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The Cheeseburger Test of a Man

The Cheeseburger falls somewhere between Ron Swanson and Andy Warhol

“Dear Bea Arthur, this is without a doubt my favorite food. I measure a man by his burger.”

That sounded awkward. Let me try again...

If I could only live on one thing, it would be NASCAR and the love of a good woman. OK, technically that’s two things. Anyway, I feel compelled to fill my diary with such statements. You see, my manly-man points are waning. I recently caught myself scribbling in my life journal “That Tim Gunn is fabulous.” I need help.

I was compelled into to action.

I made a cheeseburger.

“Dear Bea Arthur, I AM MAN. SEE ME MAN-CHAR,” the chef documented in his life journal.

First off, I get it. I’m not grilling. I’m using a cast iron skillet. It’s better this way. Here’s why - it takes 20 minutes to heat up the grill. Coals are a messy pain. It takes another 20 to clean up the grill. Oh, yeah, it’s 10 crap-ball degrees outside. I just got off of work. I have neither the time nor the inclination to grill. My manly hypocrisy only goes so far.

Second, you want your meat a little closer to room temperature than it is straight out of the fridge. Leave it out for a half hour or so before cooking. This is not a required step. It helps with even cooking. Another trick is to put a little thumb print dimple in the middle of each patty. Whatever.

It takes me five minutes to heat up my cast iron skillet. Go do so. Put it on the burner at about an 8. The pneumonic aid for that is “ate.” That’s brilliant. I claim that. Spread a little oil after four minutes for a tiny sheen.


· 1 pound of ground beef, I use the 93%

· Salt, Pepper, Splash of Worcestershire Sauce

· Nice soft buns

· Butter and garlic

· Cheese slices of your manly choosing

· Red Onions

Here’s the test. You can do this. I believe in you.

“Dear Bea Arthur, I believe in them.”

Butter both sides of your hamburger buns and spread some crushed garlic on them. Get ready to toast them. Cut a red onion into quarter inch thick slices. Try to keep the slices intact. If you don’t, we forgive you.

Put the ground beef in a bowl. Add about two pinches of salt, several grinds of black pepper and a nice splash of Worcestershire Sauce. Mix lightly and form into either 2 half pound or 4 quarter pound patties. Don’t smush the patties. You want your meat together, but not tightly compacted.

Place your meat in the skillet. Set your timer for 8 minutes. Don’t play with them. Just put them in the pan. Start the timer.

- Do nothing for two minutes but think of how awesome you are.

- With six minutes left, lay in your red onion slices just like they are another burger patty. Start your buns

- With four minutes left, flip the burger. Again, don’t play with it.

- With three minutes left flip the onions.

- With one minute left, put your cheese on your burgers. I like Brie. Don’t judge me. Add 1/8 cup of water and cover the skillet. The steam will melt the cheese. You’ll be impressed.

- No time left. Put your cheeseburger on a lightly toasted bun and top with your onions.

I spread a little prepared horseradish on my bun. You know what you’re doing here though.

I counted, like, fifty inappropriate euphemisms in this post. See if you can find them. I think that’s going to be my next drinking game. Anyway, eat now. With manly-man points refreshed, I’m going to watch a Cougar Town marathon - fearlessly.

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