Friday, September 25, 2009

After finding out how much I suck as a Grill Chef, I have lost the will to cook

After my fiasco trying to sausage wrap stuffed peppers (Click HERE to see yesterday's post about my hideous failure), I have simply lost my will to grill fancy foods. Look at what I was reduced to cooking last night... Hamburgers. How mundane, how simple, how average. I set myself up as this grilling specialists with something to share to the food community, and the best I can come up with on a perfect night for grilling is.. Burgers.


OK, if you look close, you can see that I used a Cajun rub (one of the rubs I made earlier in the week, you can read about that success by clicking HERE). Sure the Cajun rub was full of fresh spices that I hunted down, but since I planned ahead, made it ahead of time, had it sitting around the kitchen in a dry place, with no light getting to the rub so that it would last about 6 months, since I went to all that effort earlier, it was a simple matter of putting this rub on before I started cooking. Took 10 seconds.

10 seconds effort from a grill master... HA

And sure, those grill marks are among the prettiest I have ever seen on any piece of meat. But those are so easy to obtain... First, start with a VERY hot grill before putting the meat on. Then, just as you set the meat on the grill, turn the heat to medium. The grill will char where it touches the meat, but the meat will only cook between the grill. During the charring process, the sugars in the rub will caramelize and make the meat pull away from the grill (on a microscopic level). That's why you need to let the grill do what it does before you try to flip the meat. Ever try to lift a burger from a grill and have it stick. You didn't let the meat char, and you probably didn't start with a HOT grill. If you get the grill HOT (just let the coals cook or leave the gas lit on a gas grill for about 10 minutes before putting food on) If you just wait, the natural grilling process will allow you to lift the burger intact, leave those beautiful grill marks, and the charring process actually alters the spices in the rub, making an additional layer of flavor to the taste.

But that's just common knowledge, certainly nothing that shows how to be a backyard king... HA

And toasting the buns... Come on, is that supposed to be something special? Just a little bit of melted butter or olive oil brushed on and letting the buns gently toast for only 4-5 minutes prior to taking everything off the grill. So easy, anyone can do it. All it does is add a new taste to the layers (the butter or oil), and a new texture to the taste (the toast). Is that supposed to separate my burgers from any Kingsford jockey on the block that cooks out once a year?

Burgers...Give me a break, is that the best i can do?

Home made Cajun spiced rub,

perfect grill marks

and toasted buns.

OK, maybe with just a tiny bit of effort, an average burger on the grill can be a little special. Why not put a little effort (10 seconds for the rub, let the grill do it's work and get great grill marks (and add a new layer of flavor), and toast the buns (no extra time, just a little effort). Maybe even just cooking simple burgers on a grill, I do have something to share.

And look what I had for lunch, leftover pork tenderloin sandwiches and grilled corn.

Simple is my word for today.


  1. My motto is: "Simple things, done well".. Good to try, and never stop trying, but a good meal doesn't need quail's eye-balls to be good. Live well, and learn...

  2. Ok, I love love LOVE burgers. Those look wicked good. I haven't grilled a burger since I moved into the apartment I'm in. We don't have a yard or a porch. It sucks.

  3. Sometimes simple things are the best. I love hamburgers... oh heck, I love beef in almost all its forms! A favorite of mine is to mix Thai red curry paste into the ground beef. Gives it nice kick!

  4. Beautiful! Those are pretty grill marks!

    Don't get discouraged! I know a kitchen failure can knock the wind out of your sails, but you'll get back on the bandwagon before long, I just know it!

  5. Ok, I am reading in reverse and didn't read the preceding pics, so I'm going to presume you are being tongue in check here. But you did a great job here and a great "simple" burger is no easy feat. And for the record, I did burgers tonight too:)

  6. Chris, it was indeed tongue in cheek. But I do appreciate all the concern from my regulars.

  7. Actually, I think burgers are one of the best things that can come off the grill and yours look terrific.

  8. Not sad at all, sometimes I just crave a good old burger with a toasted bun - yum!

  9. I'm with Mary, Burgers being one of the best things that can come off the grill. I love burgers. One of my all-time favs. I liked the camelizing hint on the burger cooking. I will try to remember that.
    Great post.

  10. Nothing better than a well-grilled burger.

  11. ah cmon' I bet you can toast up some of the best buns this side of the Mississippi.

  12. You gave me a moment of angst here. Glad you are not going to be undone.