What’s more American than grilling hamburgers? Hamburgers and hot dogs are two of our favorites, and we love to grill!
All summer long we grill for thousands of guests and we want to share a few tricks to make sure your next burger grilling experience is amazing!
But what is the right way to grill one so you end up with a juicy bite of heaven? From choosing the right beef to forming the perfect patty, grilling the best hamburger possible boils down to a few of our simple but crucial golden rules.
Choosing The Right Cut
In my opinion, any burger that is made with less than 20% fat is a waste of time. We are not eating burgers every day, but when we do, we want them juicy and moist. Fat gives the hamburger flavor plus moisture, and it keeps the burger light in the middle so it’s not all compacted. The fat melts and leaves air pockets, making the burger less dense.
Keep it simple
Sure, you can get fancy with the ingredients in a burger, but I prefer to minimize the recipe and leave the wow factor to the toppings.
2 pounds ground chuck or ground sirloin (80% lean)
2 Teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
4 slices cheese (optional)
4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired
Be kind to your beef
This is no time to get rough and tough or that is what your burger will end up tasting like! Divide the meat into 4 equal portions (about 6 ounces each). Lightly form each portion loosely into a 3/4-inch-thick burger (about the size of a tennis ball).
Softly make a deep depression in the center with your thumb. Mix your seasonings together than gently rub them into your patties.
Time to hit the heat
Heat your gas grill to high or heat coals in a charcoal grill until they glow bright orange and ash over. Brush the burgers with the oil and lay on grill. It’s hard to say how long it will take to cook a hamburger on your grill, but when you start seeing juices collecting on the top of your burger it’s a sure sign that the meat is cooking through in the middle, which pushes the juices to the top. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Flip over the burgers, but do not squish or flatten them to avoid letting out all those juices.
Cook beef burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side, 3 minutes for medium-rare or until cooked to the desired degree of doneness.
Avoiding trips to the ER
Now you certainly don’t want to send your guests home with e-coli so, until you have perfected the grilling time the USDA recommends cooking ground beef, pork, veal, and lamb to an internal temperature of 165°F. Stick a thermometer into each patty sideways so it registers the temperature in the middle of the hamburger. Use a good instant-read thermometer like the Thermapen.
Add the cheese now
If you are making cheeseburgers, slap the cheese on during the last minute of cooking and close the grill cover, or tent the burgers with aluminum foil just long enough to melt the cheese. When the burgers are cooked, remove them from the grill, cover them with foil, and let them sit for another minute or two.
The bun…the crucial stage
You are almost there…so, don’t blow it by serving a hamburger on a regular bun that hasn’t been toasted. Why? Well, the minute you bite into the burger the juices start to flow and the bun will fall apart.
And that is it. You and your guests now just have to top your burgers. I personally love the simplicity of dill pickles, mustard, lettuce, and onions.
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Yields: 4 to 5 Burgers