"Creating the perfect cheeseburgers is actually an art form, and don't let anyone convince you otherwise," says Crawford Ker.
And one could say that Ker, WingHouse Restaurant
CEO and NFL alumni, knows cheeseburgers given the Florida-based restaurant's line-up of burgers
that includes the Dallas Burger, Western Burger and Cheddar Bacon Burger, among others.
However, don't think that cheeseburger perfection is something only limited to restaurants. Of course, it's great to enjoy a good, juicy cheeseburger while eating out at times, but you, too, can achieve restaurant-like perfection at home with Ker's tips.
It all begins with the right meat.
"Making your own patties is always idea," he says. "You need ground chuck with a fat content of at least 18 percent. The more freshly ground the meat is, the more tender and flavorful the burger will be."
He points out the biggest mistake made is overworking the meat.
"The more you touch the meat, the tougher the burger will be. Be gentle with the meat and only handle it for a short period of time."
Ker says keep the patties juicy by putting them in the fridge while the grill heats up. You want the patties cold so not only will they stay juicy, but also together as well.
When grilling, watch the time so that you don't overcook the meat. He suggests two minutes per side for rare, three for medium-rare and five for well-done.
Whatever you do, and while it may be tempting or a natural reflex, do not, repeat do not flatten out the patties on the grill with your spatula.
"Pressing down on the patties causes all of the juices to pour out."
When it comes to adding cheese, Ker says he has found the best time to be about two minutes before the burgers are done. Move the burgers over to the cooler side of the grill, top with cheese and shut the grill lid to it'll perfectly melt.
As for Ker's favorite cheeseburger, he says it Dallas Burger (which is described on Winghouse's menu
as being "big as Texas.")
"Playing for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas has a special place in my heart. With two juicy burger patties topped with my favorite condiment, BBQ sauce, and my favorite side, bacon, it’s a winner."
Ker says if you’re looking for a cheese that melts perfectly, try Kraft Singles or Velveeta. Other meltable cheeses with more flavor would be Gruyere or Brie.
If you’re looking to add a tangy bite to the burger, you can try aged Cheddar or Monterey Jack.
If want to add a ton of flavor with the cheese, try blue cheese. For extreme cheesiness, you can even stuff the burgers with cheese.
photo credit: Dallas Burger, photo courtesy of WingHouse and National Strategies Public Relations