Great Topic! So many right answers. I remember reading in a James Beard cookbook about using butter and I should try it at some point.
Here’s my take:
Ground Sirloin. Its lean (10% fat) which goes against common burger wisdom but I think the flavor is superior. It won’t work unless you are comfortable with a decent amount of pink on the inside and some char on the outside. The patty needs to be at least a half-pound and a half-inch thick.
Cavenders Greek Seasoning. This stuff is a beef god-send. I don’t know anything about Greek food or necessarily even care, but this stuff is the cat’s pajamas, whatever the heck that is 🙂
High heat. The best is charcoal with wood-chips absolutely smoking hot. A well-seasoned gas grill turned up all the way works too. A broiler or hot cast-iron skillet can get the job done as well.
My general guidelines:
1) Form a patty at least a 1/2 inch thick, at least a 1/2 pound.
2) Sprinkle both sides moderately with Cavenders Greek Seasoning.
3) Cook on a super-hot surface (as described above)until almost burnt. Flip over and cook the other side until it is almost burnt. (If the cooking surface is not hot enough, or the patty is not thick enough, you’ll end up with a piece of leather, if you get it right, you are in hamburger heaven 🙂
4) Remove from heat and let rest for a minute or so.
Where to go from there is up to you…
I think the only other thing that really makes an outstanding burger is the bun. When I go to the trouble of making great burgers I will stop by the best local bakery for some nice, fresh crusty rolls to seal the deal.
Good luck everybody with your burgers!