When you think about backyard barbecues, there’s a good chance one of the first things you imagine is a grill full of juicy burgers. The burger is the undisputed king of grill fare. However, grilling a perfect burger is much easier said than done. The fact is that many people don’t know how to properly grill a burger and they end up with misshapen chunks of meat that are stuffed into giant buns. The perfect burger is thick and juicy, with simple seasonings like salt and pepper. What follows are some tips for grilling a perfect burger. Follow these tips and you’ll be the envy of the neighborhood in no time!
The first step in grilling the perfect burger has nothing to do with the burger itself, and everything to do with your grill. If your grill isn’t properly prepared, you’re already starting off on the wrong foot. Prep your grill by heating it up to around 450 degrees. When the grill is hot, bust out your cleaning brush and give all of the grates a good scrub. The heat, combined with the course steel bristles on the brush, should knock off any gross leftovers that have been hanging out since your last barbecue.
Picking the right meat for your burgers is just as important as starting with a clean grill. In our experience, the best meat for burgers is an 80/20 blend of ground chuck (80 percent ground beef, 20 percent fat). If you’re health-conscious, you might be tempted to go with leaner meat, but you run the risk of ending up with some seriously dry burgers.
Scoop up about six ounces of the ground chuck and flatten them into patties a little larger than your buns. Now comes the big secret. Take your thumb and push a small dent in the center of the patty. This will keep the burger from warping into that football shape as it cooks. Finish off your meat prep by seasoning your burgers with salt and pepper. If you’ve got the right meat and you cook it just right, you won’t need any fancy seasoning to create a tasty burger.
Oil up your grill, slap on the patties and cook for three minutes before you flip them. Cook on the other side until the meat hits 140 degrees if you like your burgers medium or 150 degrees for medium-well.
Finish off by throwing your buns on the grill for a minute or so to toast them up, slap on your burgers, and then pile on your favorite toppings.