If you are like me, you have had your fair share of hockey puck burgers or ones that fall apart before you can even get it in your mouth. I have no doubt you have never been the cook of said bad burgers, feel free to share this blog with your friends who have. Here it is, our suggestions for making the perfect burger.
The key is to remember now is not the time to worry about being healthy (unless you are living a keto lifestyle.) It should be like ice cream, get the full fat and enjoy it. Get the 80/20 or even 70/30 ground beef. Anything leaner it might dry out too quickly and the patty might not stick together.
If you really want to make it perfect, get fresh ground beef from your grocery store, or even better, from a specialty store.
Step 2: The Patty
Step 2: The Patty
When you are working with ground meat wet your hands slightly to keep the meat from sticking to your hands. This also helps the patties to form quicker and will keep you from overworking the meat. Remember, the more you work the patty the tougher it will be.
Divide the meat into equal parts, I usually make 1/3 pound burgers, so for each pound I have I make three burgers. Before forming the patties, mix in Colorado Smoke grill seasoning, and apply liberally. I do not add any filler such as eggs or breadcrumbs. I call that meatloaf. I love meatloaf, but we are talking burgers, not meatloaf.
I then pack them into a ball and flatten them. Again, do not overwork the patty, a quick snowball-making squeeze and you’re done. Then flatten either with your hands or use a burger press. Don’t make them too thin, I try for around ¾ of an inch to one-inch thickness. Then make a dimple in the middle of the burger, this will keep the middle from puffing up.
Once you have made the burgers cover them up and put them in the fridge while you heat the grill. Ground meat cooks better at a cooler temperature. (Don’t do this with steaks, they cook better from room temp.)
Step 3: Heating/prepping the grill
You want your grill to be clean and hot!
A dirty grill can lead to the burgers sticking to the grill, so make sure you have a clean surface. If you don’t always have time to clean your grill surface you can try a grill mat. I have used them in the past, they do a great job of keeping the food from sticking and not burning from flare-ups. Personally, I find it a little weird to grill with something covering the actual grill and the fat does pool on top of the mat. But if you have a really dirty grill and no time to clean it, this will help you make a better burger. My first choice is to have a clean grill. If you are worried about your burgers sticking try using a paper towel and some cooking oil and rubbing it on the grill before you heat it.
Heat your grill to around 400 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer you can hold your hand an inch or two above the grill. You should only be able to do so for a couple of seconds, no more than three. A hot grill will seal the burger and keep it from sticking to the grill.
Step 4: Cooking
Finally, it is time. Put the burgers on the grill and shut the lid. I like to add a bit more seasoning at this point, I want the seasoning to be one of the first things the taste buds get.
For burgers that are around ¾ to 1-inch and you want it to be medium-rare cook three minutes a side, for medium – four minutes, for medium-well – five minutes, for well done (shame on you) – six minutes.
ONLY FLIP ONCE! Just like when we made the patties, the more you handle the burgers the tougher they will be. And, please, do not smash your burgers with the spatula, you are pushing all of the juice out the bottom of the burger. If you want to make a smash burger do it on a griddle or in a pan.
Add the cheese with about a minute to go.
Step 5: Rest (both you and the burgers.)
Let the burgers sit for 10 minutes or so, this allows the juice to move back from the outside of the burger to the middle.
Step 6: The Fixin's
What do you like to put on your burgers? Let me know in the comments below. Two of my favorite things to put on are grilled sweet onion and grilled or roasted green chilis. Cut the onion about a ¼ inch thick and put it on the grill about five minutes before the burgers go on.
Step 7: EAT!!!!!!!!!!!
Step 8: Enjoy the accolades.
If you follow these steps, don’t be surprised when people come up and compliment you on your grilling prowess. Just remember to be gracious and humble.