When it comes to preparing and eating food the most important aspect is always quality. It is extremely important to fuel your body with the most nutritious and wholesome foods. Often times after I workout, have a long day, or a busy weekend I crave a good burger and nothing is better to help you refuel your body than a good burger! For those of you who want a quick fix, fast food is not an option! Remember what I said before: Always consider quality.

I’m going to share with you a  simple recipe and some tips on how to make the most flavorful and juicy burger at home without all the added B.S. that you would get at a chain restaurant and hopefully with this recipe and tips you’ll enjoy eating burgers as much as I do:

Makes 6 1/3lb burgers

  • 1lb 85/15 ground beef (I recommend organic)
  • 1lb Organic grass fed beef

You’re probably wondering why 2 kinds of beef, right? It strictly comes down to FLAVOR and JUICINESS. Often times ground beef doesn’t come near the flavor of grass fed beef. Cows that graze on grass and finished on grass always has a beefier flavor however they’re leaner which in turn does not produce a juicy burger. By adding traditional grain finished beef to grass fed beef you’re able to achieve that beefy flavor and the juiciness that makes a burger so good. Of course you can use either or. I like the beefiness that grass fed adds to the burger.

Combine the beef together and be really careful by not over working the beef. This is a crucial step in ensuring your burgers have a good texture and is juicy without having a dense meatloaf texture.

Once combined you can weigh out each portion or just grab a fist size portion and gently form patties. DO NOT press the patties hard. You should treat the burgers very gently. Lay the burgers out on a tray lined with parchment paper and refrigerate the burgers until well chilled before you cook them.

By now you’re wondering why are there no spices or seasonings? I’m a purist and when I eat a burger I want to taste the beef and enjoy it as is. I’ll season the beef with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper on the surface of the burger only while it’s cooking.

Now that your burger is well chilled, you can get your grill fired up or a cast iron pan nice and hot. While everything is heating up grab a bowl and fill it up with water and ice. Make sure it’s big enough to dunk the burgers in. This is a key step in perfecting your burger game. Not many people know this or even do this but I’m sharing it with you today. Plunging your burger into an ice cold water bath helps set the fats so that it ensures that the burgers cook slow and seals in all the fat and juices producing a burger that is juicier and more flavorful than you’ve ever had.

Once the cast iron/grill is hot add a not of butter to the pan or oil your grill, plunge the burger in ice water for about 10 seconds and gently put your burgers on the pan/grill. The heat should be at medium high. Now is the time to season your burger. Cook each side for about 2-3 minutes depending on how thick your burger is for medium rare and NEVER EVER use a spatula and press on the burgers. You’ve work so hard in ensuring the burger is juicy so why press on them and lose their juices?

Once your burgers are cooked it is extremely important to let your burgers rest for 3-5 minutes before enjoying. This process allows all the juices to redistribute resulting in a more juicer and tender burger. Garnish with grilled onions, bacon or any other toppings that will make this burger your own.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Viet Pham grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area with parents who loved food and cooking. His upbringing inspired him to pursue a career in food, and he graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 2002. While attending school, Pham interned at Michelin-starred Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco, CA under award-winning chef Laurent Gras. Pham relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah in January 2009 and opened Forage Restaurant with his business partner in July 2009. Though a unique concept in the Salt Lake City restaurant scene, Forage Restaurant was well-received by the community and quickly emerged as the top eatery in the area; it won Salt Lake Magazine’s Best New Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2010, Best Restaurant in Salt Lake City in 2011, and Pham won Best Chef from the magazine in 2012.

Pham won Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2011, after receiving a nomination from the magazine the previous year for People’s Best New Chef: Southwest. His scallop sashimi with feature story. The James Beard Foundation nominated him as a Semi-Finalist for Best Chef: Southwest in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2012, Pham participated in Food Network’s show Extreme Chef where he was runner-up. He also competed on the network’s marquee program, Next Food Network Star in 2013 and defeated Chef Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America as well as Kitchen Inferno, which aired in the fall of 2014. Pham also appear as a “Pro Chef” on NBC’s Food Fighters July 2015. Pham has appeared in Bon Appetit, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Reuters, and The Salt Lake Tribune and many other national publications. In the Winter of 2015, Pham will open his new restaurant, ember + ash, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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