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7 Tips to Grill Burgers Like a Pro!

by Michael Webster

Warmer weather is becoming more consistent, and the days are lasting longer and longer, which can only mean one thing: Summer is coming. There are countless nostalgic themes we fondly reminisce on when we think of summertime, but one that’s near the top of the list is seeing (and smelling) rows of steaming hot burger patties, roasting side-by-side on the grill in the middle of a warm afternoon. And when a burger's done right, you know it — the smoky, char-grilled outside and the juicy inside, all barely contained within a chewy, toasty bun.

We know it’s Memorial Day weekend and we’re sure you’re chomping at the bit to fire up the grill, but we also don’t want you to forget about National Hamburger Day on Friday, May 28! And what better way to get the holiday weekend started and spark up the good vibes, than with delicious burgers for everyone to enjoy?

However, we know there’s more to grilling burgers than just slapping them on the grill, so we compiled our top 7 tips to help turn you into a burger grilling pro − just in time for the holiday weekend!

Four burger patties on a fiery grill with visible flames.

1. Choosing Your Burgers

The first and foremost step for grilling the best burgers is choosing the quality of meat. When selecting your ground beef of choice (ground turkey and chicken work, too!), remember that fat equals flavor. Meat with a higher fat content will be juicier and more flavorful, so when making your pick, aim for anything that’s no leaner than 85 percent (for beef or poultry.)

If you shop at a grocery store or see a butcher that grinds their own beef, choose coarsely ground beef for heartier burgers with a more pleasing texture. For lean ground turkey and chicken burgers, just use a little olive oil to the mixture to add to the tenderness.

2. Flavor Them Up

It’s no secret; nobody wants an unseasoned burger. As appetizing as the char-grilled marks and smoky aroma already are, a burger is nothing without the right amount of flavor and seasoning. Without them, your burgers will be tasting flat, with little to no texture – which is why we recommend adding any of these flavorings to your ground meat beforehand:
• Fresh or dried herbs and spices.
• Dehydrated or fresh minced onion and/or garlic.
• Your favorite cheese (Cheddar, pepper jack, gorgonzola, doesn’t matter!)
• Pre-prepared sauces like BBQ sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, etc.
• Other add-ins like olives, chopped tomatoes, diced chilis, or crumbled bacon.

Rows of seasoned burgers on a gas powered grill.

An important tip to note: We recommend not adding salt into your flavoring or seasoning mixture, especially if you don’t plan on grilling the patties right away. Salt will extract moisture from the meat, leaving you with dry burgers. Instead, sprinkle each burger with salt right before you put it on the grill.

3. Let Them Sit − Then Form Patties

This next tip is crucial to harnessing the best flavor possible for your burgers, mostly because it’s commonly overlooked or skipped. Once you’ve seasoned up your meat of choice, leave the meat mixture in the refrigerator for several hours to allow all of the flavors to mingle. Letting them sit for a longer period of time in the fridge will help bring out much more flavor than if they went straight to the grill.

When you start forming the patties, it’s best to wet your hands a little to keep the meat from sticking to them. If you did happen to make patties ahead of time, stack them on a plate separated by waxed paper, and then cover them with plastic wrap before you put them in the fridge.

4. Clean Your Grill

Now that you have your meat patties ready to go, there’s only one more step before you can start grilling up those tasty burgers – and you’d be surprised how often it’s neglected. Before the grilling starts, it’s very important to always start with a clean and oiled grill gate. Making sure your grill is clean will keep burgers from sticking, extend the life of your grill gate, and help put those ever-so-beautiful grill marks on your patties.

Man cleaning a grill with a grill scrubber.

5. Temperature is Key

Burgers can be cooked at many different, fluctuating temperatures, depending on who you ask. Some people like to cook at extremely high temperatures for a faster turnaround, whereas some like to take it slow and really draw out all of the flavors they can.

For the best results, we recommend grilling at medium-low to medium heat. Grilling too hot can cause the burgers to burn on the outside before getting done on the inside; with medium-low to medium, the grill is at a more appropriate temperature for a better-quality cook. Make sure to also keep the grill lid closed while cooking to help shorten the cook time and keep the burgers moist.

6. Avoid This Most Common Burger Grilling Mistake

Okay, your grill is cleaned and fired up, you have your burger patties made, now it’s time to throw those babies on the grill! Burgers don’t need a ton of attention while on the grill, however, there is a common mistake that almost everyone is guilty of (at least once or twice.)

Rows of burgers on a fiery grill with visible smoke.

This is a BIG one. As hard as it is to resist, do not flatten out your burgers while they are grilling with the spatula. As much as we all love that refreshing sound of burger moisture being boiled over, flattening out the patties while they cook squeezes out the flavorful juices building up inside. So instead of pressing down on the burgers, make sure to flip them only once and let each side cook evenly before taking them off the grill.

7. Check Temperature and Enjoy!

By now, your mouth is probably drowning in water as you’ve prepared and watched your burgers grill, and it’s almost time to chow down. While there isn’t a set time for how long to grill burgers, you’re going to want to make sure that each patty is at an internal temperature of 160 degrees F for beef or 170 degrees F for poultry, before taking them off the grill.

For an accurate reading, insert a meat thermometer (if you have one) into the patty horizontally and once it’s at the proper temperature, it’s time to garnish that patty up and eat! If you don’t own a meat thermometer or your current grill isn’t equipped with a visible thermometer, it may be time for an upgrade!

Nothing makes more quality burgers than a bigger and better grill that performs, and we offer the best selection of top-rated grills to match your grilling style. Call us with any questions you may have!

Four fully-cooked burgers being taken off the grill with metal tongs.

With Memorial Day Weekend approaching and National Hamburger Day landing on May 28, there’s never been a more perfect time to grill up some scrumptious burgers. With a larger, higher-quality setup, your burgers could be the tastiest they’ve ever been just by simply upgrading your current grill.

Cement your status as a burger grilling pro this holiday weekend!