There's nothing quite like the sound of meat sizzling on the grill to get the party started, and whether you're grilling it up for a big get-together in the backyard, throwing a pool party, or having a casual night in with some close friends and family, we think these burger recipes will be sure to surprise and delight guests.
And for an added bonus, we polled a few famous chefs for their advice on grilling up the perfect burger, grilling in general, and how to spruce up the next backyard soirée. Here's what they had to say:
On pro secrets for great flavor: Great flavor is about using charcoal, not lighter fluid. Make sure the grill is hot enough to get a nice sear but not too hot.
On pro secrets for great flavor: I always use lots of coarsely ground black pepper with some coriander mixed in.
On drinks, easy sides, and desserts to serve: Sangria is always a good drink to have. You can make it in advance. Naturally, I love champagne, and you can mix it with different fruit juices such as orange, peach, or raspberry, like a champagne cocktail. You can also use prosecco because it’s not too expensive.
For side dishes, I like to serve them all at room temperature, such as corn relish, Tuscan white bean salad, an Asian coleslaw, a Viennese potato salad, and maybe even a little guacamole with extra jalapeño. For dessert, I would make an ice cream bar or ice cream sandwiches.
Joseph Elevado, L’Ermitage, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Temper your meat. When you pull your meats out of the refrigerator an hour or so before you grill them, you bring the internal temperature up so that the meats will cook more evenly.
Always keep your grill clean and be sure to oil the grill and the items for grilling lightly so that they do not stick.
Ashley James, Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Always use a great quality meat with an 80/20 meat to fat ratio.
Don’t be afraid to improvise and use what you have on hand — this adds for a bit of fun and creativity.
Get creative with the bun by using a flatbread, lettuce (iceberg or butter lettuce work great), or a tortilla.