National Hamburger day, which falls every May 28, celebrates that most iconic of American foods. The origin of the hamburger is lost in the mists of time but is thought to have occurred sometime between 1880 and 1900. The cooked beef between two buns, along with toppings and various kinds of condiments, is one of the most popular forms of food around.

What is a hamburger?

A hamburger is considered to be a patty of beef, cooked either on a grill or in a pan or griddle and placed between two buns along with toppings and some combination of sauces. The standard American burger might contain lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions, ketchup, and mustard.

Strips of bacon and melted cheese can also be added.

Does a burger have to contain beef?

A lot of people have experimented with hamburgers that do not contain beef. Ground meat that can go into a burger includes bison, lamb, ostrich, deer, chicken, and turkey. For vegetarians, tofu and beans can be made into patties. Some lovers of the hamburger have added toppings that can include more exotic veggies such as sliced zucchini and sauces such as salsa and barbecue sauce. These innovations have made the humble hamburger one of the most versatile meals on the planet.

Cooking a hybrid burger

One of the more innovative types of hamburger combined two types of meat into one. The idea is to take a pound of ground beef and a pound of ground Italian sausage that is out of the casing and knead them in a bowl together so that the two are combined.

Then one can make eight quarter pounder patties out of the two and cook them as one would regular hamburgers. One assembles the burgers and serves then just as one would any other kind. The taste is something that is unique and delicious.

Why it is best to cook a hamburger on a grill

To be sure one can cook a burger indoors, in a frying pan or a griddle.

Some people try to get that outdoor flavor by combining the meat with a product called Liquid Smoke. But there is nothing like cooking hamburgers on an open flame, on the back patio.

Fire is how our remote ancestors first prepared their food, making it easier to digest and thus starting them on the road to civilization. The taste of meat that has been kissed by fire is something that is far superior to anything that has been cooked indoors, especially if one adds wood chips to impart a smoky flavor. And, in the summer, having a backyard grilling is a great family social event.