Juicy Lucys — or cheese-stuffed burgers — put the cheese on the inside. Aside from deliciousness, they have the added benefit, in these days of concerns about food safety in regards to ground beef, of guaranteeing that even though you cook the meat to well done, you'll get a moist, juicy burger. Cook them perfectly with these 10 Tips for Perfect Burgers.
Note: There is some disagreement about which South Minneapolis bar first served Juicy Lucys, but experts agree that South Minneapolis, where I happened to grow up, is their home.
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- About 1/2 cup cheese (shredded)
- In a large bowl, sprinkle the beef with the salt. Use your hands to break apart the meat gently and combine the salt throughout the mixture.
- Divide mixture into 4 equal parts. Divide each of those in half and shape each one into a 3- to 4-inch-wide patty with a dent in the middle. Don't worry if the meat isn't really hanging together in a perfect patty at this point. The edges can be craggy and rough.
- Take one of the patties in your hand. Fill the center with about 1 tablespoon of the grated cheese. Place another patty on top and seal it about half-way around by gently pressing the edges together. Lift up the part you haven't sealed yet and stuff in another tablespoon or so of cheese.
- Now seal the edges all the way around and also pat the whole thing back into a patty shape (it will have gotten a bit ball-shaped in this process). Keep gently patting it into a patty while cupping the edge and making it well sealed on the sides until you have a burger about 5 inches wide. Use your thumb to re-work a slight dimple in the middle of the burger so that when the meat contracts as it cooks the whole thing stays burger-shaped instead of bulging up too much in the middle.
- Repeat with remaining patties to make 4 Juicy Lucys! Chill the patties for at least 30 minutes to help them stay sealed while they cook.
- Either heat a grill to medium-high heat (you should be able to hold your hand about an inch over the cooking grate for 2 to 3 seconds) or heat a large frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Place the patties on the hot grill or pan. Cook, flipping over once, until browned and cooked through so the cheese in the middle melts, about 5 minutes each side.
Intrigued? Learn more about Juicy Lucys from our Guide to Minneapolis/St. Paul and see Where to Get the Best Juicy Lucy in Minneapolis.