You cannot have a really great burger without great meat. This is not the time to think about the “diet” you are on. Definitely do not go too lean when selecting your ground beef. Otherwise you will end up with a flavorless, dry burger, that resembles a hockey puck.
I prefer to use ground chuck when we are going on burger grilling rampage. Ground chuck has about 20% of fat, which is needed to create that mouth-watering, juices dripping from your chin, burger. As well, don’t be shy, about asking the guy behind the meat counter to pick a great piece of chunk and to grind it for you. The difference from pre-ground to freshly ground is huge.
Seasonings. Keep it simple. Besides pepper, I only use a little minced shallot, garlic, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce when seasoning my everyday beef burgers. The condiments that go onto your burger will give it the extra kick you are craving!
Do not man-handle your burger. Touching it too much with your hands will melt the fat in the meat. Yes, this is true, the heat from your body will slowly start melting the fat, that is going to help make that burger juicy and flavorful. When mixing ingredients into the meat, use a wooden spoon or spatula. When making the patties, move the meat from hand to hand, lightly forming into a patty that is about 1″ thick. I like to let the patties sit about 30 minutes at room temperature, to let the flavors mingle.
When it is time to start grilling, make sure your grill is really hot. Put the burgers onto the hot grill and let them sizzle for 2 – 4 minutes (depending on how hot your grill is) until there are evident grill marks, then flip. Repeat the process. We use a meat thermometer to test the doneness of the meat. Simple poke it into the thickest part of the burger to read the temperature. If, I am using freshly ground beef (ground that day) I tend to lean towards 145. If the beef was pre-ground a couple days before, I tend to lean towards 155 – 160. Remember the meat will continue to cook for about 5 minutes after you remove it from the grill.
Love to make your burger a little cheesy? Add the cheese during the last minute of grilling and cover the BBQ with the lid to keep the heat in, and to melt the cheese. Sandwich the meat between some great bread and slather on the condiments.
Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy your day, be safe and happy grilling.
Denise believes anything can be made at home as long as you have a little patience, and time. All of her recipes are made using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on Eat Boutique, the Mushroom Channel, Saveur.com, Foodies of the World, PBS and Fine Cooking.
Denise also creates the recipes on the popular food blog Chez Us. Saveur has featured Chez Us as one of 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading as well as one of the Sites They Love. Be sure to read more about what they are cooking up over at Chez Us.