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Summertime is grillin’ time! I don’t know what it is about the summer that gets me hankerin’ for hamburgers, but it does. I’m a hankerin’.  We like our hamburgers medium-well to well done, and it seems that by the time they are cooked to our liking, they come out a bit on the dry side. No biggie, just slather on the toppings, right? But what about a burger that is moist and juicy, and stands well enough on it’s own? That’s where the butter comes into play. Because everything is better with butter!  These burgers come together so quickly, and pack a lot of flavor. You’ll need:

2 pounds ground beef chuck

2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. dried thyme

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

4 Tbs. unsalted butter, very cold and grated

(This is what I get for taking pictures no where near a window–tangerine lens!)

Start by preheating  your grill to a medium-high heat–it won’t take long before these are ready for a sizzle.

Break up the ground chuck into a large bowl. Sprinkle the minced garlic evenly over the beef. Then sprinkle the smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire over the top.

Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle!

Sprinkle everything over the beef so that when we mix it all together, the seasonings will be more evenly distributed, giving the burgers consistent flavor. Consistent flavor is everything.

I like to use my favorite tools to squish, squeeze, and knead the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. And now, the butter! The butter has to be very cold for this to work, so be sure to leave it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it.

(Moved near a window–tangerine lens begone!)

Peel back the wrapper back a bit on the butter, and quickly run it along the box grater. The wrapper will keep your fingers from getting to slimy, and provide a bit of insulation so that the heat from your fingers doesn’t melt the butter any more than necessary. Try not to grate the wrapper.

Once the butter has been grated, sprinkle it around a bit. Squish and knead the mixture a bit more  to evenly distribute the butter. More sprinkling. More squishing. More kneading. Use a lighter touch this time so that the heat of your hands and friction of the mixing doesn’t melt the butter.

Divide the beef into 8 equal portions, which will be about 1/4 pound each.  Toss it around back and forth between your hands to form giant meatballs. Then, press the meatballs flat between your palms to form the patties. If you see any large butter chunks sticking out, try to tuck them into the patties so they can work at keeping the burgers nice and juicy on the inside.

Grill the burgers over medium-high heat, until done to your liking. I must admit that I am not a Grill-master. Hubby is the keeper of the flame in our house, and he guards his grilling secrets like Fort Knox. OK, not really. He did explain his technique for grilling hamburgers, so I repeat them:

Grilling times will vary based on the grill, and the degree of doneness. For 1/4 pound hamburgers, I flip them after the first 2 minutes, to sear both sides, Then grill about 4 minutes per side for medium well doneness. Watch for flare ups, and move the burgers if they occur.

There you have it.

Being that these patties of bovine lusciousness are a taste sensation in their own right, I tend to go with a simplistic approach to dressing them. A toasted bun, a little cheese, a bit of mustard, LOTS of bread and butter pickles and I am singing Hubby’s grilling praises. But if you think you can handle really intense flavor, serve them “Burger Bar” style with a boatload of condimental offerings. Condimental. Is a that even a word? We like caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, crisp bacon, lettuce, and tomato. If you really want to be sassy, put a dollop of guacamole over the whole thing.

However you dress ‘em up, I hope you love my favorite butter burgers as much as I do.

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