Dickson on the left, Meat Hook on the right.
When my friends and I get together to barbecue, the conversation often turns to meat. This season so far, we’ve been eschewing exotic cuts in favor of getting back to basics, and so far all the action has been in the burgers, sausages, and grilled vegetables.
Dickson on the upper left, Meat Hook on the lower right.
At a tie-dye workshop and barbecue this past Sunday on Conselyea Street in Williamsburg, on a concrete backyard that offered the perfect suface for dipping, painting, and tying the T-shirts, we grilled big, thick burgers in a Weber, banking up the fire on one side so we could use a combo of direct heat and indirect smoke, and making the patties fat and oblong so as not to have to worry about the meat breaking up and escaping through the grate into the fire.
We featured two kinds of pedigreed ground beef in a sort of hamburger death match, between Williamsburg’s Meat Hook ($5.99 per pound) and Chelsea’s Dickson Farmstand Meats ($7 per pound). The patties were ¼ pound each, and we cooked them identically — four of each — over the fire for about 30 minutes, including flaming and smoking. When done, the burgers were a warm bright pink in the middle, and juicy as all get-out.
We conducted a scientific survey of 10 tie-dye enthusiasts in a Williamsburg backyard to find out which of the burgers would win the match (click to enlarge).
We polled the tie-dyers, 10 in all, about which burger they liked the best. Both batches of ground beef were found to make excellent burgers, but one was slightly superior to the other, at least for this usage. The barbecue was filled out with sausages, pork sirloin, and chicken marinated in a soy-ginger dressing. The shirts turned out amazingly, too.
Next: The results of the Battle of the Burgers
The freshly tie-dyed shirts gleam in the sun, in the junglelike setting of Conselyea Street.
Of the 10 people polled, in a blind taste test, seven voted for Meat Hook, three for Dickson Farmstand Meats.
Meat Hook the Winner
The tie-dye crew, hard at work.