With the unofficial start of the summertime only a week away, it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll serve at your backyard parties. If you’re like most Americans, you’ll definitely want to throw a few burgers on the grill.
The star of any backyard cookout is the perfect burger piled high with everyone’s favorite toppings. If you want to take your burgers from bland and burned to gourmet territory, these tips have you covered. From selecting your meat, to prepping your grill, to the finishing touches, these tips are a great guide for your upcoming summer grilling.
- Buy a Fatty Beef– Your Fourth of July BBQ isn’t the time for low calorie burgers. An 80/20 ground beef is a great ratio to ensure your burgers won’t end up dry. Chefs know, fat equals flavor. A higher fat meat will stand up to the heat of your grill and produce a perfect burger!
- Season Well- Backyard grillers often forget one very important piece of the grilling puzzle. Seasoning your meat is an important step to ensure a better burger. Lightly season your ground beef mixture with salt and pepper then season the exterior of the burgers on your grill for perfectly seasoned meat.
- Clean Your Grill Grates- Use that wire brush to scrub your grill grates clean before your patties make contact with the grill. This will ensure even searing, less sticking, and no unpleasant tasting charred bits!
- Don’t Squish Them– It’s human nature to want to press down on a grilling burger. Don’t worry, we all feel the temptation! Don’t press your burgers with your spatula. This pushes all the flavor and juices out of the burger and makes your burgers dry. If you’re worried about whether or not they’re cooked through, take a look at our next point!
- Invest in an Instant Read Thermometer- If you want perfectly medium-rare or medium- well burgers, it’s important that you know the internal temperature. The most accurate way to check is with a thermometer. For beef the temperatures are as follows:
- Rare: 120-130 degrees
- Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees
- Medium: 135-140 degrees
- Medium Well: 145-155 degrees
- Well Done: 155 degrees or more
- Know About Carryover Cooking- If you want a burger cooked medium, it’s best to take it off the grill at around 130 degrees. A meat’s internal temperature will rise after it has been taken off the grill by a few degrees. Allow for carryover cooking when you’re making burgers for your hungry guests!
- Let Them Rest- A well-rested burger is a happy burger. When your burgers (or any meat) come off the grill, the juices are actively bubbling away. If you cut or bite into the patty immediately, you’ll lose tons of the precious juices inside the burger. A 5-10 minute rest is a great way to allow the burger to settle down and the juices to relax a bit.
- Think About the Final Product- Don’t spend all this time cooking the perfect burger just to place it on a sad bun with sad toppings! A great cookout has a huge variety of toppings for every burger lover. We love an array of sauces and condiments, multiple types of cheese, ice cold veggies, and a couple types of pickles. Putting some thought into the perfect accompaniments for your burger will make all the difference.
Burgers can be one of the easiest barbeque foods to make, but can also go wrong quickly. We hope these tips give you some awesome tips for your next cookout. A confident and prepared griller will produce burgers their guests will rave about until next year’s cookout.
We’d love to hear from you! What are your favorite tips for making perfect burgers every time?
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