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Grind it Up!

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Grind it Up!
Text by Chef Craig Deihl. Photos by Andrew Cebulka

Burgers. Is there any one item in the summer that people cook more than burgers? At  my house there isn’t. Whether it’s traditional or nontraditional, on a grill or in an iron skillet, for a family gathering or a group of friends, burgers are always present at the picnic table. Between the expected inquiries of “What do you like on your burger?” and “How do you like your burger cooked?” one of the questions I am asked a lot is “What’s your favorite kind of grind?” From what I have available on a regular basis, my favorite is a blend of steak cuts—rib-eye, tenderloin, chuck, and New York strip. When I have brisket in-house, I like to use it with cuts from the round. When I don’t have these options available, I prefer ground chuck. In my opinion, it’s the perfect blend for a burger and can be found at any local grocery store. If I want  a more interesting, flavorful burger, a merguez spiced lamb burger is the way to go. Another option is a tuna burger. The high fat content lends itself to a great juicy burger—just don’t overcook it! Cook a tuna burger as you would a tuna steak, on a very high-temperature grill. Regardless of whether it’s beef, pork, lamb, tuna, or salmon, it has to be ground and pattied, period.

Craig Deihl’s Burgers

Tuna Burger
Portobello Mushroom Burger
Lamb Burger
Wood-Grilled Burger with Bacon Jam
All-American Burger
Salmon Burger

Chef Craig Deihl’s Burger Buns

Featured in August.September 2013