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Cheeseburgers

The cheeseburger is an American culinary icon, and anyone who fires up a grill needs a recipe that honors that status. A good cheeseburger is a pleasure, but a great cheeseburger is an experience.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 6 slices of your favorite cheese
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • Ripe tomato slices, crisp lettuce leaves, red onion slices, bread-and-butter or dill pickle slices, mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup for serving

Directions:

Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Brush and oil the grill grate.

In a large bowl, using a spoon, not your hands, gently mix together the ground chuck and sirloin. Run your hands under cold water and then divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape each portion into a patty about 1 inch thick, being careful not to compact the meat too much. (Check to make sure the patties will fit the buns.) Season on both sides with salt and pepper. Make a depression in the center of each patty with your thumb. Refrigerate until the grill is ready.

Place the patties, indent side up, on the grill directly over the heat and cook, turning once, until they are nicely charred on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, place a cheese slice on each patty and put the buns, cut side down, along the edge of the grill, then cover the grill. After about 2 minutes, the cheese should be melted and the buns toasted.

Place the burgers on the bun bottoms and place the tops alongside. Set out the condiments for diners to add as desired. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Grill Master, by Fred Thompson (Weldon Owen, 2011).