To fully appreciate National Cheeseburger Day, you should know who invented the cheeseburger itself. Let us introduce you to Lionel Sternberger. Yes, Sternberger. That’s not a typo. As the legend has it, in 1926, Sternberger was flipping burgers as a 16-year-old in his father’s California restaurant, the “Rite Spot”, when a passerby suggested slapping a slice of cheese on top. Then, voila! The cheeseburger was born.
Nearly a century later, we’re still enjoying cheeseburgers any chance we can get. Especially, delicious grilled cheeseburgers on one of our favorite holidays. Celebrated on September 18, National Cheeseburger Day is a great excuse to fire up the grill and own another backyard barbecue with the creation of the perfect cheeseburger.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s start with an important step that all grill masters should become familiar with – cleaning the grill.
Why Your Grill Should Stay Clean
If you’re striving for perfection, then cross all your t’s and dot your i’s. It’s worth getting your hands a little dirty to make sure your gas grill is in tip-top shape.
Give your grill a once over before preparing those perfect cheeseburgers you keep telling your family about! Why? A clean grill means avoiding flare-ups, fresher food, and in this case, an even more perfect cheeseburger.
Plus, the more often you clean your grill, the longer it will last. If you need more convincing, keeping your grill nice and shiny also shows that you take pride in your status as a grill master.
How to Season and Grill the Best Cheeseburger
Now on to the good stuff. For starters, it’s always smart to pick a solid cut of meat. Because, if we’re being real, the meat is the main event, setting the table for the gooey cheese on top. If the table-setter isn’t on-par, then the cheese is just an afterthought. But with a perfectly grilled patty, the cheese brings everything full circle.
To find meat for your perfect cheeseburger, head on over to your local grocery store, butcher, or farmer’s market, and purchase a ground chuck. More specifically, an 80/20 ground chuck (80% beef, 20% fat). A tip: keep the beef cold from the moment it’s removed from the refrigerator until it’s placed onto the grill. If the patties become warm, you’ll find that the finished product could be quite dry.
Before handling the meat, preheat your grill for approximately 15 minutes. Then, form the patties to about a 1-inch thickness to the edges. Next, sprinkle your favorite burger seasoning on top of each patty. If you’re all about the tastes of seasoning in your meats, go ahead and cover the entirety of the top part of your patty that’s facing up.
Once the grill’s preheated and your cheese and toppings are in order – more on those topics later – you are almost ready to make the magic happen. Depending on how you like your meat cooked, grill each side anywhere from four to nine minutes apiece. Rare burgers need four minutes per side, while well-done burgers will need up to nine minutes on each side.
But before you run to the store or jump in front of your grill, consider what kind of cheese and what toppings that you’ll use to complete your perfect cheeseburger.
Exploring Some of the Best Cheese Options
Yes, the cheese. We told you we’d get back to this. There are plenty of options when considering your favorite cheeses to place on top of that tasty beef patty. There are the usual suspects in cheddar, American, provolone, or pepper jack. All these options are delicious and versatile that instantly melt when placed on the burger during the grilling process.
There are some other fun options that you may test out to take your cheeseburger up a notch. Smoked gouda cheese pairs well with any barbecue burger and brie cheese is perfect for bacon burgers. If you just can’t get enough cheese, consider creating a cheese skirt. Unsure of what a cheese skirt is? Just visualize cheese melting down the sides of a perfectly grilled cheeseburger fresh off the grill! This is done by spreading shredded cheese across the entirety of the meat just minutes before it’s finished.
What kind of cheese will you choose? Let’s be honest. You really can’t go wrong.
Cheeseburger Toppings to Consider
Once you have the hang of grilling the perfect cheeseburger, experiment with a variety of toppings. Yes, the classic ketchup and mustard will always fly for any cheeseburger. And sure, lettuce, tomato, and onions are solid options as well. The tasty combination of mushrooms and guacamole are even becoming more popular options these days.
But are you looking to go outside the box? Try adding a salad dressing – like thousand island or ranch – lettuce, and a tomato to your cheeseburger to make for an even greener meal! Or, go western and place onion rings and barbecue sauce on top.
Here are a few delicious burger recipes with unique cheese options.
- Southwest Cheeseburgers (Courtesy: BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com)
Take a trip south of the border with this spicy cheeseburger recipe! Coupled with green onions and ground cumin, these zesty-tasting cheeseburgers are completed by tomatoes and a shredded Mexican cheese blend that will leave you wanting more.
- Garlic-Herb Cheeseburger (Courtesy: BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com)
If you love the irresistible taste of garlic cheese, then you must try this delicious recipe! This cheeseburger calls for red bell peppers and onions to be grilled next to four 80% to 85% lean ground beef patties. The burgers are topped off with a tasty garlic-herb cheese spread and toasted French sandwich rolls.
- Gourmet Burger with Provolone Cheese (Courtesy: Adele Z.)
What makes a burger gourmet? If it comes from one of our fans, of course! Adele’s gourmet provolone cheeseburgers are made from ground pork – mixed with apricot preserves, ricotta cheese, and onion and garlic powders – with provolone cheese and a lettuce leaf on top. It’s gourmet, no doubt!
Get Your Rhino On
The options are endless with cheeseburgers, really. Beef. Bison. Turkey. Veggie. Black Bean. Just to name a few. The versatility is just another reason we love cheeseburgers so much here at Blue Rhino.
But before we go, we’d like to offer you a classic tip that’s always worth repeating. Do you have enough propane? If running low, or if you want to have the security of a second Blue Rhino tank on hand, use our handy Propane Finder to find the nearest tank to you!
Now that you know how to grill the perfect cheeseburger, go get your ingredients, Blue Rhino tank, and get grilling for National Cheeseburger Day!