Summer means it’s time for one of our favorite things– BURGERS! We love the ease of this meal and it’s something that most anyone loves. Toppings and buns are important when making a tasty burger, but the patty is essential. There’s no shame in buying pre-ground beef or pre-made patties, but if you want to step up your burger game, follow these tips for making a better burger at home.
The 10 Essential Tips for Grilling a Better Burger:
- Make sure you are using high-quality meat! Like we’ve said before, there is no shame in buying pre-ground beef, but if you want the absolute best, juiciest, most delicious burger ever, try grinding your own beef! When buying cuts of meat, use chuck roast, brisket, or short rib.
2. An 80/20 meat-to-fat ratio is ideal. Fat = flavor! You don’t want a low of a ratio of fat to meat or else your burger may be dry and too crumbly.
3. Handle your meat as little as possible and make sure it’s cold. We know it’s tempting to make your burgers perfectly round (we actually have burger presses for that!), but you shouldn’t handle your meat too much or else it will be tough. Once you form your patties, add a dimple to the middle to prevent puffing on the grill, and place them back in the fridge to get cold so they stay together while they’re on the grill (and you get those gorgeous grill marks!)
4. Season the outside of your burger liberally. Grab your salt and pepper and season liberally. Yes, we really mean liberally. Because you don’t want to handle your meat too much, you’ll want to save your seasonings for the exterior of your burger. Don’t season too early either. Salt alters the proteins in the meat and if you leave seasoning on for too long, it can make it tough and chewy. We highly suggest waiting to season until you’re at the grill.
5. Make sure your grill is clean and preheated. If you haven’t done so yet, give your grill grates a scrub! Check underneath the burners too and be sure that there isn’t any grease pooling up underneath them. A clean grill prevents flame flare-ups that can burn your meat. Once your grill is clean, preheat your grill and get those grill grates nice and hot. A pre-heated grill ensures evenly cooked burgers with beautiful grill marks.
6. Don’t be afraid to flip your burger as often as needed. This piece of advice is hotly contested but after making lots of burgers ourselves, we can honestly say that it doesn’t matter how often you flip it; it doesn’t alter the final cook of the meat. You may not get those perfect grill marks, but flipping your burger as often as you like means that you are sure that it is cooked thoroughly. So, go ahead and flip as many times as you’d like! The one thing we will say is please don’t press down on your patties while they are cooking. This squishes all of the delicious juices out of your meat and makes it dry.
7. Use a thermometer to check for doneness. Some people like their burgers a little pink, and others like them nice and charred. However you like your burger, we do highly suggest making sure it hits the right temperature for desired doneness.
8. Let your meat rest for at least five minutes. We know it is so tempting to bite right into that hot and juicy burger, but try to wait at least five minutes. Waiting for this amount of time lets the burger finish cooking and juices redistribute throughout the meat.
9. Toast your buns. This should go without saying, but toast your hamburger buns! You can easily throw them on the grill near the end of your burger’s cooking time. This is one of those easy ways to elevate your burger without too much work.
10. Follow your heart (or stomach) for toppings! Yes, the meat itself is delicious, but we can’t say no to toppings! We have a whole blog post for some fun flavor inspiration, but top your burger with whatever your heart desires!
We hope these tips for burgers helps you make your best burger ever! Good luck and happy grilling, friends!