Grilling Tips - The Ultimate Guide to a Delicious Backyard BBQ

Grilling the Perfect Hamburger in 4 Easy Steps

Grilling the Perfect Hamburger in 4 Easy Steps

Hamburgers are becoming so common that it is already available everywhere you go. It seems like fast food industry has taken over, armed with all kinds (and sizes) of every burger imaginable. But still, no restaurant can beat your very own home-made, grilled burger. These are the usual steps I follow when I get the urge of just doing away with commercialism and appreciate what I can create in my own backyard.

Step 1: Think Meat.

If perfect vision requires 20/20, the perfect meat for burgers should be 80/20, 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This ratio would make a juicier patty without drying it. Any kind of meat would be fine. Even a mixture of different meats can be used. When mixing them, however, make it gentle. The more you mix the meat, the softer it will become.

Fresh meat would always be recommended. If it directly comes from your freezer, thaw it properly. If you hurry the process up (like if it’s still not totally defrosted or you used running water or microwave to warm it up), this might cause the patty to crumble when grilled.

Step 2: Think Patty.

When measuring the patty, make it bigger than the bun because it shrinks while being cooked. Give it that extra half inch so that even when it shrinks, it would not be too small for your bun. A recommended size would be 1 inch thick by 5 inches in diameter.

As mentioned above, do not over handle the meat or else it will crumble. We are aiming to make the perfect patty and not the perfect meat crumbs. With that in mind, use your hands to form the burgers. Get about half a pound of meat and form it into a tight ball the size of a baseball. By firmly pressing it, you’ll now have a flat cake. Put it on top of a cutting board. Using your thumb, flatten the center (but not too much). This way, the burger will be evenly cooked. No burnt edges, no undercooked middle part. You can season your burgers with Kosher salt and ground black pepper. Lemon pepper with Worcestershire sauce is also good. For the barbeque sauce, you can put this when the meat is almost done.

Step 3: Think Grill.

First, with a cooking spray, oil the cooking grate to avoid sticky situations. How would you know if the grill is hot enough for grilling burgers? Test it by holding your hand over it. If you can no longer tolerate the heat, it means your grill is ready.

Place your patties on the hot grill and close the lid. Low to medium heat is recommended so you won’t burn the patties. Remember that they are thicker so give them enough time to be cooked without worrying that you’ll burn all of them. Leave it there for about 2-4 minutes. Don’t press the down or you’ll lose the juices, dry them up and create flame ups.

Check if it’s ready to be flipped. When it already lifts easily with the use of your spatula (or turner), go ahead and flip it. If still sticks, don’t force it. Leave it for another minute or so. When they are no longer sticky, flip the patties! Give it another 2-3 minutes. Flip one more time and continue grilling until they are no longer pink. Remove when done and let it cool for about 2-3 minutes before serving.

Step 4: Think Bun.

Use the best buns for the best patties in town. (That’s right!) You can also toast them on the grill for about 30 seconds so it will jive perfectly with your patties. Serve with lettuce, onion, cheese, tomatoes and condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard. Be creative and enjoy the feast!

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