How to Grill the Best Burgers: 7 Tips & Secrets

One of the best things about summer is the food. Sure, holidays in the winter bring delicious food too, but there’s nothing like the sun, a cold beverage, and the smell of fresh burgers on a grill. One of the most traditional foods to grill is of course the hamburger. However, maybe you’ve forgotten just how to make the best one, or want to learn some tips to enhance your burger grilling skills. Have no fear! This article will remind you just how to make sure your BBQ is the hit of the summer. 

Burgers

Cold, fresh, fat.

Three words that might not usually go together, they do here. Prior to grilling a burger, it’s important to refrigerate the meat to ensure it’s cold and not room temperature (unlike other meats such as steak). Whenever possible, you also want meat that is fresh. If you use a local butcher or grocer for your meat, ask if they can ground it in front of you. And finally, fat.  Don’t be afraid of fat here, especially if you want flavor.  Try not to purchase meat for burgers that is any leaner than 85%.  Remember, fat = flavor. 

Grill

Clean your grill.

Maybe this sounds simple, but many people forget to clean their grill before before cooking their burgers. Or, believe the common myth that all that grime on the grill adds to flavor.  However, this is not true!  Leftover remnants on your grill can alter the flavor of your burgers quite a bit or make them burn (although the flames might seem cool to impress your friends, they are not as cool for taste).  After the grill is clean, use oil to make sure the patties don’t stick.

Salt and Pepper

Relax on the seasonings.

If you are researching how to grill the best burgers, you don’t need any fancy seasonings to make great tasting burgers, so keep it simple!  Some salt, pepper, and optional garlic is really all you need.  However, do not mix the salt into the burger mixture!  Use salt at the very end on each side just before grilling.  We’ll talk about what you can add to the mixture next.

Add Mix-ins. 

Maybe you want to get fancier, fine.  You can add some mix-ins and seasonings to your ground beef.  Strangely, one thing that can give your burger some flavor and zest: BBQ chips.  Sounds weird, but try it.  Crush up a bunch of chips (really any flavor is ok if you want to experiment) and add to your meat mixture before grilling the burgers. You can also add shreds of butter to the mixture for added fat and flavor!  Maybe do the experimenting before your big grill out though.

Let the burgers be & leave the lid down!

People are so tempted to continuously flip their burgers – quit it!  Let the burgers cook & leave the lid down.  You want a burger that’s a little crispy on the outside and done on the inside.  The more you mess with it, the higher chance there is you’ll burn it or not cook it enough.  Also, don’t press the burgers.  For some reason, people are tempted to do this as well.  Pressing the meat while you are grilling the burgers makes them leak their juice and flavor. Leave the juicyness alone!

Burger

Cheese, but at the end!

You want to add cheese? Go for it!  But add it literally at the last 30 seconds, just so it can melt.  Don’t add it too early otherwise your cheese will melt and dissipate.

Crisp the buns.

A good bun is a crisp bun.  Not burnt, but enough crisp to it that it crunches just slightly.  Throw the buns on the grill for just a little after the burgers are done so you get a warm, crispy bun.

Try out these tips, and maybe do some experimenting of your own to see what works!  While there are some general guidelines to follow when it comes to burgers, there’s room for some creativity too!

Featured Image Credit: by Zac Cain on Unsplash

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