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Secrets Of Perfect Burgers, Plus How To Grill An Egg

Dan Pashman's Cheeseburger With Cheese On The Bottom.
Jason Gardner
The Sporkful
Dan Pashman's Cheeseburger With Cheese On The Bottom.

Few people love talking about food more than Dan Pashman and Mark Garrison.

They're the guys behind the popular blog and podcast The Sporkful. Its motto: "It's not for foodies, it's for eaters."

"We like to appeal more to the universal audience," Pashman tells NPR's Rachel Martin. Foodies implies "a certain amount of pretension and expertise." Eaters, on the other hand, are pretty widespread. "We all eat, and we all enjoy eating."

With that in mind, we asked them to share some grill tips — including how to grill an egg — for this Memorial Day weekend.

The Perfect Burger

First things first: chuck is important. That means a meat-to-fat radio of between 80/20 and 75/25. But Pashman counters, "I'd say 82.5 is your sweet spot."

You can also visit your local butcher, Garrison says, and ask him for his favorite mix. "Just a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper, and treat it well."

The key, they add, is to flip the burger just once on the grill — and not to press it against the grill with your spatula. "With every flip," Garrison says, "you lose juices." Those juices taste better in the burger than on your coals.

As for cheese, you can't go wrong with good, old-fashioned American. Smoked Gouda can also work well, "but nothing overpowering," Garrison says. "You want the meat to be the star — you want your cheese to be like a George Clooney: talented and good, but not someone who has to steal the show."

Condiments are a matter of taste. For any condiment, Pashman espouses the dipping method — "on a per-bite basis. That allows you to regulate the amount of condiment per bite."

That, Garrison says, is a form of burger torture.

"Every condiment should be applied to the bun before the burger," he says. "I say do not dunk until the burger enters the crescent-moon phase."

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