The Chef in Stead

"To barbecue" means to slow-cook foods at a low temperature for a long time with wood or charcoal.

"To grill" means to cook foods over direct heat and cook it much faster than barbecue with gas, wood or charcoal.

Beef Burger 101

People have been brain washed that burgers are bad for us. It's only bad for us if you eat them too often or if they are made poorly.

Fat is your friend when it comes to beef burger because fat is moist. If you buy extra lean meat like turkey, you need to add moisture to have a good quality juice burger after grilling. Some people add bacon dripping to their meat when they make the patties. (not the healthiest, but I am sure it works. I would add a slice of foie gras myself!)

Beef has more natural moisture then turkey, but it would be the same if you bought super extra lean beef - you would have to add moisture to make it better.

10% Lean beef is perfect for a good burger. Talk to your butcher for the good stuff!

Handle the ground meat as little as possible and as fast as possible so to not warm it up too much with your hands. Shape into flat burgers a bit larger than the buns.

Let your burgers rest in the fridge at least 30 minutes after shaping them to help them keep their shape during cooking.

Season your burgers with salt, pepper for sure and whatever seasoning blends you are into.

To prevent extra sticking, coat your grill with cooking spray or oil - BEFORE TURNING your BBQ ON or remove your grill to spray away from open flame to prevent fire.

Heat your BBQ very hot before putting the burgers on. You want to create a crust around your meat to seal the juice and flavor inside. Use a flat spatula to flip burgers. Forks pierce the meat and let the juices escape. Allow burgers to adequately cook on one side before turning, then and please flip only once. To keep burgers juicy, DON'T press down on them while they are cooking. Just go get another beer and leave them alone!

Use a meat thermometer to cook your burger to perfection. Yes, eventually you will have to pierce the meat, but only one tiny little whole.

Ground beef should be cooked to 160F, to avoid making people sick!

Private Chef Martin for Cooking Classes and Catering in Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton.

Chef's email

Click for More about Barbecue