Grilling The Perfect Hamburger

by Buck on July 31, 2009

grilledBurgersThe first step in grilling the perfect hamburger is not at the grill.  It is in your meat market or the meat department of your super market.  Never buy ground beef in those plastic tubes that you see neatly displayed with a picture of ground beef on them,  with the real ground beef hidden from view.

The ground beef that you buy should be freshly ground in the market and be no more than 85% lean with at least 15% fat.  Some famous TV experts call for an 80%-20% ratio which may stretch the healthy diet concept of some folks. A  fat content of 15% will give you a juicy burger which is the way a burger should be.  If you are cooking for guests and someone asks about fat content tell them it’s as lean as you could find and offer no details.

We’re talking about great tasting hamburgers here, not soy burger.  Healthy issues are a subject for another day.

Step 1. Form the burgers into patties that will fit within the rolls being used.  A 6 oz burger is a good size for a grilled burger. indent the top of the burger in the center slightly with your thumb  Salt and pepper

Step 2. Cover the heated grill with aluminum foil.  Punch a few holes in the foil on the outer section of the foil.  Let the foil heat for a few minutes.

Step 3. Place the patties on the foil about two inches between patties over a high heat.  Let the patties cook until a crust forms on the side down on the foil.  About 4 minutes should be enough. Do not press down on the hamburgers since this squeezes out the juice and dries out the burger.

Step 4. Flip the burger once and let the same crusty finish form on the other side. About 3 to 4 minutes should finish the burger.

Step 5. Place the burgers on a soft roll and arrange on a serving platter accompanied by  a tray with sliced onions, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, kosher dill pickle slices and a mound of kettle cooked potato chips.  Ketchup ,mustard and BBQ sauce should be available.

Some tips– I have a knife and fork handy at the grill to cut into and observe the doneness of my burger along the way.  I want the burgers to come off the grill somewhat pink in the center.  Nothing is worse than a dried out, overdone burger.  The chips are in case someone likes a bit of crunch with their hamburger.  A kettle cooked chip usually has a bit more body and works well crunched on a burger.

The aluminum foil is a substitute for a flat grill plate which most folks do not have at home.  If you have a flat grill plate use it instead of the foil.  The plate or the foil keep the burger fat from flaring up the grill flame and also keep them cooking in their own juice helps to keep a moist and juicy burger.  This is really a key step in grilling a burger.

If you are adding cheese put it on the burger at the last minute.  Splash a little water around the burger and cover with a small bowl.  The steam will melt the cheese in 20 seconds.  With two bowls you can do a bunch of cheeseburgers in just a few minutes.

Have a great day grilling your Perfect Hamburgers.

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July 4th Grill Spectacular
June 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

frank gothie August 1, 2009 at 6:50 am

good suggestion about melting the cheese. Heating the bun for a brief period on the swivel racka bove the grids adds to the experience too.

Buck August 1, 2009 at 10:01 am

Good pick up of an important point. A heated slightly toasted bun complements the perfect burger

buckheem August 8, 2010 at 10:54 pm

What is the point of using a grill if u use the foil or a grill plate. Might as well cook the burgers on the griddle or a pan.

Buck August 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Buckheem
When grilling the burgers I usually have a few other items on the grill. I first saw the grill plate used by Bobby Flay. He knows a bit about grilling and the foil is used by my brother in-law Bob who is a grill expert. I also like to cook out in the garden when entertaining. We set up a table for starters and beverages. The quests wander around the garden with a drink in hand and having a hors d’ oeuvre along with conversation as a real party starter. They check my progress with comments on the preparation and questions about what is working on the grill. At the grill I’m part of the party. The grill plate and foil both work in producing burgers that are great

buckheem August 9, 2010 at 5:11 pm

Thanks for the idea about melting the cheese’

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