How To Grill The Best Burgers! The summer grilling season has arrived, and this year I’ve resolved to perfect the art of America’s favorite hamburger. My goal is to create a burger that is simple to assemble on a weeknight, tasty enough to compete with the person who tops their burger with every condiment imaginable, and well-balanced enough to satisfy the Best Grill Burger in Lahore purist (ketchup only, please!).
Steven Raichlen is a qualified professional
Author of more than 30 books, founder of BBQ University, and host of various cooking programs, including the recently released Project Fire, Steven Raichlen., kindly gave up some of his time to instruct me on how to cook the ideal burger. We talked about the advantages of gas versus charcoal grills, the ideal fat-to-meat ratio, and a mistake beginners make when preparing an all-beef burger.
I set out to create my own take on a Classic Backyard Burger armed with information from Raichlen, a tonne of study, my own experiences, and emails from friends and family.
Start With a Clean Grill
When cooking supper on the grill, you should begin with a clean grill and oil the grill grates, just as you would when cooking dinner on the stovetop.
To start, Raichlen advises using a barbecue brush to scrub your grill grates and remove any built-up debris from previous meals. After that, oil the grill by rubbing the grates with an oil-soaked paper towel that has been folded and dipped in oil.
purchase 80/20 ground beef
There are a thousand different ways to season a burger, but without a strong base, it is meaningless. Skip the extra-lean ground beef patty mixes in favor of ground beef with a greater fat content for a juicy, delicious burger.
The ideal ground beef for grilled burgers is an 80/20 blend, which consists of 80% lean beef and 20% fat. Typically, the 80/20 ground beef you would get at the grocery store is ground chuck, which is excellent for burgers. (Ground sirloin, which tends to dry up when prepared over the high heat of the grill, is often leaner than 90/10.)
Raichlen really prefers making his own blend of 80 to 83 percent beef and 17 to 20 percent fat by combining ground chuck and ground sirloin.
Don’t be hesitant to ask your butcher to grind your own mix or grind beef with a greater fat-to-beef ratio if you like; I used 80/20 ground chuck because it’s readily accessible in most supermarkets.
Keep the Meat Cold
Ground beef at room temperature and the heat from your hands might cause the fat to melt and spread. This avoids the fat binding with the lean meat, which would cause too much of it to render during cooking and produce a thick, dry burger. The answer is to maintain the meat’s coldness and swiftly form the patties
Wait to season and shape the ground beef patties before removing them from the refrigerator. Then, combine the ground beef very briefly, just long enough for it to blend together. Make patties out of it and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill.
Don’t Over-Mix the Ground Beef
When combining the ground beef and creating patties, less is more. If you’ve ever had a burger that fell apart while you were eating it, the meat was probably overworked. The outcomes resemble those of an emulsion that has cracked. You want the fat and protein to combine, but if you overmix it, you’ll “break” the binding, which will make your burger crumble, dry up, and lose flavor.
- What you should do is: Sprinkle the seasonings over the ground beef evenly, then gently fold them in with your hands.
- How can I tell when the meat has completely mixed? I learned a tiny tip from a long-time friend who is a chef and specialist in charcuterie. Take a piece of ground beef approximately the size of a quarter and flatten it to the palm of your hand after combining it with any seasonings or other add-in ingredients. your palm downward. You’re ready to go if the meat sticks.
Size Matters With Burgers
While some people prefer the thought of a massive hamburger patty spilling over the sides of the bread, others think it should fit snugly inside (I fall into the latter category). Everyone, however, dislikes burgers that are too tiny for the bread.
Make your burgers about an inch bigger than the bread and an inch thicker at the edges to ensure that your patties will fit on your buns properly. The unavoidable shrinkage that occurs while cooking is taken into consideration in this.
Should You Dimple Your Patties?
You can find burger recipes that call for making an indentation in the center of the patties, typically the size of a thumbprint or a tablespoon, all over the Internet and in cookbooks.
Dimpling is a technique used to stop burgers from ballooning up in the middle. But is it actually effective? I experimented with it because I wanted to prevent puffing like everyone else, but I also wanted to reduce shrinkage with my burgers.
The burgers continued to shrink, but I discovered that a thumbprint or tablespoon depression stopped the center from ballooning. However, creating a large, shallow hollow in the patties was quite successful. Instead of a doughnut, picture a salad dish.
- Your patties should be shaped such that the outer 1/2-inch is somewhat higher than the center.
One additional tip: Place about 5 ounces of beef on a plate or dish covered in parchment paper rather than squish the patties together with your hands. Gently push your other palm on the sides to form a circle while you produce a wide, shallow depression (a “dimple”) on the top of the burger. Without overcooking or overworking the ground beef, this produces a depression.
Charcoal vs. Gas Grill
Raichlen believes that wood or charcoal grills are always the greatest option for cooking burgers because of the charring and added taste they provide.
It’s more adaptable. You get a hotter, dryer heat that allows for a nicer sear, according to Raichlen. If you use charcoal, you may add several types of wood. To increase the smokiness and improve the burger’s overall flavor.
However, because gas grills are simple to operate and leave less of a mess, millions of Americans prefer them. Don’t worry, a gas barbecue still makes excellent hamburgers.
- Raichlen advises purchasing a chimney starter if you plan to barbecue with charcoal or wood. It is a large cylindrical box with holes in it. The coals are repositioned on top of the paper-wrapped bottom. Place the chimney starter on the grill’s bottom grate, then fire the paper. In 15 to 20 minutes, you will have hot coals.
- Open the grill cover, switch on the gas, and ignite the grill if you’re using one. Before placing your patties on the grill, you should heat them to between 450 and 500 degrees.
How Long to Grill Burgers
Follow these total grilling times as a general tradition:
- Cook burgers for 4 minutes total (125°F) for rare.
- Cook burgers for 5 minutes total (135°F) for medium-rare.
- Cook medium burgers for a total of 6 to 7 minutes (145°F).
- Cook burgers for a total of 8 to 9 minutes (160 °F) for well-doneness.
Please take notice that the USDA advises cooking ground meats to an internal temperature of at least 160°F. Which is considered well-done and free of pink in the middle. Burgers should be prepared according to the chef’s preferred level of doneness.
In the end, the thickness of your patties and how hot. your grill is will influence how long. it takes for a hamburger to reach a specific temperature. My 1-inch thick, 4-inch diameter patties were medium-done. In my testing after 5 total minutes (2 1/2 minutes on each side). And well-done after 6 total minutes (3 minutes on each side).
Raichlen suggests inserting the meat thermometer down the side of the burger. As opposed to the top to obtain a more precise reading. Use Elise’s handy dandy finger-test guidance as well.