Saturday, 16 March 2013

Best Hamburgers in Texas

We rarely eat out for burgers anymore, since my guy has perfected the art of hamburger making. Granted, his service times are a little slower, but his charcoal with mesquite wood chips grilled offerings are head and shoulders above anything a fast food restaurant has to offer. He labors lovingly over his tailgate hibachi grill, as the smoke filters out the carport, and down the street, enticing everyone within a 3 block radius. I am constantly surprised the billowing cloud doesn't alert the local fire department.

In addition to grilling over coals and wood chips, seasoning the meat with adobo seasoning and his favorite bbq sauce, he insists that the perfection is attributed to his careful layering of everything inside of the whole wheat buns -- (from the bottom up) special sauce, tomato, lettuce, meat patty, chopped onions, cheddar cheese, and more special sauce. In particular, he's pleased the the onion bits are melted into the cheese over the meat patty, at the last minute, on the grill.

Here's our recipe for our special sauce. 

"In n Out-ish" Sauce:
Mix together in bowl:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
2 teaspoons finely minced white onion
dash of salt
dash of pepper
Place in refrigerator for at least two hours.

If you've never tried grilling with wood chips, here's a handy guide from Yahoo to selecting the right one:

Apple Wood Chips Apple naturally pairs well with pork as well as chicken. When grilling, use apple wood chips to add a fruity taste to any pork product including pork chops, pork ribs, pork sausage or ham.
The apple wood chips also enhance chicken breasts, and even salmon steaks.
Apricot Wood Chips
Use apricot wood chips to cook chicken or pork.
Cherry Wood Chips
Cherry Wood Chips enhance different poultry and fowls when grilled. Cherry wood chips add a fruity flavor to meats, but with an added tartness. Use cherry wood chips when grilling duck or chicken.
Cherry wood chips also complement game meats like venison. Lamb pairs well with cherry wood chips, as does a beef steak.
Hickory Wood Chips
Hickory wood chips are perfect for grilling and flavoring pork chops. BBQ chicken is also delectable and rich when grilled with hickory wood chips.
Maple Wood Chips
Add some sweetness to grilled meats, without adding sugar-laden condiments. Cook chicken or your favorite seafood steak with maple wood chips.
Mesquite Wood Chips
Mesquite wood chips add a Tex-Mex flavor to beef and chicken. Use Mesquite wood chips for meats that will be served with corn, or tortillas.
Oak Wood Chips
Oak wood chips are versatile and can be used to enhance chicken, beef, and even seafood.
Pecan Wood Chips
Add a nutty pecan taste to chicken, duck and turkey cooked on the grill.
Gas Grilling Tip: Add the soaked but drained wood chips to a smoker box attached to your grill.


  1. Hi Mom, Thanks for all this information on the wood chips. I was given a very posh Weber smoker a couple of years ago for my birthday, and I decided to keep it unopened until after my move to the Netherlands. Only problem now is I've only ever seen one shop selling these chips for smokers, hickory ones, and that was on the opposite side of Holland! Seems no one smokes here. So sadly, the smoker is still in its box, although I would love to get it out as it looks lovely!. Have you guys ever done smoking, and if so, (provided I can get hold of some chips when I next go to the UK), do you have a VERY simple beginner recipe so as I can experiment. I think smokers are very popular in the US!
    Mary from Lovefoodies

  2. My guy used to live on a ranch acreage here in Texas, and he and his roommates smoked their meat all the time -- brisket, sausage and ribs and sometimes turkey. They had a great big Texas sized smoker. As far as smoking in your Weber, I would suggest trying to mesquite as it is the broadest reach as far as complimenting meats. Different regions, prefer different chips as well. I will rustle up some easy smoker recipes for you. Back up north I bought a stainless steel smoke box for the gas BBQ and just used dampened chips in it with the cover down. It added a nice smoky flavor to everything we grilled. I just love it. Never had it before I came to Texas though -- now I'm hooked. Have you tried cooking brisket in a slow cooker with liquid smoke? I've to got a great recipe for that. I'll share it soon <3