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

DIY Barbecue Guide: Cowbell’s Mark Cutrara on the perfect patty
(Image: Joel Kimmel)

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

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.

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