If you’ve been following along with our blog recently, there’s a good chance that you noticed our definitive steak grilling guide, and with summer just around the corner, people all across the country are firing up their grills for the first time. It just makes sense then that we would cover such important topics! After all, sometimes people are out of practice and need an easy-to-follow refreshing course; other people will be buying a grill for the first time ever and they’ll be looking for resources as they learn different grilling tricks along the way.
It’s with these thoughts in mind that we decided that not only should everyone have access to steak grilling techniques, but that we should focus on other commonly-grilled items that people enjoy during the summer. In today’s post, we’re going to provide our readers with the ultimate guide to grilling a good burger. What other guides do we have in mind? Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out, but for the time being, keep reading to get some of the best grilling tips that have been specifically geared at helping you to grill a better burger.
Which Ground Beef is Right?
80/20. 90/10. Even 70/30. There are a number of ground beef meat to fat ratios available for you to purchase at your local grocery store. What’s a grilling enthusiast to do? The truth is that as with most things in life, experimentation is the key to figuring out what’s right for you.
There’s a good chance that you’ll read recipes that specifically call for a particular ground beef ratio, and if you’d like to go with that recommendation, that’s perfectly fine. At the end of the day, our recommendation is to go with whatever tastes best to you. Although a famous chef might say the only way to make a burger is with 80/20 ground beef, if you prefer something a little leaner, that’s entirely up to you.
Having said that, the fattier the meat is, the juicier the burger is going to be. As we said above, experimentation is the key to getting it just right, so our suggestion is to kill two birds with one stone. How can you do that, you ask? At the time of this writing, the Fourth of July is just around the corner. Why not invite friends and family over for a little barbecue? Grab different types of ground beef and try a little of each to see what you like!
Another recommendation that we like to offer is that it’s never a bad idea to talk with a seasoned (pardon the pun) griller. For example, if your dad has always grilled, ask him what he does to make his burgers so good (or if they’re bad, you can still ask, because it will give you a good idea of what to avoid).
Burger Seasoning 101
What seasoning should you use for your burger? Excellent question. The answer is that there are about a million different options out there. We know that doesn’t narrow it down much, but it’s the truth. Some people prefer a bit of salt and pepper on each side of their burger before grilling, and that’s perfectly fine.
Others prefer to take it to the next level by adding onion flakes, seasoned salt, and worcestershire sauce to their ground beef. Heck, many people out there even just buy the pre-packaged burger seasonings from the grocery store.
Whichever route you decide to go, you’ll probably be perfectly fine. Just trust your palate and that will get you far in life.
How Long Should You Cook a Burger?
If you’re wondering how long to cook a burger, the answer, once again is that it depends. Burgers that are considered rare are always cooked to at least 120° Fahrenheit and they range up to 165° Fahrenheit (and, heaven forbid, above) for a burger that is well done.
Be sure to check out our handy infographic below to learn about the specifics for how to get your burger to a perfect medium-rare, if you so choose.
Once again, many chefs will suggest cooking a burger to medium or below, but if that’s not what you’re in the mood for, you don’t have to follow that advice. After all, it’s your burger, so enjoy it any darned way you’d like.
How to Approach Burger Toppings
Sometimes a plain hamburger with no toppings just hits the spot. Other times you want the works. We’re here to tell you, once again, that whatever you prefer is just fine! Nothing is too weird to put on a burger in our opinion, so if you’re craving something in particular, go for it! The sky’s the limit.
With that in mind, we do have a bit of advice.
Consider the Flavor Profiles
If you’re going to be adding different toppings to your burgers, it just makes sense to think about how they are all going to interact with each other. This is all up to preference, of course, but it’s never a bad idea to be mindful about how your toppings are going to come together into a beautiful combination of flavors that hit your tongue in just the right way.
Consider the Texture
Texture is also crucial to a good burger. For example, when you put a crunchy topping on your burger, you want it to crunch in a way that’s satisfying. If it’s not getting the job done, you may have steered yourself off course.
Whatever texture you’re working with, be sure to get it just right.
Consider the Moisture
This is perhaps the most crucial element for a good burger. Because some toppings are moister than others, you want to be mindful about how they’re interacting with your bun. After all, no one wants to end up with a soggy mess on their hands (literally), and overly wet lettuce and the like will guarantee a less than perfect experience.
Looking for More Grilling Tips?
For more great grilling tips, be sure to take a deep dive into our blog archive because we’ve been sharing (what we hope are helpful) grilling tricks, recipes, ideas, and general tips to help make our readers more well-rounded grillers.
While we have your ear, we should also mention that if you’re in need of a fresh propane tank, head on over to the nearest Mighty Flame propane tank exchange location and grab one. Propane is always the way to go when you’re grilling, in our humble opinion, and our goal is to make it as easy on you as possible.
Enjoy those burgers! And until next time, friends and neighbors, happy grilling.