My Grandpa’s Secret for the Best Burgers

It lives on through my dad.

<p>Simply Recipes / Nick Evans</p>

Simply Recipes / Nick Evans

My grandparents lived across the street when I was growing up. I had many meals, weekends, after-school hangouts, and swim days at their house. It could not have been more ideal—they snuck ice cream on the side and let us stay up for those extra 30 minutes. My childhood is filled with wonderful memories because of them.

Since food-related memories yield the strongest memories, the best bits of my grandparents' house revolved around barbeques. It wasn’t because I got to run around with cousins—it was because of my grandpa's burgers.

My grandpa was famous, by anyone who knew him, for his burgers. We called them Bob Burgers after my grandpa's name, Bob. He kept his method for making burgers a secret for decades. It wasn’t until the barbeque torch was passed down to my dad, who started manning the grill, as you can see in the picture below, that Bob Burgers were finally declassified. 

<p>Stella Totino</p>

Stella Totino

The Secret to My Grandpa's Burgers

It turns out that there are a few secrets to my grandpa's delicious and moist burger patties. The general gist is that chopped onions and cheese are mixed directly into the patties, not put on top.

For two pounds of ground beef, my grandpa and now my dad add 1/2 to 3/4 of a decent-sized sweet onion. “I always use a sweet onion, but you could use red onion,” my dad recommends. Also, add 1 1/4 cups of diced cheese. While my dad uses goat gouda, my grandpa only used sharp cheddar—personally, I think both are phenomenal.

Finally, add 1 1/2 teaspoons each of lemon pepper, onion salt, garlic powder, and McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning. If you’re my grandpa, your last addition is one tablespoon of salt. If you’re my dad, though, you’d also throw in two tablespoons of olive oil. “I always add olive oil into the mixture,” he says. "It makes the patties easier to form and makes for an extra juicy burger once grilled.”

After adding all the ingredients, mix by hand and form them into patties. “I form the patties as I’m cooking them, which is very messy,” explains my dad, “but you can form them ahead of time.”

Regarding size, “My patties are probably a third of a pound, I’d guess. When they’re smaller, they’re easy to overcook, and when larger, they usually come out raw in the middle.”

You can cook them straight on the grill, but my dad’s favorite way is to throw a big cast iron on the grill and cook them in the pan. That way, they still come out with smokey, grill flavor but won’t fall apart, and no melted cheese will make its way onto the grill grates.

What makes these burgers so good, according to my dad (and I wholeheartedly agree), is that “they’re like cheeseburgers with grilled onions, but all the flavor is already in the patty.” Because everything is already inside the burger, you have more room for other toppings. And you get a patty that is brimming with deliciousness and never dry or crumbly. In a world with many good burgers, these are my favorite. 

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.