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Oktoberfest Beef Burgers pass all the tailgating checkpoints

Football season is finally here.

Football fans can really score when serving beef. Whether you’re filling the stadium parking lot with the aromas of charcoal-grilled burgers, steaks and marinated kabobs, or tempting guests around your TV with a slow cooker favorite, beef is the perfect way to tackle your hunger before the game.

Here are a few helpful tailgating tips when grilling with beef:

  • Grilling is a low-fat and healthy way to cook. There are a variety of beef cuts that meet government guidelines for “lean,” including favorites like sirloin, t-bone steak and 95 percent lean ground beef.

  • Plan your menu and do the prep work a day or two before the game. Keep the menu simple and pack prepared food in disposable containers.

  • Create a check-list prior to packing.

  • Be sure to pack all cooking utensils you need, especially an instant-read meat thermometer; it’s the best way to determine doneness of burgers and steaks.

  • Plan to arrive at the game early. Food should be ready 1 1/5 hours before the game starts. This will allow time to eat, clean up and extinguish fires before leaving to watch the game.

  • Line your portable grill with aluminum foil for easy clean-up and disposal of used charcoal.

  • Grill over medium heat. This ensures even cooking and flavorful, juicy meat.

  • Keep raw meat separate from other foods. Never place cooked meat on platters that held raw meat. Be sure to use clean platters and utensils when serving.

  • Don’t forget to bring disposable trash bags for clean-up.

Enjoy cheering on your favorite team with this Oktoberfest Beef Burgers recipe. It’s a fun, new seasonal burger recipe that combines the attributes of a patty melt and a Reuben sandwich. It’s sure to be a football fan’s favorite.

For more beef recipe ideas, contact Holly Swee, of the South Dakota Beef Industry Council, at (605) 224-4722 or visit

Oktoberfest Beef Burgers


1 recipe German-Style Beef Sausage (recipe follows)

4 slices Swiss cheese (3/4 ounce each)

4 teaspoons German-style coarse grain mustard

4 pretzel rolls, split, warmed


3 cups coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon caraway seed


Combine Sauerkraut ingredients in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; cover and cook 8 to 11 minutes or until cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare German-Style Beef Sausage. During last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking, top burgers with cheese.

Spread mustard on bottom of rolls; top with burgers and evenly with Sauerkraut. Close sandwiches.

German-Style Beef Sausage: Combine 1 pound ground beef (93 percent lean or leaner), 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon ground mace, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon each ground coriander and ground allspice and 1/4 cup milk in large bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape beef mixture into four 1/2-inch patties. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add patties; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.

Test Kitchen Tips:

Cooking instructions are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.