Ultimate Grilled Cheeseburger

  • Serves

    serves 4


This burger, inspired by one created in Modernist Cuisine co-author Nathan Myhrvold's culinary lab, is topped with a tangy cream and vermouth sauce. Adding egg yolks to freshly ground meat makes for a supremely rich burger. This recipe first appeared in our June/July 2013 issue along with Nathan Myhrvold's article Secrets of the Grill: Burgers.

What You Will Need


  • 10 oz. boneless rib eye
  • 10 oz. boneless short ribs
  • 6 oz. hanger or skirt steak
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 12 cup heavy cream
  • 12 cup dry vermouth
  • 14 cup finely chopped spicy cucumber pickles, plus 3 tsp. pickle juice from jar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 8 slices cheese such as white or yellow American
  • 4 hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • Lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickled jalapeños, for serving


Step 1

Set up a meat grinder with a 3⁄16″ (4.5 mm) plate. Cut rib eye, short ribs, and hanger steak into 1″ pieces; grind meat separately. (Or ask your butcher to do this.) Mix meats with salt and egg yolks in a bowl; divide meat into 4 patties about 1″ thick and place on a plate. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Step 2

Heat oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and shallots; cook until soft, 6–8 minutes. Add cream and vermouth; simmer until thickened, 4–6 minutes. Stir in pickles, juice, mustard, and salt.

Step 3

Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to high; bank coals or turn off burner on one side. Grill burgers, flipping them once, until cooked to desired doneness, about 12 minutes for medium rare. Melt 2 slices cheese on each burger; serve on buns with sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and jalapeños.

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