I really like food, all food. But there’s still nothing better than a burger sizzling from the grill. The perfect burger is definitely a summertime staple, and there’s nothing quite like firing up the grill and cooking a juicy burger. But how do you grill the perfect burger?
If you’re looking to take your burgers to the next level, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll let you in on a few secrets that will take your burgers from average to amazing. So light up the grill and read on, my friends!
How To Grill (the perfect) Burgers
Beyond knowing how to actually cook on a grill, you’ll have to know a few burger basics before you get started.
Choose the right meat. The type of meat you use will have a big impact on the flavor of your burger. For a classic burger, use ground beef that’s 80/20 (80% lean, 20% fat). This ratio will give you a juicy burger that’s packed with flavor.
Form your patties by hand. Don’t be tempted to use a burger press—this will only compact the meat too much and make for a tough burger. Shape portions into balls, then gently press them into patties that are about 1/2 inch thick.
Season your meat. There are lots of options for seasoning burger meat. You can use salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, or any other spices you like. You could also use a variety of sauces or condiments inside your patty mixture. Ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, or ranch dressing are great options—experiment and find what you like best or choose from our favorites below!
Create a thumbprint indentation. Before placing your burgers on the grill, use your thumb to create a small indentation in the center of each patty. This will help prevent your burgers from shrinking, taking on a baseball shape, and overcooking.
Flip only once. Resist the urge to flip your burgers multiple times while they’re cooking. flipping them more than once will dry out the meat and make them tough.
Let them rest. Once your burgers are cooked to perfection, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making for a juicier burger.
Use a meat thermometer. The only way to know for sure if your burgers are cooked perfectly is to use a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the burger and cook until it reaches 160 degrees F.
How To Season a Burger
Have you ever been stuck on what to put in burger patties other than actual meat? Just a few add-ins can take your burgers to a whole new level. Even simple ingredients like soy sauce provide extra flavor and improve consistency.
The best part about burgers is their versatility. You can put anything on them, and they’ll taste great, from bacon and eggs to guacamole; there’s no wrong way to season or top a burger…However!
No matter what type of burger you’re trying to create, you should always include the burger Holy Trinity in your mix.
Repeat after me: “Salt, Pepper, and Onion Powder.”
Sounds simple, but if you want to make a great burger, it starts with the seasoning. Whether you want to get creative or try one of our favorite combos, be sure to include the Holy Trinity.
Need some inspiration? Here’s how we like to remix the classic burger:
Classic: Onion Powder, Smoked Paprika, Worcestershire
Top with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, bacon, and lettuce.
Thai Style: Soy Sauce, Peanut Butter, Chillies, Garlic, and Lime
Top with fresh slaw and sesame seeds.
Italiano: Oregano, Parmesan (…Yes, right in the meat), and Sundried Tomatoes
Top with marinara sauce and fresh basil, and crispy prosciutto
TexMex: Chili Powder, Onions, Jalapenos, and Shredded Cheddar
Top with salsa, guacamole or sour cream, and chicharrones for a fun crunch.
Greek: Olive Tapenade, Crumbled Feta, Oregano, and Lemon Juice
Top with tzatziki fresh lettuce and tomato.
Hong Kong: Soy Sauce, Honey, Chinese Five Spice, and Green Onions
Top with: Grilled mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers.
Now that you have the basics of a burger out of the way let’s fire up the grill!
Here’s what you’ll need to craft a perfect burger:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck with seasonings of your choice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 4 slices of cheese
- 4 hamburger buns, split; toasted, if desired
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place burger meat in a bowl and season generously. Next, separate the meat into four equal patty portions. Pat each portion into a 3/4-inch-thick burger, then make a crater in the middle with your fingers. Season both sides of the burgers with salt and pepper.
Preheat the gas grill too high (if you’re using a charcoal grill, wait until they glow bright orange and look ashy.) Brush burgers with oil and place them on the hot grill. Close the lid. When burgers are slightly charred on the first side and release from the grill easily without sticking, give them a flip. About 4 minutes. If you’re adding a slice of cheese, now is the time; add cheese on top of the patty and close the lid. Cook for an additional 5 minutes for well-done or 3-4 mins for medium rare.
Remove burgers from the grill. Rest burgers for 5 minutes and enjoy!
Over To You
So there you have it. The perfect burger. It’s not hard, and once you get it down, you’ll be able to wow your friends and family with “best of all time” burgers they’ll never forget. Grilling is one of the great pleasures in life, so experiment with different seasonings and toppings and find your own version of the perfect burger.
Already have a favorite recipe? Let us know in the comments below.