July 23, 2012 by burkej09
One of the first things any grillmaster should know is how to properly grill a burger. Here are some tips for a great juicy burger!
1. Buy fatty meat for your burgers
I know, this is counter-intuitive, but the fat is what makes a good juicy burger. Also, the fattier the meat, the less expensive it is. Look for about 80% burger. If you’re not sure what this means, look at the packaging on the meat next time you go to the store.
2. Try not to overwork the meat
Playing with hamburger meat can quickly take you back to your childhood when you played with Playdoh. Don’t play with the hamburger meat like it’s Playdoh! Pull off a chunk from the package and roll it into a puck in your palms. For a consistent size patty, line a peanut butter lid with Saran wrap and smash the meat into it. This is the time to season your burger with salt and pepper, and maybe some other spices you have around. Paprika is a good suggestion. Always do more pepper than salt, but find the right ratio!
3. Do your burgers plump in the middle and look like softballs?
After you make the patties, lightly press your thumb into the middle for an indentation. This will prevent your patties from plumping.
4. Let the burgers cook, quit flipping them! (and don’t smush them!)
Preheat the grill to medium heat. You can lightly oil the grate so your burger won’t stick when you do go to flip. However, if the burger is sticking to the grate when you don’t oil, it’s because it’s not ready to flip!
Place the burgers over the burners and close the lid. Let the grill work. You can quickly lift the lid every once in awhile to check on the status, but stay away from smashing them with your spatula. Doing that releases all the juices from the burgers. You probably notice the fat dripping out of the burger as it cooks. If you watch closely, you will see the burger turn brown from the bottom to the top. The burgers are ready to flip when the tops become brown. You may notice some juice and fat have accumulated inside your little indentation. Try to only flip your burgers once during the cook time. After you flipped, keep the lid down and let them cook another 5 minutes or so. You will know when they’re done when they slide off the grate rather easily. You can also press the center of the burger with the corner of your spatula to make sure the juices run clear.
With these few tips, you will notice a much better quality burger when you are done. Don’t forget to throw the buns on the grill in the last two minutes to toast them! Check back soon to find great hamburger recipes!