How to Grill the Perfect Burger With Executive Chef Jim Leiken of Cafe Boulud | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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How to Grill the Perfect Burger With Executive Chef Jim Leiken of Cafe Boulud

Memorial Day is just around the corner, which means for the most of the country--and Northern Hemisphere-- grilling season is here.

However, with our mild winters, South Floridians are afforded the opportunity to grill out year round-- meaning you should already be a master griller. Still, as simple as it seems, we bet you could probably use some advice for grilling the perfect burger.

As former Executive Chef of Daniel Boulud's most casual concept, DBGB in New York, Executive Chef Jim Leiken of Cafe Boulud, knows a thing or two about creating the perfect burger.

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Step One: Pick your meat. Choose ground beef--not patties--with a fairly high fat content. Leiken opts for a mixture that is 25% fat, but suggests looking for at least 80% fat in your grocery store. Also, he suggests staying away from pre-made burger patties. "Hand shaped patties tend to be looser than the ones found at Publix," says Leiken, "looser patties create a more tender finished product"

Step Two: Delicately form a patty out of the meat. Again, be careful not to overwork the beef. Cafe Boulud uses a 10 ounce burger, but feel free to make them as large or as small as you wish.

Step Three: Clean and season the grill. Make sure to use an oil with a high smoke point--definitely not olive oil. "A clean grill is important," he says, "Otherwise, things tend to stick."

Step Four: Bring the grill up to high heat. If you're using charcoal make sure the heat source is just under the grate. "You want to make sure you get a nice char," says Leiken, "You want the carbon from the grill."

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Sara Ventiera

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