Sure-fire tips for cooking the best flavorful burgers.
Juicy burgers are delicious but they get a bum rap for being unhealthy. And healthier burgers have a reputation of being bland and dry.
Here cookbook author Bruce Aidells shares his tips and recipes for making healthy burgers that taste great.
Tip 1: Incorporate Smoked Cheese, BBQ Sauce and Wild Rice
Add flavor and moisture to lean burgers by incorporating other ingredients. Smoked cheese, wild rice and barbecue sauce add both to this buffalo burger.
Recipe to Try: Smoky Buffalo Burger
Tip 2: Don’t Overwork the Meat
Don’t overwork the meat. If you’re adding seasoning or other ingredients to the meat itself, mix it just until everything is incorporated.
Recipe to Try: Hanoi-Style Tuna Patty Salad
Tip 3: Mix Seasonings Into the Meat
Don’t just sprinkle your formed burgers with salt and pepper. Bruce adds cilantro, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano along with salt and pepper to our “Fajita” Burgers before shaping.
Recipe to Try: “Fajita” Burgers
Tip 4: Add a Leaner Meat
Add a leaner, neutral-tasting meat like turkey to a fattier cut like lamb, as we did in these Turkish Lamb Pita Burgers, to reduce saturated fat and cholesterol.
Recipe to Try: Turkish Lamb Pita Burgers
Tip 5: Add Colorful Herbs & Spices
Chicken and turkey burgers are often leaner, but not very visually appealing. Adding colorful herbs and spices like paprika, cilantro and parsley increases their visual appeal and adds flavor. Stud white-meat burgers with color—the Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burger is gorgeous with bright green scallions and oregano and smothered with fresh marinara sauce.
Recipe to Try: Mozzarella-Stuffed Turkey Burger
Tip 6: Get Creative With Flavor Combinations
Get creative and use the flavor combinations in your favorite ethnic foods to season burgers. For example, if you’re a huge fan of Mexican food, try adding chile powder and cumin to your burger and top it with pepper jack cheese and salsa. Green olives, Pimentón de la Vera, saffron and Manchego cheese give this Spanish Pork Burger flair.
Recipe to Try: Spanish Pork Burger