Barbecue Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

The funny thing about sharing my father’s recipes on this blog is that most of the time it’s kind of a sham. Hear me out. When I share a recipe from my father that I remember making with him or that I have called him and asked about and written down, I am honestly sharing what I know. My dad though? He’s a ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ kind of guy, and that’s never more true than in the kitchen. I have shared my childhood hamburger recipe on this blog, the one my dad made so very many times over the years. I vividly remember mixing it all by hand as a kid and how squishy and gross I thought it was, and how cold the eggs felt between my fingers. It wasn’t until I called him to verify that the recipe I had been making from memory all these years wasn’t missing anything that he told me that while he used the same base recipe all the time, everything else changed depending on what he had on hand. This turned out to be the case with several other of Dad’s recipes. Funny, and not at all surprising if you know him.

So, this recipe is more like May’s Hamburgers, it’s Dad’s base with my own twist, so I’m calling it 2.0 to be fair.

Dad’s Hamburgers, 2.0

1 1/2 pounds of ground beef (roughly)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons crushed pink and black peppercorns
1 teaspoon marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Depending on how lean (or not) your ground beef is, you risk a very, very smoky backyard situation. The more lean your beef, the less grease you’ll have dripping onto your fire (creating a much bigger fire and flames that come out and attack your food). A word of caution on the opposing side as well though, the higher the fat content, the more flavorful the burger. I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. So, those are your options. Even if you go with the leaner choice, you’ll still have grease drippage and some issues with flames. I recommend you grill these when it is still light out and you can see how bad the damage is manage the situation more efficiently. Ideally, you’d cook the burgers along the edge of the flame area, (away from the charcoal on a charcoal grill, or on the second level or over an unlit burner on a gas grill), and move them towards the flame as they stop dripping.


Not me though. No. I totally burnt mine. Thankfully, I made a lot and there were enough of them that were not so awful. So yeah, do this in the daylight, and mind the drips!

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