The Master Butchers of Lobel's School Us In The Art Of Meat

Grill The Perfect Burger This Memorial Day Weekend

May 22, 2009 Culture By


Hey, Truth just called. Apparently, you aren’t the grill master you think you are. No worries though, it shouldn’t be held it against you. But before you, myself, and the 60% of Americans who will fire up the grill this Memorial Day do so, take a few minutes to join me as I interview someone who does know his meat, Evan Lobel – coauthor of Lobel’s Meat Bible: All You Need to Know about Meat and Poultry from America’s Master Butchers. Yes, this man knows his meat.

Lobel’s how-to and tips to grilling the perfect burger (both with direct and indirect heat) and more importantly, assure your ascent to Dr. Grillmeister fame.

all-you-need-to-know-about-meat-and-poultry“We love beef, which puts us in good company. Most meat eaters favor it. Let’s face it – few things beat a plump burger sizzling on the grill…”

This excerpt opens the first chapter of Lobel’s Meat Bible: All You Need to Know about Meat and Poultry from America’s Master Butchers. It probably doesn’t take any convincing that this family of four couldn’t be anymore on target. And why should they? Lobel’s Butcher Shop dates back more than 170 years. As a result, America’s Master Butchers have cultivated a reputation as “the butchers to the stars.” Many Lobel’s customers have built a culinary reputation on their advice for preparing the perfect feast. This is Gear Patrol so we share the love, and we want to bring that to you.

I recently popped into Lobel’s Madison Avenue storefront (or meat-locker) in the center of Manhattan’s Upper Eastside to pick Evan Lobel’s brain about all things man: meat and grilling. You may recognize Evan from several national radio and television shows, including the Food Network and the Martha Stewart show. Known as the “meticulous carver,” there are few more knowledgeable on selecting the right cut of meat and carving techniques that enhance flavor, texture and presentation. What really struck me after our 2 hour conversation about all things carnivorous is that this fifth generation butcher ended with one simple comment: “…but at the end of the day, there’s nothing better than grilling the perfect burger.” And with that, we raise our glass to you, Evan.

We love beef, which puts us in good company.

Before I share Evan’s wealth of knowledge on how to grill the perfect burger, do yourself a favor and pick up a few of their famous 1-pound Wyoming burgers. The meat alone will get you half-way there. As Ben (one of the few New Yorker’s lucky enough to have a fire based grill patio grill) will agree, you will never taste a more flavorful, tender, and rich burger in your life. Mark my word. Next to the Wagyu Beef based Gear Burger, Lobel’s USDA Prime Ground Beef (a special blend of prime ground chuck, sirloin and tenderloin) quite possibly makes the best burger meat I’ve ever had, though I fully understand each man swearing by his butcher. Lobel’s has attained maintained this level of superiority by dry aging the beef four to six weeks prior in a meticulously controlled 34-38 degree cooler.


Evan’s cousin, Mark, has shared with Gear Patrol readers three of his top secrets for the grilling process:

  1. If you’re not sure which ground beef to select, go with chuck. It has the most flavor and moisture. If you’re digging a juicy, yet healthier option, ask your local butcher to blend the chuck with sirloin.
  2. Ground beef should never come to room temperature – either in the store or at your mancave. The package should always feel cold, so pick the meat up last on your way towards the checkout line.
  3. Leave your beef alone. The more you mold and handle your beef, the tougher it becomes. And never, ever, ever ever ever, press down on a burger with your spatula – you’re squeezing the flavor out!

Well said. Now, on to the grilling methods (next page).

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