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How To Make The Perfect Burger

It's the July Fourth weekend. You could grill salmon or lamb kabobs, but you know what you want: the perfect burger.

Recently, barbecue chef extraordinaire Adam Perry Lang taught NPR's David Greene how to make that perfect burger while toiling over a George Foreman Grill in NPR's mail loading dock.

"You know when you hit a good burger," says Lang, who wrote Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, & Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking. "This really makes the ultimate burger."

But the ultimate burger takes a lot more than throwing a few beef patties on the grill and toasting some hamburger buns. The meat itself is a three-part formula: Chuck gives it body, sirloin and brisket provide depth of flavor, and the brisket also adds that stick-to-your-ribs feeling.

While it might be intimidating to try a complex burger recipe, Lang says the key is to organize.

"You go in, you get the stuff ready, read through the recipe — glance through it, and then just go for it," Lang says. "You really can't screw it up."

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