came out really good and how could they not with beef, bacon and cheese? I think the addition of the bacon added in the necessary fat to keep them from drying out while cooking, but didn’t really add any additional flavor that I could taste, although with the toast, two slices of cheese, bacon and the condiments, it might just have been masked. Taking the time to toast the inside of the bread really helped them from becoming soggy and I recommend you don’t skip that step. I think the only thing I would change next time is to make the patties smaller. A half pound of beef (pre-cooked weight) is really more than I need to be eating. And maybe just use one slice of cheese, instead of two. Sometimes its ok to be a little bad, though. 😉

How can you beat a good ole patty melt?

A Mushroom Swiss Burger And A Texadelphia Burger

Mushroom Swiss Burger

     Sorta missed out on the whole National Hamburger Day thing this year (it was May 28th), but better late than never. We were recovering from our camping trip with some friends to Lake Whitney and to tell you the truth….I had been logged off of computers since the 24th (which was a great feeling.) But I can share some burgers that we made last week. In all honesty, we made these ahead of time in order to post for National Hamburger Day, but we just got really busy getting ready for the camping trip and work and well….life in general.     

     We started off using the last of our hamburger grind (guess its time to make some more) which was a blend of 3:1 chuck to short rib. A good tasty blend, but next time I think we’ll try to add in some brisket. The wife made these patties big….half pound each BIG!! I know she added in some Stubb’s Burger Spice Rub, but I don’t know what else. Probably some worsey sauce, salt and pepper and I don’t know what else. These went onto the Egg which was pre-heated to 450F. 

On to the Egg at 450F

     After a few minutes, the patties got flipped.

Now we’re cooking with fire

     A couple more minutes, and we threw on the buns to get toasted and added Swiss cheese to Mrs. G’s burger.

Buns and cheese added

     To make Mrs. G’s Mushroom Swiss Burger, we first added some sautéed mushrooms and  then some onions that I had slowly cooked down earlier.

The start of the Mushroom Swiss Burger

     Then she added some lettuce and tomatoes to top it off.

Finished burger

     For my Texadelphia Burger, I also started with some ‘shrooms and onions, then topped it off with Cheez Whiz and some diced jalapenos that I roasted prior to cooking the burgers.

Texadelphia Burger

     Mrs. G’s burger sure did look good, and it must have tasted good considering the nice dent she put in it. Mine on the other hand…EPIC FAILURE!! That’s right…failure. Not often you see a blogger post a failure, but I’m human, I make mistakes, I flub cooks and this was one of them. I don’t know if it was the sweetness of the yellow onion or the NASTINESS of the Cheez Whiz. I’ve never bought Cheez Whiz, not sure if I’ve ever had it, but I never will again. That stuff is NASTINESS in a jar. I think if I ever try this again, I will use provolone cheese or something else.

     One interesting thing about this cook. If you look closely at the burgers, especially the last picture, you will notice a red tint to them. I wasn’t thinking about it, but the egg still had some cherry wood chips from the ribs we had previously smoked. Those wood chips imparted a red tint to the burgers. Pretty cool, huh?

     We hope everybody had a safe, relaxing and fun Memorial Day Weekend, but more importantly that you took some time to think about and honor those that have  died while serving and protecting our great nation.