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How to Grill a Juicy Burger

How to Grill a Juicy Burger


They are everyone's first choice for outdoor grilling. Make sure your burgers are the best they can be.


By FamilyTime

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Every summer, millions of Americans serve grilled hamburgers with all the fixins’. We should be experts at cooking them, but too often they are dry and tough.

What’s the best way to grill a juicy burger?

Start with the Meat
If you like beef burgers, which we call hamburgers, begin with the right beef. Odd as it may seem, this should not be ground sirloin or any particularly lean beef.

Choose chuck, which has more fat than more expensive cuts; the fat is what makes burgers juicy. To add tenderness, mix the chuck with equal amounts of sirloin.

While it’s convenient to buy ground meat, if you possibly can, ask the butcher to grind it for you. Or, better yet, buy the meat and grind it yourself. This way, you can be sure of getting good, fresh quality.

On the other hand, let’s get real. It’s almost impossible to find a butcher who will grind meat these days. You will be forced to buy pre-ground meat.

Look for bright red meat with a fair amount of white fat if it’s chuck, and less fat if buying ground sirloin. Avoid packages with darkened or discolored meat. Avoid any that have moisture inside the wrapper.

If you can, smell the meat. It should have barely any odor and if it does, don’t buy it.

If you can’t inspect the meat until you get home, return it to the market immediately if it smells even the least bit off.

Make the Burgers
Mix equal weights of chuck and sirloin until blended. Add seasonings if you desire, such as pepper, herbs, onions, or Worcestershire sauce. There’s no need to season the meat unless you want to.

Form burgers with the ground meat by gently pressing the meat between your palms. The burgers should be about one inch thick.

Do not compress the meat – if it’s packed too tightly the juices won’t flow freely during grilling. This means the burgers will be tough and dry.

Lay the formed burgers on a tray or baking sheet, stacked in several layers and separated by wax paper, if necessary.

Refrigerate the burgers until it’s time to grill them. Do not remove them any earlier. Unlike whole pieces of chilled meat, which should reach cool room temperature before grilling, for safety, ground meat should not.

Grill the Burgers
Before you heat the grill, spray the grilling rack with vegetable oil spray. This will prevent the burgers from sticking.

Let the coals or gas grill heat to medium hot to hot before taking the burgers from the refrigerator. Lay them on the grill and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes on one side before turning and cooking for 3 to 4 minutes longer on the other side. This will produce medium burgers. Cook them for a minute longer on each side for well done. For safety reasons, it’s inadvisable to serve rare burgers.

If adding cheese, do so when you turn the burger.

Do not give in to the temptation to flip the burgers numerous times and do not press on them with the flat of the spatula. Neither activity speeds cooking time and both compress the meat, which results in tough, dry burgers.

As soon as the burgers are ready, pop them between buns – which you may have heated slightly on the edge of the grill. Serve them with all the trimmings and enjoy a big, fat, juicy all-American hamburger!



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