The temperatures are rising and summer is almost here. That means one thing: it's time to break out the grill. Celebrate National Hamburger Month in May by inviting friends and family over for flame-grilled hamburgers. Learn how to put together the ultimate burger bar and learn some helpful burger-grilling tips for juicy, flavorful meals.
Choose a Variety of Burgers
What makes a burger bar fun is that every burger that goes onto a plate can be completely different. That starts with giving your guests choices in the types of burgers to eat. Beef burgers are a sure thing and a must-have for any burger bar. Consider throwing turkey or buffalo burgers into the mix for variety. Don't forget about your vegetarian and vegan friends. Have some veggie or black bean burgers available, and be sure to keep them separate from your meat options.
Grill Burgers to Perfection
Your burgers are the stars of the show, so you want to cook them to perfection. Some chefs swear that medium rare is the only way to go, and they offer tips on how to grill a burger to that level of doneness. After seasoning your patties, cook them over the hot grill for three minutes. Then, flip and cook for an additional three minutes. Move the burgers to a cooler side of the grill. Allow them to rest for two more minutes before serving.
Not everyone likes to see pink in the middle of their burger, though. If you're going for more doneness, make the patties thinner. This allows them to cook faster and maintain their juiciness. No matter how you like your burgers, Foodsafety.gov recommends cooking burgers to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
Load Up on Classic Toppings
Create a build-your-own-burger bar and lay out a plethora of toppings for guests to choose from. Start with the cheese and offer guests a selection. Kids love classic American cheese, but provide a few other options, too. Cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, Gouda, Swiss, and even goat cheeses are all great choices. In addition, make sure you have classic toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions available; these are universal favorites.
Add a Few Fun and Non-Traditional Toppings
What really make a burger bar an exciting event are the unique topping choices. Guests can go crazy and have fun building original burger recipes. Chili, fried eggs, avocado slices, and pickled vegetables are all out-of-the-box burger toppings to consider. There are no rules, so feel free to be as creative as possible.
Don't Forget the Sides
Make sure you have plenty of sides or munchies to go along with the build-your-own-burger bar. Guests can snack on these all through the event or put them on their plates next to their burgers. Potatoes in all of their forms pair well with burgers. Lay out fries, chips, potato salad, corn on the cob and other creations for guests to enjoy.
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