Want to know the secret to grilling flavorful and juicy burgers? We’ll fill you in on the details.
Burgers cooked on the grill are an excellent evening meal for the family and a welcome addition to any backyard cookout. Some of you might be tempted to cheat and buy a frozen burger kit from the shop to make this happen. Learning to cook hamburgers from scratch is just as simple, it seems. Burgers are more likely to turn out juicy if the patties are made fresh.
Where to Find Quality Ground Beef
A good burger on the grill requires high-quality meat. Even though Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder might add flavour to ground beef, they aren’t the focal point of a burger. Instead of looking in the discount bin, spend a little more on premium meat. This might be beef raised on grass if you favour a more robust, earthy flavour, or beef raised on grain if you like a sweeter, richer bite.
You should also avoid low-fat options because of their lack of flavour. We’ve found that fat adds the most desirable characteristics—juiciness and richness—to grilled burgers. Look for an 80/20 combination of ground beef, which has fat content between 20 and 25 percent. A burger with too much fat risks disintegrating. A burger made with less fat would be dry. For the best ground beef, ask your butcher to grind some chuck roast or a brisket and sirloin blend for you.
Making the Ideal Burger Patty
Remembering to not overwork the meat and keeping it at a cool temperature are the two most crucial guidelines to follow while creating burgers. Neither rule should be broken when making patties, although doing so is simple to do if you aren’t paying attention. First, refrigerate the beef until just before you’re ready to shape it into patties (and again, until you’re ready to cook). The fat should be kept as cold as possible so that it will swiftly expand when exposed to the heat of the grill, generating excellent flavour pockets inside the patties.
To prevent the meat from adhering to your heated hands, you should first moisten them with cold water. Finally, roll the meat into a loose ball using your cupped palms. When making a burger, it’s important to avoid packing it too tightly, which might make the burger tough. Next, flatten the ball into a disc that’s a little over three inches in diameter and one inch thick. Thumbs are useful for rounding off sharp corners. Use a tool to make precisely shaped patties, much like a professional cook. Line the top of a big sour cream container or peanut butter jar with plastic wrap, and use it to push down on the meat.
Make an indentation in the middle of each burger before putting them back in the fridge. If you dimple the burger, it will cook more uniformly on the grill. To facilitate indoor cooking on a pan, cut a doughnut hole in the centre of the burger patty.
Choosing Between a Charcoal and Gas Grill
The debate over whether to use a charcoal or gas barbecue is an age-old one, and both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Gas grills are more convenient since the heat can be adjusted with the turn of a knob and they heat up more rapidly. However, they often have hot spots, so you’ll have to move the burgers about the grill to ensure they cook evenly. More smokey flavour may be imparted into your burgers using a charcoal grill, but it takes longer to heat up and requires practise to understand how to regulate the vents to raise or reduce the heat.
Use whatever grill you’re most familiar with; burgers cooked on any of them will taste great.
- You can make a great burger with just a grill and some utensils. If you want to avoid burning your arms when flipping the furthest burgers, a long-handled spatula is an essential part of every grilling set.
- An instant-read meat thermometer might be useful for checking the doneness of the burger from the inside.
- Buying a meat grinder is a smart move if you want to take your burger making to the next level. Surprisingly affordable, you can even get ones that fit on top of your stand mixer. Home meat grinding gives you complete control over the grind size and the pieces of meat that go into your ground beef.
Basic Methods for Grilling Hamburgers
- 1.33 ounces of 80/20 ground beef
- A dash of freshly ground black pepper and some kosher salt
- Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and other seasonings are available as add-ons.
- Sandwiches on 4 Buns
- Add whatever you desire, including lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, and pickles.
Step 1: Season the meat
If you splurged on premium meat, you may skip the extras. Even though there is a higher chance of overworking the meat while mixing the ingredients, we get that you want to infuse the burgers with more flavour. A big bowl, the optional spices, and the meat. Working as soon as possible, use your hands to gently but completely combine the spices with the meat.
Do not season the ground beef in advance, as suggested by the editor. The salt causes the patty to lose moisture, making it denser and drier than it should be. If anything, put the salt away for later.
Step 2: Separate the steak into portions
Form the ground beef into four equal sized balls. Cold water on your hands, then form the meat into a patty about an inch thick and three and a half inches in diameter. You needn’t worry about squeezing in too much steak. Apply only enough pressure for the patties to stay together. Use your thumb to make a small depression in the patty’s middle.
When you’re ready to cook your patties, put them in the fridge until the grill is hot. Maintain as much of the beef’s chill as you can until it goes on the grill.
Step 3: Season and cook the burgers on the grill
Close the cover of a gas or charcoal grill and preheat it to medium-high heat. In order to avoid having the burgers adhere to the grill, you should clean the grate first.
Put a lot of salt and pepper on both sides of the burger patties. Grill the patties uncovered for 3–5 minutes each side, checking for doneness at the halfway point. Cheeseburgers are best when the cheese is added at the very end and the grill is covered to melt the cheese.
The best approach to determine the precise temperature of the burger is with the use of a digital thermometer, as recommended by the editor. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests a 160°F internal temperature for ground beef (well done). It’s possible that medium-rare or medium cooking temperatures are okay for burgers if you ground your own beef.
Frequently Asked Questions About Grilled Burgers
When cooking a burger, should you press down on it?
No! Don’t make this standard burger blunder, thanks. With a spatula, press down on the burger to extract the delicious juices. Before grilling the patties, we took great care not to overwork the meat and to preserve the fat at its coldest possible temperature. Avoid wasting it by skipping the cooking liquid.
When cooking burgers on a grill, how long do you recommend leaving them on?
Using a thermometer will give you the most accurate reading of when your burgers are done cooking. If you don’t have a meat thermometer or don’t want to use one, you may still use time to estimate when the burgers will be done cooking.
Here’s a rough estimate for how long and how hot you should cook burger patties that measure an inch in thickness:
- 6 minutes for medium-rare (warm, red centre), or 130 to 135 degrees
- About 7 minutes, or until the middle is warm and pink (medium).
- (9 minutes for a medium-well doneness of 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit, for a hot, pink centre).
- Congratulations (complete browning)! Ten minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160° to 165°
Do burgers benefit from being rested after being grilled?
If you let the patties rest for at least five minutes before serving, the burger will be as juicy as it can be. Due to carryover cooking, the internal temperature of the meat may rise by up to five degrees during this time. The burgers may be kept warm by tenting them with aluminum foil if you’re worried about them losing their heat.
Inspirational Fillings for Hamburgers
Being a burger purist, my go-to burger has only three ingredients: Toasted potato sandwich with a little coating of mayonnaise, topped with an American cheese patty, ketchup, and pickles. In any case, that’s it! While excessive toppings may overpower the beef’s natural flavour, it shouldn’t stop you from having fun with your burger’s presentation. Try something new, like avocado and an egg, barbecue sauce and fried onions, green chiles and cream cheese, corn and blue cheese, or any other creative combination you can think of.
Spreading mayonnaise on the bottom bread will prevent the burger’s juices from soaking through and making the whole thing soggy. My personal preference is to stack the toppings on top of the burger patty. In addition to increasing the likelihood that the burger will slip out of the bread as you eat it, placing the toppings on the bottom bun will cause the lettuce and tomatoes to wilt from the heat of the patties.
Advice on Storing
The burgers can be stored for up to four days after cooked. The burgers can be revived by steaming them in a covered pan with little water, but they will be quite well done if they weren’t previously.
Uncooked burger patties should be frozen, since raw ground beef only keeps for a couple of days in the fridge (assuming they were stored in the refrigerator and not left out by the side of the grill). Uncooked burger patties can be kept in the freezer for up to four months if they are separated with parchment paper.
Try out your newfound burger expertise with some of our recommended dishes.
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