Classic Hamburger with Baja-Style Salsa

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When Americans think of hamburger, they think beef. We agree. Very little surpasses a great grilled beef burger—there are times when nothing else hits the spot. For the best, juiciest burgers, we suggest combining equal weights of ground sirloin and ground chuck. The only other cuts of beef we think should be ground are round and tail of porterhouse. Both can be used for burgers but should be mixed with chuck. Hanger steak also makes a great ground beef but is hard to find. When working with ground beef, handle the meat gently to avoid toughening.

Cooking Method:
Grilling Grilling
Servings :
  • Ingredients
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    2 lbs. Ground Beef
    Salt, to taste
    Vegetable oil cooking spray
    Black pepper, freshly ground, to taste

    Baja-Style Tomato Salsa

    1 lb. tomatoes, chopped
    2 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
    1 cup cooked corn kernels, see tip
    3 scallions, finely chopped
    2 jalapeño or Serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
    1 large clove garlic, minced
    3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
    1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
    2 tsp. cider vinegar
    1/2 tsp. salt, to taste


    Combine the beef, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Using your hands, mix well. Form into 6 patties. Refrigerate until ready to grill.
    Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be hot.
    Grill the burgers for about 5 minutes. Turn and grill for 4 or 5 minutes longer for medium-well burgers. Serve with Baja-Style Tomato Salsa, if desired.
    To make the salsa, combine the tomatoes, peppers, corn, scallions, chilies, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, and salt in a glass or ceramic bowl and stir gently to mix. Adjust the salt. Let the salsa stand for about an hour to let the flavors blend. Serve or cover and refrigerate for several hours. Let the salsa come to room temperature before serving.


You can use frozen corn kernels, cooked or cooled. For better flavor, use leftover boiled summer corn, or, best yet, grill a few ears over hot coals or roast them in a very hot oven (400°F) until the husks blacken, which will take about 15 minutes and require turning several times. Let the corn cool and then slice the kernels from the cob.