If you could all take a knee and bow your heads to the floor in honour of this, the most holy of all food seasons. It is officially grilling season. Want to get a bit more adventurous with your cheeseburgers this year? My guide to picking the best cheese for your burger.
I don't care if you eat turkey burgers, veggie burgers, hamburgers or brontosaurus burgers; they all taste better with cheese. Only a fool would rather eat a plain burger over a cheeseburger.
In fact, just moments ago, I saw a guy trip on what appeared to be air outside of my office window. That is the sort of pathetic thing that would only happen to someone who doesn't like cheeseburgers.
Since it's officially grilling season, or barbecue season or whatever they call it wherever you're from, it's time to fill our neighbourhoods with the scent of smoke and charred meat.
Or if you're vegan/vegetarian the scent of smoke and charred plant based, imitation meat. And YES, most of these cheeses have vegan options.
Table of Contents
Best Cheese For Your Burger
The classic. Grate it, slice it or shred it. Just get it on there. Use a sharp cheddar for the full flavour effect.
And not just any blue cheese. Get your hands on some Italian blue cheese with red wine running through it like Oro Rosso. Top a burger with this luxury cheese and get instant meat cred. Other good blue cheese choices are Stilton or Gorgonzola.
This is the one cheese I still haven't tried on a burger myself but I've heard enough people rave about it that it must be good. If you like goat cheese that is. One tip: Add the room temperature cheese after the burger has been cooked. It's already soft so you just need the residual heat from the burger to warm it up.
More of a turkey burger person? Load it with swiss. Lots and lots of swiss.
Hot Pepper Cheese
Like it hot? Top your burger with a Pepper Jack or any other cheese with hot peppers in it. I love a cheddar with some type of blindingly hot scotch bonnet in it.
Then up the heat by adding pickled jalapeno peppers to your burger. Then really mix things up with a couple of sweet pickles under everything. You're welcome.
Fontina is hardly ever mentioned with burgers but if you want a gooey cheese with some stretch you HAVE to go with Fontina. The most melty, string stretchy cheese ever.
Plastic Cheese aka American aka Processed
Yup. Good old fashioned, individually wrapped in plastic cheese. American cheese slices. I like them and there's nothing you can say to change my mind. Besides. I know you like them too.
I'm getting ahead of myself here, what with the talk of cheese and all. The most important thing for a good burger is to have a good base; the patty. There are two schools of thought on what makes the perfect hamburger patty. Yes, only two. No more and no less.
The 1 Ingredient Beef Burger.
Beef. That's it. There's just beef in this burger. Ground beef is carefully formed into a patty shape. Maybe, MAYBE the addition of a few spices. THIS is how you should make a burger if you have unbelievably good, top quality, fatty meat from a specialty butcher. Grass fed cows produce tastier meat and the fat is yellow, not white.
The meat shines as the one and only flavour.
Hamburgers made out of only beef with no filler or binders means they can fall apart on the grill easily.
A homemade hamburger with beef and a few extra things is what you do when you're working with regular ground beef from the grocery store or extra lean ground beef that needs some help with flavour. By adding egg, breadcrumbs, onions, spices and other things you can enhance the flavour of the meat.
You can make standard ground beef taste great and because of the use of binders like egg or breadcrumbs, your hamburger will hold together as you move and flip it on the grill.
Burger purists will taunt you for adding anything to the meat.
When I have great meat I make hamburgers with just ground beef. But the majority of the time I add a few things to help the burger along. Here's the recipe to make homemade hamburgers my way.
Perfect. Now that you have an idea of what you're going to put those gooey cheeses on we can start talking about gooey cheeses. Seriously though. Cheese. The food so alluring that even people with side effects right out of a horror movie will take a hit every once in a while for it.
By the way if you are lactose intolerant, check and see what your blood type is. I did a whole post a while ago on eating right for your blood type and certain blood types are apparently associated with lactose intolerance. I've haven't yet decided if this view is hooey or not.
And now a word about buns. Brioche.
Next time you go to make a cheeseburger open your net a little wider when choosing cheeses for it. Live on the edge. If a lactose intolerant person can scarf down a wheel of Brie once a year, you can certainly widen your circle of hamburger cheeses.
Let the grilling season begin. All rise.
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