DIY Barbecue Guide: Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara on the perfect patty

DIY Barbecue Guide: Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara on the perfect patty

A great barbecued hamburger doesn’t taste like chipotle or paprika or horseradish. It tastes like beef. Cowbell chef Mark Cutrara’s burger, made with grass-fed beef from Dingo Farms, is one of the best in the city for good reason: it’s all about the meat. Here’s how he does it.

Three steps to the perfect patty
(Image: Joel Kimmel) 

Cutrara grinds his own meat (an equal mix of brisket, for the fat, and blade, for taste). You can get good pre-ground beef at The Healthy Butcher or Cumbrae’s. Season with kosher salt—1½ tbsp for 2 lbs.

Gently mix by hand, without over-compressing the beef, then form into 5-oz. balls and pat into 1½-inch-thick patties.

Grill over indirect heat for about 5 minutes per side. Do not press them down or fuss with them. A medium-rare patty is ready when a metal skewer inserted in the middle for 5 seconds comes out lukewarm.