We typically think of Thanksgiving and Christmas as the times when family and friends gather together in celebration. We take the time to carefully craft the perfect holiday menu. We spend countless hours in the kitchen pouring our souls into the food. We offer our blessings to the Lord and give thanks to the friends and family that have come into our lives. It’s a magical time of the year… but so is summer.
Kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the grill is just begging to be fired up. We think summer is a wonderful time to bring the people we love together. There is something very special about gathering outdoors surrounded by God’s beauty. It doesn’t hurt that some of our favorite recipes are perfect for this time of year as well! We love the rich, smoky flavor that grilling with mesquite infuses into meats, especially a thick and juicy burger. It is the quintessential cookout staple. Here are our favorite tips for making burgers smoky, juicy, and full of flavor!
- Keep burgers thick – There is nothing worse than making the perfect burger and then watching it shrink down to a thin little patty on the grill. The key to keeping them thick and juicy is indirect heat. Build your fire to the side of your cooking area and start your charcoal 15 minutes before it is time to put the meat on the grill.
- Use mesquite – We love the flavor mesquite smoke adds to the meat! When coals begin to become a nice grey color add some mesquite wood to the coals.
- Don’t rush – A great burger takes a little time, don’t rush through cooking. Place all your 1/3lb. patties to the side of the fire and add garlic salt and coarse black pepper to both sides. Close the lid to your grill and keep the fire between 300-350 degrees. Cook the burgers for 45 minutes and then open the grill, flip, and keep them on another 45 minutes.
- Toast the buns – Brush the middle of the buns with butter and toast them on the griddle. Take them off when they begin to turn a golden brown color.
- Don’t forget the finishing touches – A condiment bar is a great option for letting people customize their meal. We like putting ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and Jannie’s Sweet & Hot Jalapenos in decorative jars. We also arrange lettuce, sliced purple onions, tomatoes, dill pickles, and a variety of cheese slices on a tray. As soon as the burgers come off the grill people are welcome to grab what they want and enjoy!
Don’t wait for the holidays to share your love with family and friends. The next time you hold a barbecue take a moment to appreciate the fact that you have come together as a family to share the bounty of God’s joy under an endless Panhandle sky.