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9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

9 Pro-Tips for Grilling your Best Burger

Of all the things to cook up on a grill, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Burgers. And why not? Burgers are delicious. Especially if they are made the right way. So, your friends here at Aqua Quip did some digging to figure out the best tips for grilling the perfect burger. No need to thank us.

1. Don’t buy pre-formed wannabe burger patties

You want to be in total control of the outcome of your burger, right? You can’t leave anything to chance, and that includes your burger meat. So instead of reaching straight for the already-formed, two dimensional “hamburger” meat, grab the ground chuck instead.

2. Make sure the beef has an 80/20 lean to fat ratio

Here’s a tip from one of our very own: never, ever, ever, use cheap 90% lean ground beef; avoid the hockey-puck burger, and get it right the first time. With 20% fat, you’re on the right track to a nice juicy burger.

3. A little goes a long wayolebobhickory

Speaking from experience, adding a lot of spices will make you feel cool, but it won’t actually do much for the burger itself. Do your burgers a favor, and just stick with the basics: salt and pepper. Or, if you want to have a little fun with your burgers, pick up a jar of your favorite John Henry’s BBQ seasoning from your nearest Aqua Quip store!

4. Be extra gentle while forming your patties

This burger is your baby: caress it; love it; give it a nice warm hand hug before laying it down for a quick nap in the grill, and remember that if you’re too aggressive with your burger baby, it will become too tough and it might not come home for holidays.

5. Separate the ground beef into 5-8 oz. patties, flatten them out to 1 inch thickness, and make sure the patty is the same width as the bun

Because nothing is worse than finding that perfect bite, only to find out that it was just bread.

6. Create a small divot on the top of the burger patty to ensure that it doesn’t puff up while cooking

Ever tried to pick up a big, rounded burger, plus toppings and buns? Hint: It doesn’t end well. So for totally flat, yet juicy burgers, all you have to do is make that tiny dimple with your thumb.

Photo from the Food Network
Photo from the Food Network

7. After preheating your grill to medium or medium/high heat, throw the patties on and LEAVE THEM ALONE.

It’s always tempting to poke and prod and push down on our patties while they cook, but the best way to do it is to just leave them be. You really only need to flip the burgers once after 4 or 5 minutes. And whether you’re using a Big Green Egg or a Weber grill, always keep the hood open, or else you might overcook your burger.

8. Cook the patties for 4 minutes on each side and use a thermometer to test the internal temperature (make sure it hits 160°); do NOT cut into that patty.

For a perfect medium rare, four minutes on each side is all you need; if you want your burgers done more medium, just add an extra minute on each side. Then, when the burgers look close to done, check the temperature, not the color. Use a meat thermometer to test if the patty has reached 160°, but don’t cut into it because you’ll release all of those wanted burger juices.

9. In the final few minutes of grilling your burgers, add cheese to the tops of the patties and throw some buttery buns on the grill.

A toasty bun creates that delicious “crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside” texture, and adds a layer of delicious flavor to your already mouthwatering burger. Just one to two minutes on the grill should do the trick. Then while those are toasting, move your burger to a cooler side of the grill and toss a slice of cheesy goodness right on top and watch it melt away with all your troubles.

And there you have it! Your perfect burger. For more fun burger recipes, look no further than here! 

4th of July Burgers

4th of July Burgers

Weber’s recipe of the week is a Chorizo Burger with Grilled Tomato and Cheddar – great for the July 4th cookout! See the original recipe here.

Chorizo Burgers
Chorizo Burgers
Serves: 4 // Prep time: 20 minutes | Grilling time: 8 to 10 minutes

Ingredients

Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon prepared chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Patties

  • 1¼ pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 6 ounces cured (not fresh) chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, cut crosswise into 4 slices
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 thin slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 4 leaves lettuce

Instructions

  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking
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    over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).

  2. In a small bowl whisk the sauce ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl gently mix the patty ingredients. With wet hands, form four patties of equal size, each about ¾ inch thick. Don’t compact the meat too much or the patties will be tough. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty. This will help the patties cook evenly and prevent them from puffing on the grill. Brush the tomato slices on both sides with the oil.
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until they are cooked to medium doneness, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once when the patties release easily from the grate without sticking. During the last 4 minutes of grilling time, grill the tomato slices over direct medium-high heat until warmed through and tender, turning
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    once. During the last minute of grilling time, place a slice of cheese on each patty to melt and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat. Build each burger on a toasted bun with a patty, lettuce, grilled tomato, and sauce. Serve warm.

*Recipe available courtesy of Weber.