81. Cooking hamburgers

Yet another cooking misadventure.

Lately we’ve been eating a lot of meat—mostly hamburgers and chicken, but we do have a duck in our freezer waiting to be thawed.

I’ve seen my husband grill hamburgers a lot. Sometimes we use pre-made patties, sometimes we make our own, but always he turns the propane on, lets it warm up, and soon the hamburgers are thrown on and start sizzling.

Seems like a piece of cake.

Last week, on a night I was working late, I forgot to bring dinner with me. (Actually, all I had was a bag of goldfish, and I wanted something more substantial.) Before I started work that night, my husband said he would be home early and cook hamburgers, and they would be ready when I got home. Excellent.

Well, as I finish my evening class, I call up my husband to let him know when to expect me, and at the last minute he picked up some contract work and would be getting home about an hour after me.

It was late, I was starving, and I remembered how easy it was to cook those hamburgers.

So I told him I would cook them when I got home.

I open the propane bottle and ignite the grill. Check.

I pull the patties out of the freezer and mix cheese in them. I make them slightly larger than normal (because I was starving) and put them on the grill. Check.

Now I wait. He mentioned to squeeze the hamburgers occasionally to get the grease out, so I do that every ten minutes or so.

At about fifteen minutes, I flip the burgers and notice the underside looks a little crisp. At this point my husband is about thirty minutes from home. I figure I can just cook them less on the other side and they will be good to go.

While waiting for them to cook further, I got a little involved in Facebook surfing, and they stayed on the grill for twenty minutes. When I check on them, one is blackened around the edges but thoroughly cooked, and the other looks blackened but isn’t fully cooked on the inside (I opened both up with a knife).

Exasperated, I pull them off the grill, and start making my burger with the undercooked one. It tasted a little gamey, but I was at the starving level of eat-my-own-arm-off, so I didn’t care. I just cut off the burnt edges and chowed down.

When my husband got home, he was happy that I tried to cook them, but not so happy on how his burger turned out. After cutting off his burnt sections, he ate it anyway—a little because he felt bad for me trying to cook his burger, but mostly to not eat his own arm off.

The next time we grilled was chicken. I had a yogurt snack to hold me over until he got home and cooked it.

Anyone else familiar with burning hamburgers?

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