Three Secrets to Tailgate Burger Perfection

Tailgating offers a great opportunity for all of us to show off our burger skills. Push away those thoughts about store brand boxes of pre-formed patties and get ready to serve up some legendary burgers to your guests!

Here are a few secrets from my grilling bag of tricks worth passing along that actually take place well before you fire up the grill for your tailgate. To me; the secret to a perfect game day burger lies in prep-work! I try to finish all of these steps the day before an event.

Also, this works great when feeding a group of friends such as 12-24. That’s an easy number to handle. Here are Three Secrets to Tailgate Burger Perfection. All you’ll have to do is fire up the grill and enjoy the great event! The hard work has already been taken care of.

First: Go beyond basic ground beef! Why not go for a blended burger for extra flavor? I suggest something as simple as ground beef combined with ground Italian sausage. The combinations are really endless and can even include ground turkey and black bean burgers. However; you may need to check with your local butcher in case they need some extra time to prepare your ground meat selection.

Second: Season and form! If you love added seasonings beyond salt and pepper for your burgers then the time to do it is before your tailgate. Why spend extra time at the event with blending and mixing ground meats and seasonings? You want to spend that time on site grilling and having a good time with family, friends, and fellow tailgaters. Go ahead and form up your burgers with any additional seasonings mixed in.

Third: Chill your burgers! If you choose to make your burgers ahead of time then take the extra time to do it right. Form your patties while trying to not overwork them and separate them using wax paper or foil squares. Then seal them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator. Keep them in the container and chilled until you’re ready to grill.



Bonus Recipe (featured in image above):

Easy Beef & Italian Sausage Burgers
1 pound lean ground beef, 80/20
1 pound Italian sausage, ground
1/2 shredded cheese, your choice
1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1 egg if needed as binding agent
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, form into burgers, chill to firm up, grill as you normally would. Serve up with your favorite toppings!

About Kent Whitaker

Kent "The Deck Chef" Whitaker is a culinary writer and cookbook author. He’s the former winner of the Food Network / Emeril Live Barbecue Contest and recipient of the American Authors Association’s Gold Medal for a culinary title. Check him out on twitter - @thekentwhitaker

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