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9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

Of all the things to cook up on a grill, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Burgers. And why not? Burgers are delicious. Especially if they are made the right way. So, your friends here at Aqua Quip did some digging to figure out the best tips for grilling the perfect burger. No need to thank us.

1. Don’t buy pre-formed wannabe burger patties

You want to be in total control of the outcome of your burger, right? You can’t leave anything to chance, and that includes your burger meat. So instead of reaching straight for the already-formed, two dimensional “hamburger” meat, grab the ground chuck instead.

2. Make sure the beef has an 80/20 lean to fat ratio

Here’s a tip from one of our very own: never, ever, ever, use cheap 90% lean ground beef; avoid the hockey-puck burger, and get it right the first time. With 20% fat, you’re on the right track to a nice juicy burger.

3. A little goes a long wayolebobhickory

Speaking from experience, adding a lot of spices will make you feel cool, but it won’t actually do much for the burger itself. Do your burgers a favor, and just stick with the basics: salt and pepper. Or, if you want to have a little fun with your burgers, pick up a jar of your favorite John Henry’s BBQ seasoning from your nearest Aqua Quip store!

4. Be extra gentle while forming your patties

This burger is your baby: caress it; love it; give it a nice warm hand hug before laying it down for a quick nap in the grill, and remember that if you’re too aggressive with your burger baby, it will become too tough and it might not come home for holidays.

5. Separate the ground beef into 5-8 oz. patties, flatten them out to 1 inch thickness, and make sure the patty is the same width as the bun

Because nothing is worse than finding that perfect bite, only to find out that it was just bread.

6. Create a small divot on the top of the burger patty to ensure that it doesn’t puff up while cooking

Ever tried to pick up a big, rounded burger, plus toppings and buns? Hint: It doesn’t end well. So for totally flat, yet juicy burgers, all you have to do is make that tiny dimple with your thumb.

Photo from the Food Network
Photo from the Food Network

7. After preheating your grill to medium or medium/high heat, throw the patties on and LEAVE THEM ALONE.

It’s always tempting to poke and prod and push down on our patties while they cook, but the best way to do it is to just leave them be. You really only need to flip the burgers once after 4 or 5 minutes. And whether you’re using a Big Green Egg or a Weber grill, always keep the hood open, or else you might overcook your burger.

8. Cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side and use a thermometer to test the internal temperature (make sure it hits 160°); do NOT cut into that patty.

For a perfect medium rare, four minutes on each side is all you need; if you want your burgers done more medium, just add an extra minute on each side. Then, when the burgers look close to done, check the temperature, not the color. Use a meat thermometer to test if the patty has reached 160°, but don’t cut into it because you’ll release all of those wanted burger juices.

9. In the final few minutes of grilling your burgers, add cheese to the tops of the patties and throw some buttery buns on the grill.

A toasty bun creates that delicious “crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside” texture, and adds a layer of delicious flavor to your already mouthwatering burger. Just one to two minutes on the grill should do the trick. Then while those are toasting, move your burger to a cooler side of the grill and toss a slice of cheesy goodness right on top and watch it melt away with all your troubles.

And there you have it! Your perfect burger. For more fun burger recipes, look no further than here! 

Friday, Football, and Food, OH MY!

Friday, Football, and Food, OH MY!

It’s Tailgating Time

It’s mid August, the kids are heading back to school soon, and the summer is just as boiling hot as ever, but we’ve all had one thing on our minds: Why didn’t they run the ball? 🙁

But now, the football season has returned (Superbowl round four?), and while we’re all jumping for joy, we remember that this time of the year is also peak grilling season, so we start jumping even higher. As this Friday rolls around, get your grills and your voices fired up, because you need to make sure you can still yell at your TV while you’re eating.

In case you haven’t already planned your first tailgate party recipes of the 2015-2016 football season, we at Aqua Quip decided to lend you, our fellow 12th men and women, a hand.

To check out the recipes, click below ↓

Orange Creamsicle Muddy Buddies
Grilled Potato Skins
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burgers

You can’t grill everything…

In honor of easy snacks, great tasting desserts, and August 14th being “Orange Creamsicle Day”, here’s a super simple recipe for a fun twist on classic Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow if we must):

Orange Creamsicle Muddy Buddies


  • 8 Cups of Rice Chex Cerealorange+creamsicle+buddies1
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4 cup butter (mmm butter)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest (about 1 1/2 large oranges)
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar


Measure 8 cups Rice Chex Cereal into a large mixing bowl (a super bowl, if you will…sorry). In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine vanilla baking chips, butter, cream and orange zest. Microwave it on 50% power in 30 second intervals, periodically stirring it between each one until it’s creamy and smooth. Stir in the orange extract, mix that up, and then pour it over the Chex. Toss it up with a rubber spatula until all the Chex is happy and creamsicle-coated. From here, pour your delicious creation into a 2 gallon ziploc bag, add the powdered sugar and start shakin’. For an even more FANtastic twist, toss some blue and green M&Ms into the mix.

Recipe provided by Cooking Classy.

But you can grill these…

Grilled Potato Skins

Now that your sweet tooth is satisfied, let’s talk about savory. Our next recipe is a well known and loved appetizer: Potato skins. (I’m getting hungry just looking at the picture.) This recipe only yields eight delicious potato skins, so feel free to double (or triple) the recipe to make sure you’ve got enough for all of your party guests and family.



  • 2 Large baking potatoes
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • 2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (“Everything’s better with bacon!” I always say.)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Sour Cream


Cut the potatoes lengthwise into four wedges. Cut away the meat of the potato so there is only 1/4 in. left on the skins. For tenderer potato skins, throw them in the microwave, uncovered, on high for  8-10 minutes. Combine the butter, roesmary, salt and pepper; brush over both sides of potato skins.

Now that the preparation is done, you can start grilling. Place the potatoes, skin side up, uncovered, over direct medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the potatoes and position them over indirect heat for 2 more minutes and then top them with cheesy goodness. Cover and grill for 2-3 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Finally, sprinkle the bacon and onions on and serve it with sour cream. Yum.

Recipe provided by Taste of Home.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burgers

We saved you the best for last. These savory and spicy buffalo chicken burgers will leave everyone completely satisfied, and the food coma that comes after will be totally worth it. Here’s how to build these beautiful buffalo burgers:


For the patty:

  • 1 lb of ground chickengrilled and delicious buffalo chicken burger recipe for your football game tailgate party
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp minced dill weed
  • 1 tsp minced parsley

For the rest of the burger:

  • Burger buns (I suggest Brioche)
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • tomato slices
  • chopped green onion (use any left overs from the potato skins)
  • sliced mozzarella cheese


Combine the ingredients for the patty in a mixing bowl and mix well. Form your burgers (whichever size you want) and throw the patties on your grill over medium-high heat for about eight minutes. Flip and grill for another 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. When they’re fully cooked, brush on some buffalo sauce and grill for another minute on each side.

Time to build your burger. Spread ranch dressing on the bottom bun and add blue cheese crumbles and tomato slices. Then add your buffalo chicken patty and top it off with the chopped green onion and mozzarella slices.

Ingredients provided by willcookforsmiles.

Now that you’ve got the perfect tailgate recipes, eat up, enjoy, and GO HAWKS!

Korean Rib Eye Steaks with Toasted Sesame Salt

Korean Rib Eye Steaks with Toasted Sesame Salt

Korean Rib Eye Steaks with Toasted Sesame Salt

Recipe by Weber Grills and Jamie Purviance



  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup sherry or sake
  • ¼ cup toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 scallions (white and light green parts only), roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce


  1. In a small bowl combine 4 teaspoons of the sesame seeds with the salt. Set aside
  2. In a food processor or blender combine the remaining 4 teaspoons sesame seeds with the marinade ingredients. Blend until almost smooth. Pour half of the marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Place the steaks in a large
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    resealable plastic bag and pour in the remaining marinade. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place on a rimmed baking dish, and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning the bag occasionally and massaging the marinade into the steaks. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.

  3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the marinade in the bag. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 6 to 8 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice. During the last 2 minutes of grilling time, grill the scallions over direct heat, turning once. Remove from the grill
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    and let the steaks rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. While the steaks rest make the sauce. Place the small saucepan with the marinade over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Boil until slightly thickened and reduced to about ½ cup, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Cut the steaks into thin slices. Drizzle with the reduced marinade and sprinkle with sesame salt. Serve warm with grilled scallions.

Recipe from Weber Grills and can be found here.

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Bacon Cheddar Burgers

Bellevue Aqua Quip's Bacon-Cheddar Burger

Our Bellevue store this weekend dug in and got their hands dirty creating this amazing burger!

It started with regular bacon that was smoked on a Green Mountain Daniel Boone grill. Then once the bacon was smoked it was chopped up with onions and cheddar cheese. The Bellevue team mixed the bacon, cheese and onions with ground

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beef and made some amazing burger patties!

These burgers smoked

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at 150 degrees for an hour and then were finished off at 250 degrees for another 20 minutes.

These homemade bacon-cheddar burgers were a HUGE hit!!

Products from Aqua Quip:
Green Mountain Grill – Daniel Boone pellet smoker

Daniel-Boone-Aqua Quip

Jalapeno/Bacon Cheeseburgers – AQ Style

Jalapeno/Bacon Cheeseburgers – AQ Style

Grilling In Shoreline

Today one of our amazing team members Aaron decided to take your basic cheeseburger and kick it up a notch.


Here are the results:









Aaron, one of our in

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house grill masters, smoked the bacon on our pellet smoker, then cooked the hamburgers in the left over bacon fat for extra flavor.

The Burger Breakdown:
Bun, Cheese, Jalapeno dip mix under the burger (as a spread), Burger mixed with Mojave Garlic seasoning, bacon, jalapeno slices, ketchup and mayo.



What Aqua Quip ingredient were use:
Green Mountain Pellet Smoker
John Henry Mojave Garlic Seasoning
Texas Longhorn Jalapeno Dip Mix

50736-john-henry-mojave-garlic-pepper__73655.1288295831.1280.1280 Longhorn-Jalapeno-Dip-Mix-F0610005-lg

Open-Faced Turkey Burger Melts with Swiss Cheese

Open-Faced Turkey Burger Melts with Swiss Cheese

Serves: 4 // Prep time: 15 minutes | Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes




  • 1½ pounds ground turkey (93% lean)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried sage (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).
  2. Gently combine the patty ingredients. With wet hands, form four square patties of equal size, each about ½ inch thick. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl mix the sauce ingredients.
  4. Cut each roll in half and brush the cut sides with oil.
  5. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the patties over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. After you turn the burgers, add two slices of cheese
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    to each patty. During the last minute of grilling time, toast the rolls, cut side

    down, over direct heat.

  6. Build the burgers on toasted ciabatta with sauce, baby greens, a patty, and two tomato slices. Season with salt. Serve warm.

Original recipe can be found here:

How to get your Barbecue ready for summer!

How to get your Barbecue ready for summer!

The sun is emerging here in the great northwest and while we are busy looking for the sunglasses we haven’t used since last year, we dream of all the delicious food we are going to cook on our barbecues this year.

Did you stash away your barbecue like you did your sunglasses? Then it’s probably time to give it a thorough tune up and spring cleaning.


If you have a gas barbecue you want to make sure it is safe before standing in front of it for a full day.

  1. If your barbecue uses a propane tank, take off the tank, clean it and look for any signs of damage or wear.
  2. Check the valve and hose for
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    leaks by sloshing – cover the valve with soapy water while it is on and look for bubbles. If bubbles appear, immediately get the valve or hose replaced.

  3. Check the ignition switch to be sure the grill is lighting properly.


An even flame is important for the barbecue experience. If you want to check whether or not your grill burns evenly, cover the grates with slices of white bread and run burners on high for a few minutes. Cut the flame and flip the bread and you will see which areas of your grill get the most heat and where the cool spots are. Knowing your grill you can utilize the cooler areas for indirect-heat food.



Most experts agree that your barbecue should be thoroughly cleaned once a year, aside from your regular cleaning after each use. Here are some tips for the tougher areas:

Baking Soda: Make a paste of ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of water. Use a wire brush to apply the paste to the grates. Let it dry

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for 15 minutes and wipe it down with a dry cloth. Make sure you burn the grill on high for at least 15 minutes to get rid of any residue before placing your food on the barbecue.

Plastic Bags: If your grill is a big mess

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after a big barbecue, take the racks off and spray them with oven cleaner. Then place them in garbage bags over night. The following day the goo should wipe right off – just make sure you keep your head out of the fumes when you open the bag!

WD-40: WD-40 is good for just about anything, even to make your barbecue look like new again. On a cool grill generously spray it with WD-40, wait a few seconds and then scrub it down with a wire brush.

Make good use of your barbecue this season!




Cherry Burger with a Twist

Cherry Burger with a Twist

Cherry Burger with a Twist

  1. Take 1½ lbs of ground beef (15% fat).
  2. Mix in 5 Tbsp Wild Cherry Chipotle Rub.
  3. Mix in 1 1/2 tsp fresh chopped ginger.
  4. Add 1 tsp freshly zested orange rind.
  5. Add 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Mix everything very
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    well and let it sit to allow all the flavors to penetrate the meat.

  7. Turn the Traeger Smoker up to high and grill them hot and fast…

Find more recipes in David’s Corner or visit him in

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