Build a better burger using lean ground beef, sweet onions

Published June 15 2012

Dads love grilling. Dads love burgers. Trouble is, good burgers don't always love Dad back.

That's because great burgers often start with fatty ground beef. All that fat keeps the burgers juicy and flavorful as they grill. And then, of course, there is the temptation to pile on toppings and condiments, like heaps of melting cheese and thick spreads of mayonnaise.

We decided to show our love this Father's Day by offering up a delicious burger that also is healthy.

To keep our burger lean, we went with a 95 percent lean ground beef. You also could go for ground turkey, chicken or pork, but read the packages carefully; many ground meats aren't as lean as you might think.

Since we removed most of the fat from our burger's meat, we needed to add moisture. We did this by incorporating vegetables. I know, groan! Vegetables don't belong in burgers.

But caramelized onions add tons of flavor, moisture and virtually no calories. You also can make the onions well in advance so they're all ready to go when you want to make burgers. They even freeze well if you want to make a giant batch.

To top off the burger, we skipped the cheese and went with a quick homemade barbecue sauce with lots of flavor and a lot less sugar than you'd get in a bottled sauce. Best of all, you can make the sauce right on the grill; just bring a little saucepan out with you and do all the cooking in the same spot. Make the sauce first so that you know it's ready to go when the burgers are.

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