Make A Better Burger

This weekend is Labor Day, and there is no better way to end the summer than burgers and dogs on the grill!  The last couple of years I have been doing a lot of research on how to make a better burger.  There are a couple of tips that I employ that really seem to be a constant in my research for a better burger.  Next time you fire up the grill for burger time, try these tips, and you will not be disappointed!

  1. Choose the right ground beef!  You want ground beef that is around 20 – 25% fat.  Most of that will burn of during cooking, but your burgers will be moist and flavorful because of it.
  2. Season the meat.  A lot of people neglect to ad any seasoning at all.  Always use salt and pepper.  Ad it right to the raw meat and mix in.  If you want to use other spices, garlic or onions etc that you to ad to the raw meat, cook them lightly in a frying pan to bring out the flavor before adding to the meat.
  3. Don’t overwork the meat.  Try not to smash the ground beef up to much, or pat the burgers down too tight.  This will give you dense drier burgers.
  4. Indent the tops.  After you form your patties push your thumb onto the top of the patty to leave a good thumb sized indentation.  This keeps the patties from turning into balls while you cook them, which allows for a nice even cooking.
  5. Let them sit out.  Let your raw burgers get to room temperature before you put them on the grill.  After you make your patties, cover them with plastic wrap, and allow them to sit out until they are room temp.  This will allow the middle of the burger to cook evenly with the outside.
  6. Don’t squish.  When you are cooking your burgers, don’t squish them with your spatula.  All that does is dry them out, and makes more potential for a fire in your grill.
  7. Divide your grill.  If you are using charcoal, pile your hot coals on one side of the grill.  Put the raw burgers on the hot side of the grill, for 1 – 2 minutes on each side to char the outside.  Then, rotate the burger a half turn and place them on the cool side.  This will give you the crisscross pattern of grill marks.  Then cover the grill and cook for another 4-6 minutes per side to “bake” the inside of the burger without overcooking the outside.
  8. Let them sit. Let the patties rest covered with aluminum foil for about 5 minutes before serving.  This will lock the juices into the burger.
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