How To Cook Burgers On The Grill

You can grill the perfect summer burger by following a few simple techniques to ensure a juicy, evenly cooked patty.

If you cook out frequently, you probably fix a lot of burgers. There are some easy tips to avoid common grilling problems and improve the taste of your burgers.

First, choose a good quality meat that is about 20 percent fat. Ground chuck is a perfect choice for burgers. When making out the patties, be sure that the patty is flat and of uniform thickness. If the edges are thinner than the center, use your fingers to reshape the patty until it's even.

One of the most difficult things about grilling burgers is making sure they're cooked though without burning the outsides to a crisp. One easy way to help even out the cooking process is to form the patties and then make a hole in the center. Work the patty until you have a donut shape with a small hole (about one inch or a little less) in the center. This will allow the burger to cook more evenly. Keep in mind that the thicker the burger, the more important it is to remember to make the center hole.

Your family and guests will probably want burgers at different levels of doneness. An easy way to handle this is to put the burgers on gradually so that they all can come off the grill at once. For a burger to be well-done, it needs about fifteen minutes of grill time. If any of your guests want medium burgers, wait three or four minutes before adding theirs to the grill. All the burgers should be ready to come off the grill at the same time. For ground meats, you should use a meat thermometer to make sure the interior of the meat reaches 160 degrees, which is the minimum temperature for safety.

A common burger grilling problem is having the meat crumble once it's on the grill. You can easily deal with this by freezing the patties briefly after you've formed them. Place them in the freezer long enough to make them nice and firm, but not completely frozen. Allow about one to two hours for freezing the burgers before grilling them, depending on their thickness. Spraying your grill with a non-stick cooking spray before lighting it will also help prevent the meat sticking and falling apart as you cook.

Resist the temptation to press on the burger with your spatula. It may be fun, but it increases the chance that the burger will stick or fall apart. After all, you're forcing it into the grill rack. It also forces the juices out of the meat, drying out the burger and causing grill flare-ups.

If you like adding flavorings to your meat, it's easy to add them before you make out the patties. By mixing in dry and liquid ingredients, you can add both flavor and moisture to your burgers. Some good ones to try are steak sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, dry onion soup mix, fresh diced onions, black pepper, grill seasonings, onion powder, and garlic powder. Don't add salt before you cook the meat since it tends to dry out the meat and make it tough.

Experiment with different flavoring and enjoy. Burgers are one of the most common and easiest dishes for grilling. By using a few simple techniques, you can make cooking them virtually foolproof.

© High Speed Ventures 2011