We all love a great hamburger right? Two amazing hamburger buns, a nice juicy hamburger patty and donâ€™t forget the amazing toppings from lettuce, tomato, mayo, ketchup -- oh, just thinking about it makes me hungry. But making better hamburgers comes with a lot of work and also a lot of practice. Here are nine points to consider to make the best hamburger possible:
Grill Grates Must Be Clean And Well Oiled
Hamburger meat sticking to your grates? Well, before you start grilling make sure that you clean your grates and make sure that they are nice and oiled. To easily clean your grates, here are some basic steps:
1) Start with a warm grill.
2) Scrape clean with a wire brush
3) Wipe with an oiled paper towel.
It is much easier to clean gunk off of a grill when itâ€™s still warm, but if you are just breaking in a new grill, a great suggestion is to just fire up the grill and get it nice and hot before you start cooking. I would also suggest, cleaning your grill grates after each use while it is still hot to make the process a lot easier.
Don't Press Patties With Spatula As They Grill
This is the number one mistake that all rookie grillers make when they are grilling a hamburger. By pressing your patties with a spatula as they cook, you are literally pressing all of the great juices out of the hamburger. Why would you do this?
Make An Indentation In The Hamburger Patty
Hamburgers on the grill will contract as they cook which then causes the middle of the patty to â€śpuffâ€ť up. I didnâ€™t realize that this happens until I watched a YouTube video from my friend Jamie Purviance from Weber Grills. You can easily prevent this by making a gentle indentation in the middle of the patty so that your burger will be nice and flat when you are done grilling the meat.
Make Sure You Have The Right Amount Of Meat
Do you ever run into the problem of not having enough hamburger meat? It is going to happen when you are going to be following all these great tips, and your hamburgers are going to be the best on the block. So never run out of meat again by following these great tips from this infographic from Buzz Feed Food.http://www.buzzfeed.com/food
Don't Overcook Your Hamburgers
Obviously we don't want to kill our guests when we feed them, so we tend to over cook our hamburgers and they quickly turn into hockey pucks. To prevent this, keep a close eye on the meat and use a digital thermometer to make sure that you hit the correct and safe temperatures.
Hereâ€™s a rough temperature guide:
- 120Â°F and below for rare (red/raw in the center)
- 130Â°F for medium-rare (pink and warm)
- 140Â°F for medium (totally pink, starting to dry out)
- 150Â°F for medium-well (grayish pink, significantly drier)
- 160Â°F and above for well done (completely gray, very little moisture)
Use The Correct Seasonings
There is a lot of debate on what is the best seasonings to use when you want to flavor your hamburger meats. Some like to use just salt and pepper, some like to use nothing and some like to add just garlic. Salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and oregano are all good seasonings. But whatever you do add don't over-season! If you are having trouble thinking of the combinations, try Weber Gourmet Burger seasoning next time.
Pick The Bun: Size And Quality
Besides the flavoring and quality of the meat, the bun is the next most important aspect of the hamburger. When looking for the right bun, make sure it can soak up some of the juices from the hamburger-- but not all the juices. I personally do not like a soggy bun on the bottom so a Brioche bun or even a potato bun works perfectly. The perfect bun for a hamburger in my mind should be pillowy, squishy and tender.
You also want to make sure that it will fit the meat correctly. If you are making sliders, then get small buns. Conversely if you are making a regular-size hamburger, then you don't want the bun to be small. Use common sense here.
Try Different Meat Combinations And Quality
Besides purchasing the correct amount of meat, the quality and the fat/lean ratio are also important. Let's start with trying different types of meat combinations:
- A Hamburger Classic Combo: Try and use some ground chuck and sirloin meat. By upgrading the chuck and adding some sirloin meat you are going to really taste the beefiness of a great hamburger.
- Steakhouse Worthy: Try and use sirloin and short ribs. I love the combination of grinding up some nice sirloin and then add some great tasting short ribs. Short ribs are nice and tender and have a lot of great meat to them which makes them a perfect addition to the sirloin.
- Turkey Club Combination: Try and use turkey thighâ€™s and bacon. Turkey thighs are nice and moist and even richer in flavor than turkey breasts, so they are less likely to dry out and you can add some nice flavoring by adding some bacon fat. Who doesnâ€™t like bacon fat?
I always try to get the best type of meat that is available that I can afford, but sometimes I treat myself and get something a lot better. I usually get ground chuck meat and get the perfect hamburger ratio of 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. You want to have some fat and it is important to make that perfect hamburger.
Pile Your Toppings High
Toppings are extremely important to create that perfect hamburger, so donâ€™t worry about overloading. My favorites include grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, lettuce, the perfect American cheese, ketchup or BBQ sauce, and, of course, bacon.
More From Grilling With Rich:
-- Review: Snake River Farms American Wagyu Beef Hamburgers
-- Recipe: Dr. BBQâ€™s Smoked Flat-Cut Brisket With Coffee