Fire Day Friday: Burger Throwdown

It is the 4th of July weekend and grills will be firing up across the USA. One of the most popular items will be burgers because they easy, inexpensive, and traditional.
The July issue of Southern Living has an article for Top-Rated Burgers and I thought I’d cook two of the four, in a “burger throwdown”. One I’ll post here at Our Krazy Kitchen and one back over at Nibble Me This. Ah, here comes the ring announcer now.
And in this corner, weighing in at one quarter pound, wearing muenster colored shorts, the Southern Living Editors Choice…

Fig-Glazed Burgers with Red Onion Jam
Red Onion Jam
4 cups red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 medium)
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 1/2 lb ground beef (80/20 blend)
2 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp fig preserves
4 slices muenster cheese
4 buns, toasted
First make your onion jam. In a hot saute pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onions in a large non-stick skillet for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Then reduce the head to med-low, add the thyme, sugar, and red wine vinegar. Mix together well, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.
Next, mix together your beef, oregano, salt, and garlic powder. The recipe did not call for it but I found I needed one egg as well for a binding agent. When making burgers, the less mixing and crushing, the better. Just get it all tossed around. Shape into 4 patties.
Two tips for better cooking burgers: I put my patties back in the fridge for about 20 minutes to allow them to firm up. I hate when burgers get too warm and then when they hit the grate, they start to sink or “melt” into the grate before they get firm from cooking. I also like to poke a hole in the middle of the patty. This will keep the burger from shrinking inward into a ball shape while cooking. Don’t worry how it looks, the hole will go away during cooking.
Get your grill preheated to 350f-400f. Cook the burgers for 5 minutes per side. Top each burger with fig preserves and a slice of cheese. Cook for 2 more minutes, until the cheese is melted and the internal temp is 165f.
Serve on a bun and top with the Red Onion Fig Jam.
This was a different approach for cooking burgers for me, because I think “less is more” when it comes to burgers. But it’s fun to shake things up every now and then.
The burger cooked perfectly at the times and temps they gave. Wow, this is a sweet burger. Good flavor, just too much sweet for my tastes. The red onion jam had a great texture, like caramelized onions. The next time, I’d skip the fig glaze and use fig vinegar in the onions instead of red wine vinegar. That would cut the sweetness but still give the fig influence.
Check out my blog for the “challenger” burger, Spicy Cheddar Stuffed Burgers with Tex-Mex Secret Sauce.
So….what’s on your grill for this holiday weekend?