Burger Grilling Tips and Roasted Green Chile Cheeseburger

It’s summer time and that means gathering together outside around the grill and feasting on some great food. What’s a more classic summer grilling dish than a good ol’ fashioned burger? For those of you who may be a little intimidated by grilling a burger- have no fear ’cause I’ve put together some of my favorite easy tips for grilling up a juicy burger. And after you study up you can get the fire ready and put your skills to the grill with our Green Chile Cheeseburger recipe.

Get outside and share some good food and stories from the grill…


Burger Grilling Tips:

80/20 Blend: The beef you choose is important. It has to have the correct blend of fat to lean for great flavor but also to help keep the burger together. 80% lean to 20% fat is a perfect burger blend. In any situation when you’re not sure of a meat choice ask your butcher. They’re there to help and can point you in the right direction.

Chill and Season: After you get your beef and make it into patties- chill the burgers. Chilling will help them stay together on the grill. You should also season right before you put the burgers on the grill, this will prevent them from drying out and give you better flavor. Also don’t store the meat in tinfoil because it can discolor meat- use wax paper instead.

Start the Fire: NEVER, EVER, use lighter fluid. It’s bad for you. It makes your food taste bad. It’ll even make me sick, so I won’t be able to come over and eat with you! Use a chimney, a torch, newspaper or another method to get the fire going naturally. You can also check out our fire starting video here for more tips: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlQ79DCBc7A

Don’t Mash the Burger: As it’s grilling, you’ll have the urge to mash the burger to move the cooking along. This will just release the juices and you’re left with a dry burger. You’ll notice a liquid releasing as it cooks which will start red and then run clear. When it’s clear, it’s pretty close to being done. You can take the very tip of your spatula and lightly press the middle of the burger to see what the liquid looks like.

Cook to Medium-Medium/Well: Y’all know that I like my steaks cooked no more than medium-rare for the most flavor and juiciness. However, because hamburger is a processed meat and handled more I recommend cooking hamburger medium to medium-well for safety.


Check out our video for all our tips...

Print Recipe
Roasted Green Chile Cheese Burger
  • 1 pound hamburger meat preferably 20% fat
  • salt and black pepper or Red River Ranch Original Seasoning
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Green chiles, Anaheim peppers or Poblano peppers, roasted
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Additional toppings: onion tomato, etc. (optional)
  • 1 pound hamburger meat preferably 20% fat
  • salt and black pepper or Red River Ranch Original Seasoning
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Green chiles, Anaheim peppers or Poblano peppers, roasted
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Additional toppings: onion tomato, etc. (optional)
  1. Form the hamburger into 4 patties and season both sides with salt and pepper or Red River Ranch Original Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour. This helps the burgers stay together better when grilling.
  2. Remove the patties from the refrigerator to warm just slightly before grilling.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat the milk and flour over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens just slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheddar cheese until smooth. Stir in the spices until combined. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. Place the burgers on a medium-high heat greased grill. Grill about 6 to 8 minutes per side or until there is no pink in the middle. Unlike a steak, hamburger meat should be cooked medium-well to well done because it is a processed meat. Let it rest a few minutes before serving.
  6. Place the burgers on buns and top with roasted chiles, cheese and any additional toppings.
Recipe Notes

To roast the chiles: With a pair of tongs, hold the chile over direct heat/flame from the grill. Rotate until all sides are blackened. Repeat with the remaining chiles. Place in a bowl of cold water for several minutes. Remove the chiles from the water and peel off the blackened skin and discard. Cut the chile along one side to open up. Remove the seeds and inner membrane.

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How to Convert Recipes for Dutch Oven Cooking

You know what question I get all the time? “What is your favorite Dutch oven recipe?” Or “What is your favorite Dutch oven cookbook?”

My answer is always- nearly any recipe or cookbook can be used for Dutch oven cooking! While it may seem a little intimidating at first, all you need are a few quick tricks and tips and you can easily convert nearly any traditional conventional oven recipe into a Dutch oven recipe.

The biggest factors are dish size, temperature and time.

Since we cook with real wood coals, we don’t set a specific time or temperature for cooking. We rely mainly on sight and touch. We’ve put together a quick video to show you some of the ways you can easily convert your favorite recipe to the Dutch oven.

And for dish sizing check out the diagram we’ve listed below to know which size oven to use based on your recipe.

Now get out there and get the fire hot!


Click for our: dutch oven baking cheat sheet


Watch the Video…


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How to Get Great Flavor from Your Coffee Pot

Making great coffee is important. And if you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve got our famous Cowboy Coffee recipe HERE.

But getting great flavor from coffee doesn’t just come from the coffee itself, but from your coffee pot. Just like cast iron, a coffee pot needs to be seasoned. Once you have it properly seasoned- and clean it properly- you’ll notice be on your way to having the best coffee in your life!

Cleaning: Never use soap on a coffee pot! Soap will eat away at any of your coffee seasoning and can also flavor it poorly. You’ll just need some good hot water and a good rinsing. Be sure to let your pot to air dry completely before putting it up.

Boiling Coffee: For new coffee pots, pots you’ve recently purchased you’ll need to build up some of that inside coffee seasoning. Fill your coffee pot with water and add the coffee ground. Bring it to a good rolling boil for about 10 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let is set all day. Letting the coffee absorb into the inside of the pot will help build a great flavor.

I recommend using a graniteware or enamel pot. You can use stainless steel, but it may take longer to build a good seasoning.

For more tips on how buying a coffee pot, storing and more check out our Video…


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Cold Weather Cooking Tips for Grilling pt. 1

It’s always the season to cook outside or grill. So let’s go over some top tips I have for y’all when grilling or cooking in a Dutch oven when it’s cold outside – let’s get the fire hot!
Grilling Tip #1:
Preheat your grill longer. Allow for more time when you preheat your grill because the cold weather is going to stel your heat. If you have a temperature gauge let it get up to a good 400 degrees F.  Also allow for a slightly longer cooking time as well.
Grilling Tip #2:
Use a hotter fire. When using a wood or charcoal, you’ll want to get your food a little closer to the coals. and use a few more coals than when cooking in warmer weather. Now you folks out there with a gas controlled stove, you’re not going to have as much trouble as we are with a live fire controlling the heat.
Grilling Tip #3:
Ventilation.  A lot of grills have those ventilation deals on the side to allow for airflow.  In the summer time, sure I’m going to open them up, because I’m going to get me some fire going and some smoke rolling. In cooler weather, I’m going to leave the vent open just a little until l I get the coals good and hot, but then I’m going to choke it down to nearly nothing. You don’t want that cold air circulating through there.
Grilling Tip #4
Alright, most of the grills you’ve got have a lid, but if yours doesn’t you’ll need something to help keep some heat in. Grab a dishpan, washtub or my favorite is a cast iron skillet. I’ll preheat this skillet a little then turn it upside down over the meat or food I’m grilling. This will trap some of the heat and also give me a little radiant heat.  So if you don’t have a lid you may have to fabricate one. But remember when you get done the skillet may have gotten hot enough that you need to give it a little re-seasoning.
Watch the How-To Video

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Cold weather cooking tips for Dutch oven cooking part 2

Dutch Oven Tip #1:
Prep Your Ground. Before you place your Dutch oven on the ground to cook on you need to warm the ground. Rake off any snow or debris, make it level and then place a shovelful of coals on the ground to allow the ground to warm and/or dry out. If you place a Dutch oven on cold ground, place coals around it and begin cooking- that cold ground is going to suck all of that heat away from the coals and you won’t be cooking as well.
Dutch Oven Tip #2:
Gradually warm and cool cast iron.   You don’t want to put cold cast iron on a cooking heat right away because it may cause it to crack or warp. Gradually warm cast iron before cooking in it. The same goes for cooling it. Don’t finish cooking something in it and then place it directly next to a snow bank. Allow it to cool gradually before storing, etc.
Dutch Oven Tip #3:
Remove old coals before cooking. Now you heard me mention before that you need to warm your ground before cooking. Well, before you put your Dutch oven on the ground to cook, now that you have pre-warmed it, you need to remove those old coals. Removing the coals will allow you to start with a fresh batch when cooking and you’ll know exactly how much new heat you have.
Dutch Oven Tip #4:
You don’t need to start with more coals. Folks often think that in cold weather you need to start with a lot more coals to cook with. False. You’ll add the same amount of coals you would normally, but the difference is you may need to add a few more coals as you go along if the cold weather steals some of your heat and causes it to burn out a little quicker. Adding a lot of coals at the beginning may just cause you to burn food.
We preheated the ground, we pre-warmed our oven. So you may have to add a few coals as you go along. But don’t start out with no heap in helping, you’ll end up with burned biscuits.
Watch the How-To Video

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Perfect 10-minute Cast Iron Filet

It’s intimidating, right? This little filet feller. It’s a thick cut and it’s a little pricey so you sure don’t want to mess it up.
Well folks we’ve got an easy fool proof method to fixing up this cut and the best part- it only takes 10 minutes.
So let’s get some beef, cast iron and dig in because this is going to be good! One thing I will tell you- don’t cook this beyond medium-rare, you’re wasting your money if you do. And like I always say, “He done died once, we don’t need to kill him again!”

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No Stick- Cast Iron Skillet Omelette

I’ve heard a lot of folks say, “I like cast iron, but you sure can’t cook an omelette or an egg in one.” Now that sure isn’t true. Good, seasoned cast iron can cook anything in it and we’re going to tell you the trick.
I like to use my 8-inch cast iron skillet for one omelette, but you can use any size. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and melt over medium heat.
In a small bowl add 2 eggs or what I like to callhen fruitorcackleberries.
Now, a trick is to add 1 tablespoon of cold water per egg.  What that does is steam the eggs as they cook which will prevent them from sticking on your skillet.
Stir that up with a little salt and pepper and pour it into your preheated skillet.
Beforehand, I’ll brown up a little bacon and chop it. I also like to add diced green onion, bell peppers or whatever y’all like in your omelette. Sprinkle your mixture on top of the eggs.
The edges of the eggs will start to separate from the skillet and firm up a little, they will also begin to loosen from the skillet – this is when you’ll want to flip one side over. This will be around the 2 minute point.
Once you’ve flipped it,  let that cook another minute or so, until the eggs are set.
I’m not a fancy chef, and I’ve told you you can’t get full on fancy – but you can cook a mighty mean cackleberry omelette in a piece of cast iron if it’s well seasoned.  The water, I think is what makes the eggs light and fluffy to me.
Let us show you exactly how we work this trick…Watch the How-To Video:

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My Top 5 Tips for Cast Iron

I’ve been cooking in cast iron my whole life, and I think it’s the most versatile kitchen tool! But you have to take care of it and you have to season it properly. Check below for my top tips which will make cooking in cast iron a lot easier.
Watch the Video….

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AMAZON’S Top 100 Cookbooks

We’re so honored that our cookbook,A Taste of Cowboy, was just named on “Amazon’s Top 100 Cookbooks for a Lifetime of Cooking.”
When Shannon and I put together this cookbook, it was a culmination (and that’s a big word for me), of over 25 years cooking whether it was with Mama in the kitchen or at the chuck wagon for cowboys.
As we were putting this cookbook together we knew we had to include a lot of comfort recipes that are easy to make with uncomplicated but bold flavors. But we wanted this to be more than just recipes. the biggest feedback we get from folks is that the thing they most enjoy are the stories and the pictures Shannon has taken from the ranches we’ve cooked for over the years. Even if you never cook a recipe out of this book, you’ll still get something out of it. We’ve had folks just set it on their coffee table.
We’d love for y’all to check it out and share it with your friends and family. It is available at major bookstores and if you’d like a signed copy you can also get one from our website.
Thank y’all for making this adventure so special for us. Keep the fire hot! Kent

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Throwdown Winning Chicken Fried Steak

Check out the recipe that appeared on the Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay. Bobby challenged me to a chicken fried steak while we were cooking on a ranch. Bobby sure got hot that day!
2 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup seasoned salt
3 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons garlic salt
Canola or peanut oil for frying
Golden Fry Batter (see below)
4 (5-ounce) pieces tenderized top or bottom round steak or cube steak
1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt, lemon pepper, and garlic salt. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, pot, or deep Dutch oven, pour in enough oil to deep-fry the steaks (2 to 3 inches). Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches about 350°F.
3. Pick up one piece of meat with tongs and dip it into the batter and then into the flour mixture. Be sure both sides are well coated. Repeat, or as I call it, “double baptize.” Repeat with the remaining steaks.
4. Fry the pieces for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with the gravy.
TIP: “Tenderized” steaks, which are cut from the eye of round, top round, or bottom round, have been mechanically tenderized by the butcher. They look like a cross between a hamburger and a steak. They are also called cube steaks. You can also buy the cuts and tenderize them yourself with a meat tenderizing hammer.
If using our Original seasoning for the seasoned flour use 3 cups of flour to 1/3 cup of seasoning- or to taste.
Golden Fry Batter
3 tablespoons powdered whole egg
3 tablespoons powdered milk
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 cups warm water
I used to be a milk or buttermilk and egg fan when battering meat to fry, but it seemed that the coating didn’t want to stick to the meat as well as I needed it to. This creates a thicker, crispier crust that is the secret to my chicken-fried steak and will work to create a golden crust on meats, veggies, or anything you dream of frying up.
1. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, baking powder, and paprika together.
2. Dissolve the mixture in the water.
TIP: You can replace the Golden Fry Batter with a mixture of 2 cups milk or buttermilk, 2 large eggs, beaten, and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
For the batter I used to beat Bobby Flay visithttp://www.decoty.com/and search for “miracle dip.”
Watch the Video…