To make a great hamburger, you must start with some good ground beef. So what I did today is I bought a pound of ground sirloin, so I’m really getting that steak flavor in that burger. I also had to have some fats, so I bought a pound of ground chuck.
It was some 80/20. It’s got a good fat content, so it’s really going to give us some moisture to burgers when they’re done.
I just combine both pounds of the ground beef. That’s what’s going to be the base for our burger.
To truly make super burgers, I’m not making a little patties today. I’m going with the full half pound burgers, so we need to get this meat portion out.
I’ve got a little kitchen scale and I’m going to make sure that I get that full 8 ounces, 1/2 pound burgers. So the first thing I’m going to do is weigh out my hamburgers and make four portions.
The key to making a good hamburger is not to overwork the meat. We’re not trying to pack it in, I’m not trying to make a ball and throw it all around. I just want to form my patties so the meat is going to have better texture.
You want it to stick together, but you just want to form a nice patty with it, press it down a little and we’re not overworking it. That is the whole key to good hamburgers.
After you are done you should have four, half pound hamburger patties.
Did you notice that I didn’t put anything in with the meat at all. This is a 100% ground beef. I don’t want any egg or cracker or bread crumbs, any of the binders, you don’t need it.
We’re going to cook these on the grill, over hot heat, but not super hot, like when searing a steak.
I really want that beef flavor to shine through, so there’s nothing into meat. All we are going to do is season the outside. I picked up some flavors for these. I’m just keeping it simple – salt, pepper, garlic seeds, A.P. rub.
I just want a light coat on top and for a little extra texture, I’m putting some of my steak seasoning on it. You can use whatever you like. If you like to use a Montreal, if you’d like to use a coarse pepper or something like that, use it. I really like the flavor that a steak seasoning gives a burger.
Do not forget to do the other side. Still not moving these burgers too much.
You just let these burgers hang out while you go outside and fire up the grill. I’m going to be cooking on my Egg today. You want to run about 400 degrees, if it slips a little bit over 400 that’s fine. I don’t want it like 600 degrees or I’m really cooking the steak hot and fast.
I just want these burgers to cook through. I like them about medium. If you want yours well-done, go ahead and cook them that way but I like to have a little bit of that juice in there. I don’t want to see a whole lot of pink but I want that meat to be moist and that’s going to have really great texture.
I’m out at the Big Green Egg. I’m at 400 degrees, it’s right where I want it for grilling these burgers. I got my grate good and hot. Get the burgers laid out on it. Get the lid closed so these burgers are going to cook about six to seven minutes on each side.
The whole key to cooking burgers is don’t mess with them. You can put the twist on them about half way through and I’ll do that but I don’t want to be turning them or mashing them. I want them just to cook and develop that nice crust on the bottom.
After a few minutes, give the burgers a quick twist to make good-looking grill marks. It’s been about three and a half minutes. We go another three and a half minutes and see if it’s time to flip them.
It’s been about seven minutes, we’ll go ahead and flip the burgers over to the other side.
After another seven minutes, these burgers are done. They look great.
You want to go at least seven to eight minutes on each side without mashing the burger, flipping them too much. That’s what tears your burger up, that’s what lets that moisture out. Total cook time was about 15 minutes to get them to where I want, which is a medium, about 145 degrees internal.
Now you can dress your burgers however you want to. If you want the traditional way, go for it.
Tips For Grilling Burgers
Often grillers find that their hamburgers come out rubbery or with a dry texture. Sometimes they say their patties lacked flavor. There is the tennis ball patty that swells in the center and my favorite ‘I want a well-done hamburger but I don’t want it to be too dry’.
Fixing dry rubbery textures. When blending ground beef and seasonings, don’t overwork and smash the meat. When forming patties, steer clear of over patting or tightly compressing. This includes using machinery or gadgets to smash them out to properly form patties. Lightly press down only a couple of times.
With our patties formed, we are ready to cover the tennis ball phenomenon. To prevent this, simply place an indention in the center of each patty with your thumb. While cooking the center will rise to meet the rest of your burger instead of going all tennis ball on you.
When considering how to make hamburgers with more flavor, a good rule of thumb is to start out with 80/20 ground chuck. If instead you use generic 80/20 ground beef, this could be cut from anywhere on the cow, blended together at the same lean to fat ratio, which can cause major inconsistencies in flavor.
How do we grill a well-done hamburger without having it come out as dry as a shoe-leather. The best way is to place a small hole through the center of the burger, which will help to cook the inside without completely drying out the outside of the hamburger.
If you’re cooking a burger and you’re actually using a frozen patty and on top of it you’re using some prepackaged buns, you’re doing it all wrong! Frozen burgers are completely dry and they’re probably grinned two years ago and that’s what you’re ending up in your house.
If you’re not going for the frozen one, you’re thinking about doing the right thing and actually buying some fresh ground meat that is bright red, very fresh. The problem is that it’s most likely extra lean and there’s no fat in it. No fat, no flavor. It’s a boring burger.
Never seasoned the meat ahead of time because what the salt actually does to the burger it starts curing the meat, the texture is not the same, you are ruining your burger.
Another big mistake that I see people doing cooking burgers is really pushing then down on the grill. What you’re actually doing there is squeezing out all the juices from the burger. The result you’re ending up with a thin very dry burger.
You want to make sure that your patties are all a uniform size, about three quarters of an inch thick. That way, they’ll cook at the same rate and arrive at the same temperature together.
After you finished making your patties, take your thumb and make a depression in the center of each patty. This will help the burgers not to clump up while they’re grilling and that way you’ll be able to tell when they’re done.
While you’re cooking your burgers one of the worst things that you can do is to mess around with patties while they’re on the grill. Constantly flipping and turning the meat and pressing down on it with your spatula will only release the juices, dry out the burger and cause a mess all over your grill.
What you want to do is leave the meat alone, let the grill do its thing and then flip the burgers once.
Once your patties are on the grill, you want to make sure that they’re cooked to the correct temperature. Leave them on one side for three minutes then flip.
For rare leave on another four minutes, for medium five minutes and for well-done seven minutes. For a foolproof way to find out if your meat is cooked to the correct temperature, use a grilling thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the meat. For rare you want about 145 degrees, for medium 160 and for well-done 170 degrees.
About the buns. To warm them, place the top half on your patty in the final minute of grilling with the bottom half stacked just above that. For a crunchy texture place buns directly on the grill and twist until golden brown.
Took all your burgers, put them in the refrigerator or even the freezer for about 15 minutes to firm up a little bit. They’ll be easier to handle while the burgers are on the grill. They’re not going to fall apart on you.
Have all your supplies on hand because if you have to run to the kitchen, you could have a flare while you’re gone and your whole grill could be up in flames. So plan ahead, have your spatulas, your tongs, everything ready to go.
Start with a clean grill. I don’t care what people say. The junk on the grill is not flavor. You really want to fire up the grill, get it really hot, clean it off good. Once you’ve cleaned it with a wire brush, then use a little oil on a paper towel and lightly oil the grill. This will get it nice and clean, ready for burgers.
A lot of people ask, do you have the grill lid up or down. A general rule is if it’s thicker than your palm, you should have it down.
The biggest tip is you got to let these patties rest a little bit once they are done. Let the juices inside relax. Any piece of meat you cook you want to let it rest so the juices don’t just spill out on the plate when you bite or cut into it. About 15 minutes and you’re ready to plate it up.