It’s backyard grilling season, and one thing that most everybody loves during the summertime is a homemade grilled hamburger with all the fixin’s!
Here are some tips that will help you make a burger that will leave everybody raving about it and asking for seconds (and thirds!)
Careful With The Add-Ons!
People like to add stuff to their burgers…seasonings, sauces, onions, garlic, cheese, and just about anything else that you can think of. A good burger just needs a little salt and pepper mixed into some high-quality ground beef (or turkey, pork, or chicken)!
Too much extra “stuff” can detract from the burger’s natural flavorings. And if you add tooâ€“too much extra stuff, it could end tasting horrible. But garlic is okay, right? Garlic makes everything taste better!
Leave That Meat Alone!
Form your burgers correctly…donâ€™t over pack the patty. A loosely packed patty holds its juices better. And I learned this trick from Rachael Ray: making a little indentation in the middle of the patty with your thumb. The center thickens up when you cook it, leaving a burger the same size all the way across.
Hot, Hot, Hot!
Make sure your grill is hot when you put the meat on and use high heat. Hold your hand a couple of inches above the grilling surface…you’ll know it’s ready when you canâ€™t hold it there for more than a few seconds.
And never, never, never press your burgers with your spatula! You’re letting out all the juice by doing so, and that’s where all of the flavor is. And by getting rid of all that juicy goodness, you will also be left with some very dry burgers.
Of course cooking times will vary depending on the type of meat you are cooking, your grill, how many burgers you are cooking, but really try to ensure that they don’t overcook. My dad likes his burgers well done, but that doesn’t mean he wants a black burger that is so dry it sucks the spit right out of his mouth!
Although cooking times do vary, a good rule of thumb (or starting place) is 6 minutes total cooking time for rare, 8 minutes for medium, and 10 minutes for well. Flip the burgers only once during that time.
Let It Rest
Removing the burger from the grill and allowing it to cool off too quickly is a no-no.Â Keep your serving plate in a warm oven until it is time to remove your items from the grill. Then, place some foil over the top of the service tray until your meat is ready to be served. Allowing the meat to “rest” before cutting into it helps it retain its moisture and redistribute its juices.
Do you do a lot of summer grilling? What are some of your favorite things to grill?