I'm not going to tell you how to dress your burger. I'm not going to tell you what sort of bun to put your burger on. I'm not really even going to tell you very much about how to cook your burger.
But I am going to tell you how to make the best burger. Ever. And you start by avoiding the ground beef at the grocer at all costs.
So let's start there. Ground beef tends to be overworked during processing. And overworked beef is tough beef. Instead, you want to grab yourself sirloin steak tips, which are tender, meaty and full of flavor. But you're not going to grind them. You're going to chop them in the food processor. Not only does this prevent the beef from being overworked, it also gives the finished burgers a big beefy, tender steak-like texture.
The trick to chopping the beef is to cut it into 1-inch chunks, then freeze it for about 15 minutes until it is just firm. These partially frozen chunks chop perfectly in the processor without becoming overworked.
For seasoning, you want a blend of finely ground parmesan cheese and Asian fish sauce. Don't worry... The finished burgers will taste neither cheesy nor fishy. Both ingredients disappear into the steaky goodness of the beef without leaving behind noticeable flavors of their own. Yet they still impart tremendously savory flavors that produce an incredibly rich burger.
Once your burgers are formed, how to cook them is your call. I like to grill them briefly over high heat, then finish them over cooler flames until just medium-rare.
• J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JM--Hirsch. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.