The 3 Secret To The Best Burgers
Variations And Substitutions To Try
- Try using whole-grain or ballpark mustard instead of Dijon.
- Swap beef for ground turkey .
- Use 1/4 cup minced red onion instead of green onion.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic.
- Sauté mushrooms or make caramelized onions to pile on top.
- Add cooked bacon crumbles to the patty, or layer cooked slices on top for serving.
When To Toast The Buns
Im a toasted brioche bun kind of girl. They are rich with butter and sturdy enough to hold all of my fixings and my burger, but also they squish down and are easy to bite through.
Whichever buns you prefer, butter the top and bottom of the bun, and then plop them on the back of the grill, out of direct heat, until they are golden. Start toasting the buns when you have a minute left on the patties.
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Chill Your Meat Mixture Well
Chill your meat mixture well, and keep it chilled until it hits the grill this maintains the integrity of the fat. Using a light touch and cold hands , form the mixture into equal-size balls, each 7 to 9 ounces. Shape the balls into patties that are about 1 inch thick with a diameter 1 inch larger than the bun. Using your thumbs or the back side of a spoon, make a shallow dimple in one side of the shaped patties. This will prevent them from puffing as they cook.
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.
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How Do You Grill A Perfect Hamburger
How to use Preheat the grill to 500. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the surface of the burger as it heats up. Form two patties. Make a shallow indentation in each patty with your thumb. After preheating, place the patty split side down on the grill. Grill for 5 minutes without worry. Come back sometime. Grill for another 5 minutes without interruption.
How To Make Steakhouse Burgers
Begin by making the panade. Simply mash the bread and milk together with a fork until it forms a chunky paste.
Add the seasoning: salt, pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and ketchup.
Add the ground beef and scallions .
Mix everything together until just combined.
Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions and shape into balls. Flatten each ball into a 3/4-inch-thick patty thats about 4-1/2 inches across. To prevent the burgers from forming a domed shape on the grill, create a slight depression in the center of each patty.
Grill the burgers 2-4 minutes on the first side until nicely browned. Flip and cook on the second side a few minutes more, until desired doneness is reached.
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Should You Press Down On Your Burger While Grilling
No! Please, dont make this common burger mistake. Pressing down on the patty with a spatula squeezes out all those tasty juices. We worked so hard to not overmix the beef and to keep the fat as cold as possible before we grilled the patties. Dont let it go to waste by sacrificing the juices to speed up the cooking time.
How To Make Perfectly Grilled Burgers Every Time
- Tip #1: Pick your favorite cut of beef: For burgers, I like to go with 85/15 or 80/20. Most burger chefs and avid connoisseurs will tell you 80/20 but the dietitian in me creeps in and says hey, theres nothing wrong with 85/15! And there really isnt as long as you dont overcook it, season it properly and top it with all the goods, youll still be in burger heaven.
- Tip #2 Chill the patties: Keep the patties in the fridge until youre ready to cook. Putting cold patties straight on the grill will help you achieve that juiciness on the inside of the burger, and it also helps the burger patties stay together rather than falling apart.
- Tip #3: SEASON! Grab that kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper and season those burgs! Yes thats right, you dont need anything special, just good ol s and p. I recommend forming your patties first, then generously seasoning both sides of the burgers. Many years ago when I was studying how to make the perfect burger, I dissected my favorite restaurant burger to figure out why it was so darn good. And come to find out, I just needed to add a bit more salt and a lot more freshly cracked black pepper. If you think youve added enough pepper, go ahead and add a bit more. You simply wont regret it.
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Whats The Best Size Shape For A Burger
After handling the meat as little as possible, this is another big rule. You want to match the size of the patty with the bun. Figure there will be shrinkage, so shape the patty about ½-inch larger than the bun. Generally, a 4-inch in diameter patty, with a dimple in the center, that is at least ¾3/4-inch thick will suffice.
Why Do Some People Put Ice Cubes On The Hamburger
This is a common technique used in cooking burgers and is a rather effective one, especially if youre grilling large patties. What the ice cube does is essentially prevent the patty from overcooking. It also prevents the burger from drying out by adding a bit of moisture to it throughout the process. Adding the ice cube is a bit tricky, though, as you have to put it in the middle of the ground beef when youre forming the beef patty.
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How Long Do You Cook Burgers On A Propane Grill
Depending on the type of burger you want, cooking times on propane grills may differ. For medium-rare burgers, you want to let it cook for around 4-5 minutes on each side. Medium-rare burgers will require a bit more time at around 6 minutes, while medium-well done burgers will have to be cooked 7 minutes each. As a whole, you can test out the consistency of the burger, as more well-cooked ones will be noticeably harder and not as soft and squishy as the rare and medium-rare ones.
What Meat To Use For Your Patties
Any grill master will tell you that no matter how much you season a burger, it will never taste the same if youve skipped the most important part the meat. Many people overlook the ground beef needed for a delicious burger thinking most meat types will taste the same. Unfortunately, that isnt true at all. To have your burger juicy and full of flavors, you need to skip the ground beef patty blends that are extra-lean and clean of any fats. Instead, look for the ones with higher fat content. These will cook easier, will form a patty better, and will ultimately taste miles better.
To achieve a higher fat content, you will need to mix your ground beef with fat. The ideal proportion is typically around 80/20 for the ground beef. At the supermarket, the 80/20 ground beef is ground chuck which is more than good enough for burgers. Avoid buying sirloin as it has a 90/10 ratio and tends to dry out when cooked over higher heat settings. Remember, fat will help the patty stick together, so the higher the better, but dont overdo it.
Now, these were the fundamentals to buying beef. However, there is another aspect to all that the price. My best advice is to try to avoid all the cheap options and go for as good of ground beef you can afford. Grass-fed beef will have a more meaty flavor while grain-fed beef will be sweeter and richer in its taste.
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How To Grill Burgers
Learn how to grill burgers perfectly every single time with my handy tips! Tips include hamburger grill time, the best beef for burgers, and burger temperature.
Grilling season is the very best season. Truthfully, I grill year round, so its always grilling season for me.
Im the most comfortable in front of my grill. Its always relaxing, and I love being outside, unless the temps are freezing.
In my opinion, food is always better when its grilled. The grill marks are appetizing, you cant beat the smoky flavor, and the biggest bonus is that there are less dishes to wash!
My life changed when I learned how to grill, and now I grill everything from chicken, steak, vegetables of all kinds, and of course, hamburgers.
Theres nothing better to me than a classic, all-American burger. This grilled hamburger could be considered an In-n-Out Burger copycat as its slathered with homemade Thousand Island sauce and topped with classic toppings.
As much as I love In-n-Out burgers, homemade is always best.
Grinding Your Own Burgers
The issues with bacteria and food safety driving the USDA to specify the safe doneness temperature of 160 degrees has to do with the grinding process itself.
Ground meat harbors more bacteria opportunity.
As well as when buying ground beef its not clear what cuts it is made from or how long it has been since it was ground.
If you grind your own burgers from a fresh piece of chuck you can bend the rules can consider grilling to a medium-rare temperature of 130-135 degrees or higher is you prefer it more well done.
As a rule of thumb, here are the cooking times for different doneness when cooking over high heat :
NOTE: these temperatures and times are shared for reference only. I do not recommend cooking burgers to a doneness temperature of less than 160 degrees F unless they have been freshly ground yourself.
- Rare : 4-5 minute total
- Medium-Rare : 6-7 minutes total
- Medium : 8-9 minutes total
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How To Prepare Your Grill
From my experience, the best grilled hamburger is achieved through two avenues, smoke and indirect heat. You may be asking, what is indirect heat? Indirect heat is when there is no heat directly below the food you are preparing. This is the easiest way to prevent over cooking the burger. The best way Ive found to do this is to pile the lit charcoal on two sides of the grill, leaving the middle of the grill open. This will allow the hamburgers to slowly cook and absorb the smoke while grilling.
Next, its time to make some smoke. To do this, you will add a chunk of wood to the top of your lit charcoal. I prefer using wood chunks over wood chips because they make a better smoke and smoke for a longer amount of time. Your local grocery store or home center should have a variety of wood chunks for you to choose from. Ive found that hickory pairs perfectly with a grilled hamburger.
- Should the grill vent be open or closed? This will vary depending on the grill to get the right temperature. The more open the vent, the more oxygen will get to the coals resulting in a hotter fire.
- Do you need to soak your wood chunks or chips? There isnt any reason to soak wood chunks. However, if you are going to use chips I recommend letting them soak for about 30 minutes.
What To Add To The Ground Beef To Make It Stick Together
Ive seen the question what should be added to the ground beef to make the burger stick together?
The answer is NOTHING! Unlike something like meatloaf or meatballs that require a binder like bread crumbs to stick together, good quality ground beef with the fat content mentioned handled well is all that is need for a perfect grilled burger!
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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.
Grill Burgers On The Gas Grill
Arrange the burgers on the screaming hot grate. Leave about 30 percent of the grill grate food-free, a safety zone where you can move burgers in case of flare-ups. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes, or until theyre seared. Use a thin-bladed spatula to turn them , and grill for 4 to 5 minutes more, or until the burgers reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Insert the probe of your instant-read thermometer through the side toward the center for the most accurate reading.
If you want cheese on your burgers, top with a thin slice of a good melting cheese the last minute or two of grilling. Transfer the burgers to a clean platter. While they rest, grill lightly buttered buns on the grate until toasted, one to two minutes. Assemble the burgers and dress as desired.
Speaking of cheese, one of our favorite burgers is Stevens Inside-Out Cheeseburger with Made-From-Scratch Ketchup. Find the recipe here.
What are your favorite ways to grill burgers? Share them with us on , , Reddit, or !
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Do I Need To Add Anything To My Burgers To Make Them Stick Together
When it comes to meatballs or meatloaf I usually add an egg or breadcrumbs to the mixture to help them hold together.
However, burgers with a high quality fat content ranging between 15%-20% fat shouldnt need anything to help it hold together. It will do that on its own. No need for fancy seasonings either. I like to use salt, pepper and sometimes a little garlic powder.
Keep Burgers Cold Until They Hit The Grill
Unlike other meats that will cook up better if brought to room temperature before hitting the grill, you want those patties cold so they stay together and stay as juicy as possible. Put the patties on a tray or platter, covered, in the fridge while the grill heats up. This helps more of the flavor-carrying fat stay in the meat.
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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 Form Burger Patties
Once you have your meat, it’s time to form patties. Make sure you handle it lightly you don’t want to overwork it. Form the patties into balls and toss it from hand to hand until it’s in a patty shape that’s about 3/4 inch thick. Then, make an impression in the center of each patty with your thumb so they don’t break while cooking.
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Which Ground Beef Ratio To Use For Grilling Burgers
You can make amazing Turkey Burgers, Portobello Burgers or even Salmon Burgers. But if youre a beef loving Texan like me, youre gonna go with ground beef! Now that weve established the type of meat lets talk fat ratio. Most research out there will tell you the more fat the better when it comes to burgers, after all it cooks out when its on the grill. That being said the most popular ration used across the board is 80/20. However, recently I started using 85/15 and I like it better. You still end up with a great juicy flavorful burger but just with a little less fat. No dry burgers here! If youre store doesnt have an 85/15 Id recommend buying one package of 80/20 and one package of 90/10 then combine the two. It will be perfect!