Big Weather's Burger Bonanza: Cooking up a couple viewer recipes

DURHAM, NC (WTVD) -- As the unofficial kickoff to summer, Memorial Day weekend usually means firing up the grill.

So, all week I've been asking for your best burger recipe. And we got a ton!

From burgers to toppings, sauces to buns, everybody has their favorites.

Out of all the submissions, we decided to just do meat. The most popular recipe was plain. We heard "nothing tastes better than just the meat" more than a few times.

And my personal burgers are pretty simple. But we thought we'd change it up from simple, to sassy, so we picked 3.

For all recipes, we used 80/20 beef and one pound per recipe.

I made all three mixes the night before so the meat could mix with the spices.

I mixed all three with gloved hands and made two, 1/2 pound, burgers out of each.

Here are the three we chose:

1. The BBQ Burger

This was actually a combination of two recipes. One, from Jack (didn't want his last name used), said to mix in two tablespoons of BBQ rub and some Worcestershire sauce.

The other, from Michelle Pickup, had the Worcestershire sauce in the meat too. She grilled it, and coated with BBQ sauce, adding Swiss cheese at the end.

2. The Spicy Burger

This one comes to us from Doug McDonald.

Incidentally, he had a great sauce too, but we'll do a sauce contest at a later time.

To the raw meat, add half a packet of Lipton's Beefy Onion Soup and one finely chopped fresh jalapeno, minus the seeds and stem.

We topped it with Pepper Jack on one of the burgers, and added Pimento Spread (more on that in a moment) to the other burger.

3. The Greek Goodness

This one came to us from Betty Phillips.

Her's was just meat and Cavender's Greek Seasoning.

She didn't say how much so I used 1 1/2 tablespoons. We topped it with American cheese.

So how did they turn out?

Here's the Facebook live if you missed it.

Our panel of five judges, all behind the scenes folks, tried each one of them.

This is what they thought.

1. If you like BBQ, the BBQ Burger is for you. It tasted like you were eating BBQ ribs on a bun. I used Sweet Baby Ray's for the sauce and one of our folks said, "You could really change the flavor, just by changing the BBQ sauce!" and I'd have to agree.

The Swiss cheese was hardly noticeable, but not bad. I should've added two slices...

2. The Spicy Burger was surprisingly not that spicy. The fresh jalapeno had really mellowed and, as it was roasted, it gave the burger a great flavor.

The Pepper Jack, as Emeril would say, kicked it up a notch.

One of our tasters did not like spicy (like her salsa HAS to be mild), so we tried it with the pimento spread, and she loved it! She thought it would go well with a nice side salad.

I saw several recipes with Pimento cheese spread, so I thought I would add it to this to counter the spicy, and it did just that.

3. The Greek Goodness. I've got to tell you, this one surprised us all.

I'd never had Cavender's before, as a matter of fact, I'd never heard of it. I found it at Walmart in the spices section.

I mixed it thoroughly in and let it set. We topped these burgers with American cheese per the original recipe.

They had a great flavor and were SO simple. It took me a while to figure it out, but they almost tasted like a Gyro.

I could see eating this burger with some fresh lettuce, onion, tomato, and Tzatziki sauce - that would be transcendent (word of the day calendar).

Now, I know you may not agree with the above choices.

And I found out this week that burger recipes are like opinions, everybody's got one.

I will be trying out the Greek Goodness on my family this weekend (along with some dogs and brats).

Whatever you do this weekend, just be careful, have fun, and please take a moment to remember those who died to make sure we could argue over who makes the best burgers.
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