How To Make Great Burgers On The Grill

Remember ’10’ And ‘2’ For Perfect Grill Marks

How to Grill the Best Burgers | You Can Cook That |

To ensure your meat comes out with perfectly symmetrical criss-cross grill marks, remember the numbers 10 and 2 as in, the face of a clock. Place your meat so that one end points to 10 oclock, let it sear for two minutes and then rotate so the same end is now pointed toward 2 oclock. Flip it over and do the same thing guaranteed grilling perfection!

Brent Furdyk is a freelance writer in Vancouver.

How Long To Grill Hamburgers

  • After about 5 or 6 minutes, or until you see juices start to collect on top of the patty. I like to call this burger sweat . This is a sure sign that the meat is cooking through in the middle, which pushes the juices to the top. In addition, you will see the edges start to brown. Once the juices and browning show up, flip the burgers and grill an additional 3 minutes on the other side. Times depend on heat of the grill, so wait for the juices to tell you how long.
  • As for our disclaimer, the USDA recommends 160 degrees for all ground beef. Don’t take a chance, use a good instant-read thermometer like the Thermapen and check the USDA’s latest recommendations and our handy meat temperatures chart. If you are an iPhone owner, check out our free MeatTemps app to look up the correct internal temps for meat. If you are making cheeseburgers, now is the time to slap the cheese on and close the lid just long enough to melt the cheese.
  • Remove the burgers from the grill and let them sit for about 5 minutes while you toast a few buns on the grill!

How Long Should Burgers Be Grilled

That depends on how you like them done. The United States Department of Agriculture safe internal cooking temperature for ground beef is 160 degrees. That means its well done. And the cooking time will depend on the thickness of the burger but generally at least 5 minutes per side. If you like it at less done than that and depending on the thickness, figure about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare or 130-135 degrees and 150-155 degrees for medium-well.

Here are a few recipes to help you out:

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How To Grill Hamburgers

  • Optional toppings, like lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon, mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and pickles

Yield: 4 burgers

Step 1: Season the beef

taste of home

If you went all-in with high-quality beef, you dont really need any of the optional seasonings listed above. Mixing the seasonings increases the risk of overworking the meat, but we understand if you want to infuse the burgers with some extra flavor. If you choose to use them, place the seasonings and beef in a large bowl. Use your hands to lightly but thoroughly mix the seasonings into the beef, working as quickly as possible.

Editors Tip: Dont salt the ground beef in advance. Salt pulls moisture out of the patty, making it denser and dryer than it should be. Instead, save the salt for later.

Step 2: Divide the beef

taste of hometaste of home

Divide the beef evenly into four balls. Wet your hands with cold water and shape the beef into a 1-inch patty thats roughly 3-1/2 inches wide. Dont worry about packing the beef in too tightly. The patty needs just enough pressure to hold together. Using your thumb, create a tiny indentation in the center of the patty.

Once your patties are divided and formed, store them in the refrigerator until the grill is preheated. You want the beef to stay as cold as possible until it hits the grill.

Step 3: Season and grill the burgers

taste of home

Start With The Right Meat

Learn how to make the best grilled burgers. Its all about ...

For juicy burgers, get ground chuck with a fat content of at least 18%. Lean and extra-lean meats make tough, dry burgers. It’s all about finding the best meat for burgers.

The more freshly ground the meat is, the more tender and flavorful the burger. If your store has on-site butchers, ask them to grind the meat fresh for you.

For the absolute freshest grind, of course, you need to grind your own. You can do this with a home grinder or in a food processor. Cut the meat into chunks, put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, and grind or pulse until ground. For the best grind, put it through a coarse grind disk twice .

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What Can You Add To This Perfect Hamburger Patty Recipe

This simple, terrifically basic recipe for Easy Homemade Hamburger Patties is great for customizing with your favorite spices.

Try incorporating some punches of flavor by adding any of the following ingredients to the raw hamburger mix, or putting them right on top of your cooked burgers:

  • Crushed red pepper
  • Shaved serrano or jalapeno peppers
  • Chopped fresh scallions or cilantro
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Diced red or white onion
  • Shredded or crumbled cheeses like cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, or blue cheese

Choose Your Bun Wisely

Buns come in all shapes, sizes, densities, and flavors. Make sure you’ve got the right one for the job at hand.

For smaller, thinner patties, like a good Shake Shackstyle griddled burger or small northern Jerseystyle sliders, soft, sturdy, and slightly sweet Martin’s potato rolls set the benchmark, although any soft, squishy, standard-issue supermarket bun will do.

A bigger, pub-style burger can overwhelm a soft bun with juices, soaking through and dissolving the base before the burger even hits your table. Toasting the bun can mitigate some of these effects, but for the most part, you’re better off selecting a sturdier roll, or, if you’ve got one nearby, a custom burger bun from an artisan bakery. Brioche has its adherents, but I prefer my buns to be a little more bland, so as not to compete with the flavor of the beef.

Do avoid anything with an overly chewy crumb or a tough crust, unless you want your burger to suffer from the dreaded backslide.

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Bonus Tip: How To Keep Grilled Burgers Moist

A hot, hot grill achieves just the right char and sears the perfect grill marks on burgers, but the fierce flames can also dry them out. Graham Elliot, a judge on MasterChef, has a pretty cool solution: hide a small ice cube in center of the patty! That’s right, the cube melts as the burger grills, and keeps the meat nice and moist.

See our collection of Grilled Burger Recipes.

How To Grill The Most Amazing Beef Burger

How to make Great Hamburgers on the Grill

This website may contain affiliate links and advertising so that we can provide recipes to you. Read my privacy policy.

Grilled Beef Burgers are one of the most amazing things you can sink your teeth into, especially when they are done right! Be prepared, because these will be the best burgers you have ever had!

Cooking on the grill is a fantastic way to eat, especially in the summer when you do not want to heat up the kitchen. To have incredible food and still stay cool, try these tried and true, Huli Huli, Avocado Chicken and Steak!

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How Long To Cook Burgers On The Grill

The key to testing the doneness of a burger is measuring the internal temperature with an Instant Read thermometer.

The USDA guidelines state ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. This temperature ensures killing of any dangerous food safety related bacteria.

Meat does continue to cook while it rests off the grill so usually they can be taken off the grill slightly under 160 degrees.

This guide focuses on beef burgers but if cooking ground turkey burgers the internal temperature needs to reach 165 degrees. Grilled salmon burgers need to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

How To Know Your Burgers Are Done

Everyone likes their burgers are done a bit differently, but there is something to keep in mind when grilling your burgers. Bacteria which lives on the surface of meat, like steak, is cooked or seared and in doing so the bacteria dies. Hamburger takes that surface bacteria and grinds it up in all together so that the bacteria is throughout the meat. It is recommended that ground beef is cooked till the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Killing the bacteria throughout making it the safest temperature to eat. Those are the recommendations that should be followed especially for children and elderly as they are more susceptible to foodborne illness.

Hamburger Doneness

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Let The Burgers Be & Leave The Lid Down

People are so tempted to continuously flip their burgers quit it! Let the burgers cook & leave the lid down. You want a burger thats a little crispy on the outside and done on the inside. The more you mess with it, the higher chance there is youll burn it or not cook it enough. Also, dont press the burgers. For some reason, people are tempted to do this as well. Pressing the meat while you are grilling the burgers makes them leak their juice and flavor. Leave the juicyness alone!

How Long Do I Cook A Hamburger

How to Grill the Best Burgers
  • A hamburger takes approximately 10 minutes to cook, depending on your desired degree of doneness. You can choose from the following cooking methods:
  • Grill: You can grill a hamburger over charcoal, or on a gas or electric grill.
  • Broil: You can broil a hamburger in the oven, or on an outdoor grill.
  • Fry: You can fry a hamburger in the pan, or on an outdoor grill. The time taken to cook depends on how youre preparing it. If youre grilling, then you want to use a grill that has a high BTU output to ensure that you get a better-cooked burger.
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    Ask An Expert: Steven Raichlen

    Steven Raichlen, author of more than 30 books, founder of BBQ University, and television host to multiple shows on the subject of grilling and smoking, including the recently released Project Fire, generously took time out of his day to teach me a few things about how to grill the perfect burger. We discussed charcoal verses gas grills, the best fat to meat ratio, and one mistake newbies make when tackling the all-beef patty.

    Armed with information from Raichlen, a mountain of research, my own experiences, and emails from friends and family members, I set out to make my version of a Classic Backyard Burger.

    How Long To Cook Burgers On Grill

    If the grill is properly heated, most burgers are going to take around 6 to 10 minutes on the grill, especially if you are going for a nice medium cook with just a hint of pink inside. Keep in mind that you might need more or less time depending on how large your burgers are and the temperature of your meat and grill when you start cooking them.

    The USDA guidelines for ground beef call for cooking to 160 degrees F, although the temperature will rise about 5 degrees after removing from the grill, so you can pull them off sooner than that at 155 degrees F and rely on this “carryover cooking” residual heat to help them get the rest of the way there.

    Plan on 3-5 minutes for each side, flipping only once, for the burgers to char nicely and cook through but still have just a little bit of pink in the middle, which is how I like them. If you prefer burgers that are medium-well or well done, they will just need to grill a couple minutes longer.

    As a general guide, here is how long burgers take to cook to reach a desired level of doneness:

    • Rare: 5-6 minutes total
    • Medium-well to well-done: 9+ minutes total

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    Best Hamburger Patty Recipe

    Best Hamburger Patty Recipe Thick or thin, made on the grill or stovetop, this is the best and easiest all-purpose recipe for perfect hamburger patties every time! These juicy, delicious homemade hamburgers are ready in less than 30 minutes and are a must-make for your next cookout.

    Close your eyes, and picture the perfect hamburger.

    Is it a thin diner-style hamburger patty, or a thick steakhouse-sized burger? Seared to the peak of juiciness on a grill or in a flat griddle?

    With or without cheese?!

    Make burgers your way and have them come out flawless every time with what I consider to be the Best Hamburger Patty Recipe, in my humble opinion.

    Its a classic all-American recipe for mouthwatering burgers that can be cooked on the grill, on the stovetop, as thick 1/3 pound patties, or as ultra-thin griddle patties.

    Get ready, because you are about to make the burger of your dreams, people!

    How To Grill Burgers On Gas Grill

    How to make great burgers without a grill

    If youre grilling with gas or propane, all the same rules on patty selection, shaping, and seasoning apply. Your temperatures, times, and flavors are going to vary, though.

    For medium-rare burgers on a gas grill, youll need to cook for around five minutes each side to get that nice, red inside. Medium burgers will take six minutes per side, and medium-well needs seven minutes. If youre measuring by internal temperature, you can still reference our fancy table internal temperatures stay the same no matter how youre cooking.

    Just like a Traeger, youll need your gas grill setting as high as you can make it but unlike a Traeger, even heat distribution might be an issue, and youll need to look out for hot spots .

    If youre wondering what to expect flavor-wise, a gas or propane-powered grill is going to give you something very different than you might produce with pellets. You wont get that amazing smokiness cooking with gas, but you will get a fiery taste thats a bit more neutral. Most grill masters will try to add liquid smoke to their gas grilled burgers to try and mimic the effect normally in the marinade or by adding the right sauce after taking them off the grill.

    If youre cooking with gas, you should always grill burgers with the lid closed. This will prevent flare ups, cook your burgers faster, and deliver a lot more consistency.

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    How Long To Grill Burgers

    In general, follow these total grilling times:

    • For rare burgers, cook for 4 minutes total
    • For medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total
    • For medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total
    • For well-done burgers, cook for 8 to 9 minutes total

    Please note that the USDA recommends cooking ground meats to an internal temperature of at least 160°F, which is well done without any pink in the center. Cooking burgers to other degrees of doneness should be done at the cook’s discretion.

    All this said, ultimately, the time it takes for a hamburger to reach a certain temperature depends on how hot your grill is and how thick your patty is. In my tests, my 1-inch thick, 4-inch diameter patties were medium done at 5 minutes total , and well done at 6 minutes total .

    Raichlen suggests checking the temperature of the burger by inserting the meat thermometer through the side, not through the top this gives you a more accurate reading. You can also use Elises handy dandy finger-test guide.

    The Keys To Making The Hamburgers

    Type of Beef To Use

    First of all, be sure to use ground beef that has a lean-to-fat ratio of 80/20.

    You want to have this percentage of fat to help keep the texture moist. Not to mention, the little bit of fat will add a little extra flavor to your burger.

    If you use ground sirloin that has a typical 90/10 ratio, your grilled hamburgers will most likely turn out dry and crumbly.


    Now that you know the best type of ground beef to use, it is time to add a little flavor to your homemade hamburgers.

    Instead of going overboard with seasonings that over power the taste of a grilled burger, we prefer to keep it simple.

    A little minced garlic and onion adds a delicious, yet subtle flavor to your burgers.

    But the true secret seasoning that makes these grilled hamburgers the best ever is Worcestershire sauce!

    The sauce adds a hint of savory and sweet flavors along with a distinct tang that makes your mouth water as you take each bite.

    In fact, these burgers are so delicious that ketchup, mustard, or A-1 sauce is not even necessary!

    Forming the Patties

    Now that you have the ingredients, you must know that there are a couple of secrets to making the best homemade grilled hamburgers.

    First of all, just like when making meatloaf, you do not want to overmix the meat.

    Mixing your ingredients too much is a very common mistake that can really make hamburgers turn out with a tough, dry texture.

    Just mix the ingredients until incorporated and then form the patties.

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    Carefully Form The Patties

    Keep your burgers tender by gently forming the patties, being careful not to overwork them. One of my favorite burger tips is to use the lid to a large sour cream or yogurt container lined with plastic wrap to flatten patties. This prevents the burger meat from getting tough, and you end up with a perfect patty every time.

    Another great trick is to use your thumb to press a form a small whole in the middle of the patty, like a doughnut. This helps with airflow so the burger cook evenly and prevents them from shriveling up. Check out these other burger tips from pro cooks.

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