It’s Time To Start Putting Cheese Inside Your Burgers
With summer comes a pang for burgers. And while it may be unconventional, putting cheese inside your burger can turn your burgers into a showstopper.
With summer comes a pang for burgers—grease sputtering on the grill, ruby juices, a soft, white bun to catch them, and of course, cheese, melted onto the patty, as snug as a cap on a ballplayer. Cheeseburger convention would have you put a slice of cheese on top. It’s an obvious choice—not a bad one, but it’s actually better practice to put the cheese in your burger.
It mostly comes down to cheese consistency. One of the reasons Kraft singles are such a popular burger topper is because of the way they melt. Emulsifiers in processed cheese prevent the fat from separating from the milk proteins when heated. You may have noticed that a hot slice of cheddar or gouda on a burger melts with a less than desirable oily slick. But if melted in the burger, natural cheeses baste the meat from the inside out, adding flavor to the patty while also creating an oozy filling where you don’t perceive the fat/protein separation as much. You can even add a bit of Dijon (like Plated does for it’s Feta Lamb burger) to boost flavor and make the filling even creamier.
This method is especially great for crumbly cheeses like feta, goat, or blue that are less amenable to sandwich construction. Pocketed inside the burger, they land in your mouth instead of your lap. Shredded cheeses work well, too. Stronger flavors like cheddar or jack taste best in beef and bison burgers, and goat pairs well with chicken and turkey.
The trick is to make sure the cheese stays sealed inside the burger. For best results, Chef Elena Karp recommends that you make two smaller patties:“Place the cheese in the center of one, lay the other on top, and tightly seal the edges. Then cook it up same as you would a normal burger.”
The inside will be gooey and more flavorful than any Kraft Single could hope to be. And if you’re hosting, it’ll introduce an element of surprise—and dare we say, delight—to your cookout. Conventional cheese layering on burgers may hold, but sometimes it’s best to do things a little differently.