For hamburger enthusiasts, summer is the perfect time to fire up the grill and cook up juicy hamburgers. However, if you're not a grill master, grilling can be intimidating. What's more, when you do grill, you may find that your burger is dry, or just doesn't taste as good as your local burger joint. Follow these tips if you'd like to improve your burger-grilling skills and cook up some tasty burgers at home.
Choose the Right Fat Ratio
One of the keys to a good burger is the lean-to-fat ratio. Ground beef packaging lists various lean-to-fat ratios, such as 85 percent lean. To be able to grill up a juicy burger, its crucial that you choose the right fat ratio. Keep in mind that if you're eating a balanced diet, you're not having burgers every day, so when you do, it's typically okay to have a higher fat content. For the juiciest results, splurge on ground beef that has a 70/30 ratio -- that is, 70 percent lean and 30 percent fat. If you need a leaner burger, go for 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat, you'll still get tasty results.
Aggressive seasoning can often have negative results, but so can a bland burger. To allow the flavor of the meat to shine, a little salt and pepper is all that's really needed. Until you're comfortable with your grilling skills, try seasoning with just a teaspoon of salt and pepper per pound of ground beef. You may be surprised at the flavorful results you're able to get when you keep it simple.
Whether you're using a charcoal, or gas, grilling up the perfect burger requires high heat. The heat will give the burger a nice crust on the outside, giving it the texture and flavor you're looking for. Make sure your grill is nice and hot prior to adding your burgers. The amount of time you cook your burger depends on how well done you want it. Many burger enthusiasts prefer medium rare. To get a medium rare burger, grill your meat for about three minutes on each side.
- Avoid Serial Flipping - If your grill is hot enough, you should only need to flip your burger one time. Flipping too much causes moisture loss and affects the taste.
- Avoid Pressing - It may be tempting to press down on the burger while it's on the grill, but doing so squeezes out the juices, leaving you with drier than preferable results.
Visit a local hamburger joint, like Nancy's Hand Crafted Burger's, if you want the perfect burger without cooking it yourself.