When I lived in New York, there was a restaurant that I went to every Friday night for dinner that served the best cheeseburgers in the whole wide world—cheeseburgers so good that the line out the door would not deter me. The wait was so worth it. Even now, whenever I travel to New York, the first stop I make, right from the airport, is to get a cheeseburger fix, no matter what time it is. I finally cracked the code as to why these juicy, beefy burgers were so good; all I had to do was ask. The answer was very simple. The cook told me they grind chuck roast fresh every day, fire up the grill really hot, and use kosher salt for flavoring. Sometimes the less you fuss with something, the better. Once you’ve tried these, you will never go back! They’re the tastiest, juiciest hamburgers ever. So simple. No fuss. Just pure beef.–Cristina Ferrare
LC And the Cheese Stands Alone Note
What kind of cheese goes on a burger is quite the personal matter. We understand that. You needn’t feel compelled to use Cheddar just because this recipe calls for it. Any cheese that turns melty, stringy, or gooey when heated will do just swell. Although actually, you needn’t use any cheese at all, seeing as a bare burger can be a thing of beauty, too. Hey, maybe that’s how the little ditty about how the cheese stands alone came to be? Someone scraped it off their cheeseburger and then felt sorry for it!
Classic Cheeseburger Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 20 M
- Serves 6
- 1. Shape the ground chuck into 6 patties, each about 1/2-inch thick. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with dry burgers. Sprinkle a healthy pinch of kosher salt over the top of each burger. Crack some pepper over the top as well.
- 2. Prepare a grill or place a grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Place the burger over the heat, seasoned side down. Toss some salt and pepper over the top of the burgers and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Flip the burgers and cook for 2 minutes more. Flip the burgers again and grill for 1 minute more. Flip the burgers again, place a slice of cheese on each burger, and cook for 1 minute more. The burgers will be medium-rare. If you prefer your burgers cooked medium to well-done, transfer them to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low and leave the burgers on the heat a little longer.
- 3. Transfer the burgers to a warm plate but do not cover them. Place the hamburger buns, cut-side down, on the heat and toast to the desired toastiness.
- 4. Assemble the burgers and buns on a clean plate, using any condiments you like. (I can tell you, these are so tasty that you don’t need anything. I add bread-and-butter pickles and red onion for the added salt and crunch, though.) You’re now ready to bite into the tastiest, juiciest burger ever.
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Classic Cheeseburger Recipe © 2011 Cristina Ferrare. Photo © 2011 Todd Porter and Diane Cu. All rights reserved.
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