Here's my delimma - Hosting my first BBQ (new homeowner!) what is best route to go for burgers?
Frozen patties; Though, not really my cup of tea, easy for the kiddies, right?
Buy bulk ground beef and form 25 or so patties?
Thoughts, opinions, tricks?
frozen patties? No. Unless you are really strapped for time. REALLY strapped. Making them by hand will only take a half hour or so like someone else posted.
Everyone always loves the ol' onion soup burgers.
Cheese stuffed inside the burgers? Maybe a nice bleu cheese, or gorgonzola?
Don't skimp on the buns. I always appreciate a nice, chewy kaiser.
A few not so standard condiments:
Roasted red pepper tapenade
roasted garlic cloves
Grilled onion slices
Buy bulk ground beef - 80-85% lean (we mix 90 and 80% because we often can't find 85%).
Mix them with a good spice mix (we use the freebie spice that Penzey's puts in our spice orders), and form the patties yourself. It will only take a few extra minutes to form 25 patties, and the meat will be that much nicer. Really, purchased patties are fairly nasty (not sure why, but they always look kinda dried out and old).
Remember, don't use lean ground beef! I realized when I saw my MIL making burgers with extra lean beef why hers are ALWAYS like hockey pucks. For a juicy burger you'll want to use 80% lean. I always form my burgers the night before and wrap them tightly and put them in the refrig. I get them out 20 min before we cook them to bring them back to room temp. Some may not like the idea of having hamburger sit out, but we haven't had anybody keel over yet!
I will only buy my own- for large BBQ's I buy the bulk at Costco. The simplest way IMO to prepare for the large group is to simply just add water or crushed ice (the water makes the juicy) & a good steak rub- that's all! I prepare them early & put them in the refrigerator. I also make mini ones for the kids. I've never had a good frozen burger & can always tell the difference. You could also get some pepper jack cheese, or another variety, to add a different flavor.
Also, try to pick some sides that you can prepare ahead or don't take too much kitchen work so that you can socialize too! I did that for Mother's Day & it was nice to spend time with the family instead of just cooking. Good Luck!