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Barbecue Secrets

Classic Dadburger Deluxe with Supercharged Corn on the Cob

Jun 2, 2010


Classic Dadburger Deluxe


Makes 1216 patties, depending on how big you like them

This recipe will feed a crowd, or four teenagers. You can easily halve the recipe. If your kids are like mine and don’t like bits of onion and garlic in their burgers, substitute 1 tsp | 5 mL each of granulated onion and granulated garlic for the fresh variety.

For the burger mix:

6 lb | 2.7 kg medium ground beef

(or half-and-half ground beef and ground pork)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 head roasted garlic, cloves squeezed out and mashed with a fork (see recipe below)

1 Tbsp | 15 mL toasted sesame oil

2 Tbsp | 25 mL dark soy sauce or

Worcestershire sauce or a combination

1/2 tsp | 2 mL freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 tsp | 1 mL cayenne

(or more, if you like more heat)

lots of freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs

1/2 cup | 125 mL cold water


To finish the burgers:

Your favoriate barbecue sauce

12 to 16 cheese slices (optional)

12 to 16 hamburger buns

Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper. Mix the burger ingredients together with your hands in a large nonreactive bowl. Wet your hands in cold water before you form the mixture into chunks the size of tennis balls. Flatten them into patties, placing them on the cookie sheet. Each patty will be about 1/2 lb | 250 g before cooking. Place them in the freezer for an hour to firm them up.

Preheat your grill for medium direct heat. Take the burgers out of the freezer and grill them for 6 minutes per side, or until they are springy to the touch, glazing them on both sides with barbecue sauce. Top each patty with a slice of cheese for the last couple of minutes of cooking. Serve the burgers on buns with your favorite condiments.

A Library of Burger Toppings

We’re all so used to iceberg lettuce, ketchup, mayo, ballpark mustard, green relish, and sliced onion and tomato on our burgers that we hardly notice them any more. Try these unusual burger toppings for a change and experiment with your own combinations.

·       thinly sliced button mushrooms sautéed with a smashed garlic clove in butter and olive oil

·       crunchy-style peanut butter, bacon, raw onion, and lettuce

·       an egg fried in butter, over easy, with a leaf of iceberg lettuce and a slather of mayo

·       avocado slices, bacon, and salsa

·       caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, and goat cheese

·       tomato slices, thinly sliced red onion, and fresh arugula

·       black olive paste and slices of hard-boiled egg

·       brie or Gorgonzola cheese



Roasted Garlic


Here’s a great kitchen staple that works well baked in the oven or planked on the grill. Roasted garlic is as versatile as it is delicious. Use it as a flavor enhancer in mayo, an enricher of mashed potatoes, and a flavor note in soups and sauces—or just spread it on a piece of toasted French bread.

Preheat the oven to 350°F | 175°C (or preheat your grill in preparation for plank-cooking). With a sharp knife, slice off the top of a garlic bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Drizzle it with a little olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and wrap the bulb tightly in foil. Place it in the oven (or on a soaked, preheated? plank in your grill with the heat turned down to low), cut side up, and roast it for about an hour, or until the garlic is soft and lightly browned. Once it’s cool enough to handle, you can squeeze the head and the roasted garlic comes out like toothpaste.


Supercharged Grilled Corn on the Cob with Savory Butters

Allow one whole cob per guest

Almost nothing goes better with grilled or barbecued meat than good old corn on the cob, and it’s so easy on the grill. It’s also easy to do a little bit more to give it an extra jolt of buttery flavor.

1 unshucked ear of corn per guest

savory butter or butters (see recipes below)

kosher salt

Soak the whole, unshucked corn in cold water for an hour. Prepare your grill for direct high heat. Remove the corn from the water and place it on the grill. Cook it for about half an hour, turning it regularly. Don’t worry if the husks turn brown or black—the corn inside will be protected. Remove it from the grill, let it cool enough that you can handle it, remove the husks, and serve the corn with herbed butter and kosher salt. (If you want a more rustic, charred look and flavor, husk the corn cobs before cooking them, then grill them naked for 10–15 minutes, watching to make sure they char but don’t burn.)

Barbecue Secret

Roasted corn is excellent with plain soft butter and a sprinkling of a simple rub consisting of one part kosher salt and one part ancho chile powder.

Barbecue Secret

If you feel like fussing a little, you can bend the husk back to one end of each cooked corn cob and tie the leaves together with a bit of twine for a handy corn cob holder.


Flavored Butters for all Occasions

Once you’ve made any of these savory butters you’ll always want to keep some in the freezer. Brought to room temperature, they’re incredible on roasted corn on the cob or slathered on cornbread, and a pat of flavored butter on a freshly grilled steak or fish fillet is heavenly. You can even use one of these as a sautéing butter for thinly sliced mushrooms or scrambled eggs, or toss one with some cooked noodles for a quick, easy side.

Mediterranean Butter

4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley

4 Tbsp | 50 mL finely chopped combination of fresh dill,

basil, or mint (or any combination of fresh herbs—try chervil,

tarragon, sage, rosemary, etc.)

1 lb | 500 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

kosher salt to taste

Red Pepper Butter

1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, and

coarsely chopped

1/2 lb | 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tsp | 5 mL sweet paprika

kosher salt to taste


Garlic Chive Butter

4 cloves garlic, put through a garlic press

(or 8 cloves roasted garlic, squeezed out of their skins)

2 Tbsp | 25 mL finely chopped fresh chives

1/2 lb | 250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

kosher salt to taste

Gorgonzola Butter

3/4 cup | 175 mL Gorgonzola cheese

1/4 lb | 125 g unsalted butter at

room temperature

1 tsp | 5 mL fresh lemon juice

kosher salt to taste

Cut the butter into cubes and place them in a food processor. Add the flavoring ingredients and whiz the mixture until it’s thoroughly blended, stopping to scrape down the stuff that sticks to the sides of the food processor as needed. If you’re serving the butter  right away with corn, or on a piece of grilled meat, just place it in a small bowl and serve it.

If you want to store it, use a spatula to transfer the butter onto a sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap and shape it into a rough cylinder. Fold the wrap around the butter and shape it into an even tube about 11⁄2 inches | 4 cm in diameter. Twist the ends so the tube is sealed and tight, and fasten both ends with a twist-tie. Refrigerate or freeze the butter until you need it. To serve, slice off discs of it. Thaw it a while before dressing steaks or corn with it, or use it still frozen to stuff inside a burger.