Grilled Burger Basics
When a hamburger is done right, you know it--the smoky, char-grilled outside and the juicy inside, all barely contained within a chewy, toasty roll. That's what a burger is all about!
Get the Best Flavor
Meat with a higher fat content will be juicier but will also shrink more when it cooks. If you shop at a grocery store or a butcher that grinds their own beef, choose coarsely ground beef for juicier burgers with a more pleasing texture.
Add just about anything you like to your burger mixture. Here are a few flavoring suggestions:
- Fresh or dried herbs and spices
- Dehydrated or fresh minced onion and garlic
- Seasoning mixes for soups or salad dressings
- Your favorite cheese, such as Blue cheese, goat cheese, Gorgonzola, Feta, Stilton, Cheddar, or pepperjack
- Prepared sauces including Barbeque sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, Hoisin sauce, plum sauce, oyster sauce, salsa, or salad dressing
- Other tidbits like olives, capers, chopped tomatoes, diced chiles, crumbled bacon, or minced ham
- Make sure the grill is the appropriate temperature Medium-low to medium heat is best. Too hot, and burgers burn on the outside before getting done on the inside. Keep the lid closed while cooking; it shortens cooking time and keeps burgers moist.
- Use beef that is no leaner than 85% A little fat keeps burgers moist and flavorful. For ground chicken and turkey, add a little olive oil or broth to the mixture.
- Always clean and oil the grill grate This prevents burgers from sticking, extends the life of your grate, and helps put those beautiful grill marks on your patties.
- Cook burgers properly Cook ground beef to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (170 degrees F for poultry). For an accurate reading, insert the thermometer into the patty horizontally.