With bourbon. Because THAT IS WHAT MEN DO.


Also women because let’s be honest, a charry grilled burger with sharp provolone, red onions and a slightly spicy honey-bourbon sauce (recipe at the end) is something that both sexes can agree on.


And I didn’t even have to make it myself, which just makes the whole thing even better.


(It may not look like much, but it is good. Excellent to glaze chicken or pork with, too.)

shapingBrian also made the burgers, because he is the GRILL MASTER of the household whereas I retain humankind’s innate fear of being that close to fire. Call me crazy, but avoiding situations that can result in third degree burns is a neurosis of mine.

His burger secrets: Hoisin sauce. With a little hoisin your burger will always be juicy without actually tasting of hoisin.  A dash of worcestershire, but I assume that goes without saying; I mean, we’re talking about burgers here. Finally, dents in the middle of the patties to keep them from puffing up like baseballs.

Okay, that last one is not so much a secret, but it’s still useful.

My burger secret: Hooking up with a guy who knows how to make kick-ass burgers. Then you can spend the afternoon reading a book while sipping sparkling water with St. Germain, and napping. And when you wake up, there are burgers! Best Saturday ever.


Here is true evidence of his grill mastery: He not only does the grilling, he BUILT THE DAMN GRILL HISSELF. Seriously. He ordered this hobo drum and a bunch of other grill-y parts, spent the morning in assembly and produced a pit smoker that can also be used as a grill. Here he is showing his dominion over the hobo drum.

Our motto: “Will it make us look more like hoboes? We’ll take it!”

I cannot, however, complain about the burgers it produces. Next weekend is ribs, as a run-up to the Memorial Day grillapalooza or, as it is formally known in the invitation, “Smoke-a-thon IV: The Ass Kicker.”


Here, it perhaps looks as though I am violating my personal rule against being close to fire, but I’m actually using a zoom lens.


And here, I am about to chow down. Note the plastic basket, which instantly makes any burger more burger-y. Not that this one needed it; hoisin burgers are always plenty good on their own. Charred and carcinogenic on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside, the sharp cheese playing off the sweetish sauce, with the gentle bite of red onion…it’s what grills were made for.

Yep, I done picked a good one.

Honey-Bourbon Sauce
makes about 1 cup, can be scaled up or down

1/4 c. decent bourbon
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. ketchup
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tsp. mustard
1 tbsp. hoisin
1 tbsp. plum sauce
1/4-1/2 tsp. chili-garlic paste, depending on how spicy you like things

Combine all the ingredients in a pot over low heat. Simmer until everything is combined and the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Done.