How to cook a moist burger stuffed with cheese
By AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN
Minneapolis taverns are famous for the Jucy Lucy, a moist beef burger stuffed with American cheese. Replicating the Jucy Lucy seemed easy enough_but our burgers, cooked to well-done to melt the cheese inside, were dry and tough or the cheese melted through the meat, leaving an empty cavern where the cheese had been.
To keep the cheese in place, we created a double-sealed pocket by wrapping the cheese inside a small beef patty and then molding a second patty around it. Adding a mixture of bread and milk, mashed into a paste, to the ground beef kept the burgers moist and juicy.
JUCY LUCY BURGERS
Start to finish: 45 minutes
Buy the American cheese from the deli counter, and ask them to slice it into a 1/2-inch slab from which you can cut four big cubes to fill the center of the burgers. One or two percent low-fat milk can be substituted for the whole milk. The cheesy center of these burgers is molten hot when first removed from the grill, so be sure to let the burgers rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
¯ 2 slices hearty white sandwich bread, torn into 1-inch pieces
¯ 1/4 cup whole milk
¯ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
¯ 3/4 teaspoon salt
¯ 1/2 teaspoon pepper
¯ 1 1/2 pounds 85 percent lean ground beef
¯ 1 slice deli American cheese (1/2-inch-thick), quartered
In large bowl using potato masher, mash bread, milk, garlic powder, salt, and pepper into smooth paste. Add beef and lightly knead mixture until well combined.
Divide meat into four equal portions. Using half of each portion of meat, encase cheese to form mini burger patty. Mold remaining half-portion of meat around mini patty and seal edges to form ball. Flatten ball with palm of your hand, forming 3/4-inch-thick patty. Cover and refrigerate patties for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
¯ For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent completely. Light large chimney starter half filled with charcoal briquettes (3 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
¯ For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn all burners to medium.
Clean and oil cooking grate. Lay burgers on grill and cook, without pressing on them, until well browned on both sides and cooked through, 12 to 16 minutes, flipping burgers halfway through grilling. Transfer burgers to platter, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Nutrition information per serving: 432 calories; 249 calories from fat; 28 g fat (11 g saturated; 2 g trans fats); 121 mg cholesterol; 697 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 34 g protein.
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