Burgers are the quintessential backyard summer menu and everyone has little tips and trickes on how to grill the perfect burger. Here is a quick outline of the dos and don’ts.
1. Start with fresh ground chuck. Chuck is the most flavorful type of ground beef and comes from a single cut of beef. Plain “ground beef” can include meat from all over the animal. Make sure the meat has at least 15-20 percent fat.
Before flashes of thunder thighs and muffin tops come to your mind, hear us out. You are grilling over an open grate as opposed to frying the burgers in a pan, which really means they won’t be stewing in their own fat. A great deal of the fat will drip out onto the flame leaving nothing but heavenly flavor behind.
2 Rinse your hands in cold water and work them quickly and gently into ¾ inch thick patties. Refrigerate the patties for at least 15 minutes before grilling.
3. Don’t play with the patties! Turn the burgers only once, halfway through grilling and never ever flatten them with a spatula or get ready for dry, flavorless pucks.
4. Grill the burger at least 8-10 minutes total or until the meat reaches 160 degrees. Toast the buns and serve the burgers as quickly as possible.
It is incredibly important that we take extreme care when cooking burgers. Hamburgers are the one food we suggest cooking well-done. E-Coli is real, it’s scary and you need to keep an eye out for any undercooked burgers. Remind your children, if they are away from home (this goes for summer camps, friends homes, etc) never to eat a burger if there’s pink in the center.
With a solid cut of meat, the bacteria are on the outside surface. This means a steak can be safely cooked to medium rare because the outside will reach a high enough heat to kill any harmful bacteria.
Ground meat, however, has the bacteria spread throughout. To be safe, you should cook beef burgers to 160 degrees F and poultry burgers should always be cooked to 165 degrees F.
If you don’t already own one, you must purchase an instant-read thermometer and use it and insist your spouse use it too.