Coast Cooking

The best hamburgers are not necessarily just beef

The best burger may not be all beef.
The best burger may not be all beef. Special to the Sun Herald

A week of blogging about beef would not be complete without mentioning one of my favorite applications of beef: the great American hamburger.

Many of the selection and preparation techniques I have noted earlier this week also apply to hamburgers, but there are some other tips specific to hamburgers.

First, do not buy already ground beef. Select a cut or cuts that you like, making sure they are well-marbled and that they are of the best quality you can afford, then ask your butcher to grind them for you.

The second suggestion is that you make your burgers out of 50 percent pork and 50 percent beef. Be just as careful selecting the pork you want the butcher to grind as you are with selecting the beef you want the butcher to grind.

When you combine the meats add a few pinches of red pepper flakes and coarse sea salt.

Lastly, cook your burger just as you would a great steak, over a hardwood fire and to medium well.

One final suggestion: If you do not have a source for wood for cooking, find a local tree service and ask them for help. Mix hickory, live oak (in small quantities as it is strong), pecan or a fruit wood, like cherry. Play with the proportions until you have developed your own special blend.