If you’re going to be grilling a lot of burgers this summer, you want to get them just right! Below are my 3 B’s of Great Grilled Burgers along with one of my favorite specialty burger recipes. So whether you want them stuff and seasoned or just classic grilled on a bun, I hope this tip sheet helps make your cookouts the best in the neighborhood!
The 3 B’s of Great Grilled Burgers: Bond ‘em, Baby ‘em, Build ‘em……
BOND: Get to Know your Beef
• Juicy grilled burgers are made from 80% lean ground CHUCK……Fat=Flavor! The extra fats in ground chuck will drip away as you grill them. (Chuck is from the shoulder area which gets LOTS of use, making it very flavorful. When cooking burgers in a skillet, you may want to use a leaner cut of ground beef.)
• Season! Season! Season! Add salt and pepper, woozy, beef broth or wine to your ground chuck.
• Gain added flavor/moisture by adding broth, grated onions, or zucchini (your kids will never know!) to your ground chuck.
BABY: Be Gentle with your Beef
• Use lots of TLC – don’t pack your ground beef too tightly or over work the meat.
• ¾-inch patties are the ideal thickness for grilling to the perfect temp.
• Gently make an indention on the top of each burger – this keeps them from “puffing” when grilling.
• Only flip once. Burgers are ready to flip when you can lift with no sticking to the grill. Test the edge of each burger with your spatula.
• Never, ever, ever press down on your burgers with your spatula!! Precious juices are lost forever when this technique is applied. #ResistTheUrge
BUILD: Create Flavor Layers for your Burger
• A perfectly grilled burger deserves great “accessories” piled high to complete it. Use flavorful condiments: zesty mayos, whole grain mustards, homegrown tomato slices, caramelized onions, ripe avocado slices, strong cheeses, crispy bacon, and/ or spicy arugula.
• Toast your buns on the grill to warm them and give added flavor.
• Grill over direct heat – 450 to 500 degrees F. Once your burgers are nicely seared off, move them to an area of indirect heat on the grill that’s closer to 350 degrees F. to finish cooking. This will allow for a great finish on the outside and meat that’s cooked to your heart’s desire on the inside.
• Always preheat your grill! Once your grill is nicely preheated, clean with a wire brush, then oil the grates.
• Grill burgers covered: 8-10 minutes for medium, 10-11 minutes for medium well. Remove from grill, cover with foil and let burgers rest a bit before adding the buns. In our family, we like to place the burgers into the buns, then place all of them into a plastic bag to let everything “steam.” This step adds the perfect finishing touch! #totallyworthit
• Practice Sideways-Safety! To test burgers for doneness at the center, insert an instant-read thermometer into your burgers from the side – this allows the sensor of the meat thermometer to fully reach into the center of the burger, giving you a solid, correct reading of the internal temperature. A safe internal temperature for a burger is 160 degrees F. (I often remove them from the grill at 155 degrees F. internal temperature and let them rest a bit, covered, so they can raise in temperature to the 160 degrees F.)
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 1/2 lbs. ground chuck
3 Tbs. fine dry bread crumbs
3 Tbs. strong beef broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 oz. brie cheese
4 hamburger buns
1/3 cup zesty brown mustard
2 cups baby arugula or spinach
In a large saute pan over medium heat, cmobine onions with evoo, vinegar, and sugar; cover pan and cook slowly until onions are softened and golden brown, approx. 20 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill for direct cooking over high heat. In a large mixing bowl, gently combine ground chuck with bread crumbs, broth, salt and pepper; shape this mixture into four patties of equal size and thickness, making a hole in the center of each patty for the cheese. Trim the rind from the brie cheese and cut into four equal portions; nestle each piece of brie into the hold in each burger, sealing each burger tightly around the brie.
Brush grill clean with wire brush, then oil the grates. Grill patties over direct high heat, covered with lid, 8-10 minutes, to medium doneness. Flip burgers when they easily release from the grates without sticking. Toast buns during the last few minutes of cooking time. Assemble warm burgers with caramelized onions, mustard and arugula or spinach piled high. Serve at once.