How to Grill Perfect Burgers Every Time
When we think about novice grilling, the first thing that will likely come to mind is burgers and hot dogs.They’re a no-brainer, right? ...Wrong. In reality, burgers are very easy to ruin, whether it’s the cooking temperature or how you treat them during the cook. In this blog post, we’re serving up some tips for accomplishing the perfect burger patties every time.
Once your burgers are prepared, hopefully formed by hand, chilled and ready to go on the grill, get your grill heated up to about 400°F. It's a good idea to transfer burgers directly from the fridge to the grill so they don’t lose their shape or develop bacteria. Some folks prefer kickin’ it up to around 450°F, but this medium-high heat will work just fine. To prevent burgers from shrinking during your cook, go with the lower temperature and create a dimple in the center of your patty with your thumb.
Assuming your grates are properly seasoned, once your grill is the perfect temperature (you can stand to hold your hand over the heat for 2-3 seconds before it becomes unbearable), then you can begin laying your burgers on the grill surface. If it isn’t properly seasoned and they have a chance of sticking, don’t risk the chance of them breaking apart and becoming a mushy pink mess. Brush a light coat of oil on either side of each patty or on the hot grates.
Throughout your cook, you should actually only flip your burgers ONCE-- once one side is cooked, you flip it to cook the other side. To create the perfect crosshatch grill marks on your patty, after laying one side on the grill, simply give it a corner or 90 degree turn after a couple minutes. Repeat these steps once you flip it. Both you and your family will be impressed.
You should also NEVER use your spatula to smash down on the burgers. We know that popular media or dramatic commercials have falsely advertised multiple flips and smashing the burgers to get that coveted sizzle effect. You’re only sacrificing texture and losing the precious juices that you’ll need for that tender, juicy bite.
Depending on the thickness and size of your burger patties, your cooking times per side may vary. We recommend 3-6 minutes per side for results between medium-rare and well-done. The best measure of the doneness of the interior of your burger is with an instant-read meat thermometer. The internal temperature for a well-done burger should be about 160°F. If you’d like to add cheese, add it on top during the last minute of cooking and make sure to close the lid so it melts.
Most importantly, like any other smoked or grilled meat, allow your burgers to REST for 5 minutes. Serve them hot with any and all desired toppings and condiments. Enjoy!