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 way
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.
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!