The ultimate hamburger. It's an elusive creation: the perfectly charred crust; the juicy interior with the ideal amount of fat; the full, beefy flavor. To help you get it just right, we consulted two guys who really know burgers: Steven Raichlen, host of Barbecue University on PBS, and Chris Schlesinger, coauthor of The Thrill of the Grill and How To Cook Meat. Read on for their secrets to producing perfect patties.
What cut of meat should I use?
The foundation of a hamburger is, of course, the meat. Different cuts have different amounts of fat and flavor:
Regular ground beef, a generic category that can be any cut or a combination of several, may by law have as much as 30 percent fat. This isn't necessarily a good thing, though -- the high percentage of fat can make the burgers greasy.
- Ground chuck has about 20 percent fat.
- Ground sirloin has about 15 percent fat.
- Ground round has about 11 percent fat, making it a favorite of dieters, but producing less-juicy