Should You Dimple Your Patties
All over the Internet and in cookbooks, you will find burger recipes that will instruct you to make an indentation in the center of the patties, usually about the size of a thumbprint or a tablespoon.
The goal of “dimpling” is to prevent the burger from puffing up in the center. But does it really work? Like everyone else, I wanted to prevent puffing, but I also wanted to minimize shrinkage with my burgers, so I tested it out.
I found that a thumbprint or tablespoon indentation prevented center puffing, but the burgers still shrank. Making a wide, shallow depression in the patty, however, worked like a charm. Think of a salad plate rather than a donut.
- Shape your patties so the outer 1/2-inch of the patty slightly taller than the middle.
One more tip: Rather than smash the patties together in your hands, place approximately 5 oz of meat on a tray or platter lined with parchment. Gently flatten the top of the burger and make your wide shallow depression with one hand while pressing your other hand against the sides form a circle. This creates a depression without overheating or overworking the ground beef.
Grilled Burger Recipe Tips Tl dr
. Follow these final tips to make sure you end up with the best burgers on the block:
- Start with the very best ground chuck that is 80/20 lean beef.
- Mix the panade before adding the beef.
- Do not overwork the beef.
- Form your patties about ½-1 inch larger than the bun, it will shrink to fit your bun perfectly.
- Make an indention in the center of each patty with a spoon or your thumb, this prevents your burgers from shrinking into little hockey pucks on the grill
- Grill your burgers over direct heat, covered, for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Do not smash or press your burgers on the grill, you want all that juice IN your burger.
- Move to indirect heat for 1 minute to melt cheese.
- Choose a bun that is appropriate for your burger size and will not be more bun than burger.
The Best Beef For Stovetop Burgers
After playing around with adding this and that to the ground beef in my quest to make a better burger, I finally realized that its really just about the beef. Buy good beef, and youll have a great burger. Its that simple.
- The ideal ground beef for burgers should be 80% lean and 20% fat, although I can often only find 85% lean and think this still makes great burgers.
- Avoid anything leaner than 90% those burgers can easily end up dry and crumbly.
- If you can, buy freshly ground beef from the butcher case. Not only does this tend to be a bit fresher than the packaged meat, but its also less compressed. A light hand leads to a tender burger.
- Dont worry if you only have frozen beef you can still make a decent burger that way. We have a few tips and tricks for thawing ground beef.
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The Best Ground Beef To Buy
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You cant make a great grilled burger without tasty beef. Sure, you can dress-up ground beef with Worcestershire and garlic powder, but the seasonings arent the star of the burger: The beef is. So skip the bargain-bin and buy the best quality beef you can afford. That might be grass-fed beef if you prefer meatier, pastoral flavors, or grain-finished options if you like a sweeter, richer taste.
When it comes to fat content, youll also want to take a pass on lean offerings. The best-grilled burgers weve had are juicy and rich, and that comes from fat. Ground beef with 20 to 25% fat is just about perfect, so look for an 80/20 blend. More fat and the burger can fall apart. Less fat and the burger will turn out dry. If your butcher will grind beef to order, ask for a coarsely ground chuck roast, or a mixture of brisket and sirloin.
How To Form A Perfect Patty
The two most important rules of burger making are to keep the meat cold and avoid overworking it. Its easy to violate both rules while forming patties, but it can be avoided with care and attention. For starters, keep your beef in the refrigerator until the moment youre ready to form the patties . When you keep the fat as cold as possible, it will rapidly expand when it hits the heat of the grill, creating delicious flavor pockets inside the patty.
Start by wetting your hands with cold water to keep the meat from sticking to your warm hands. Then, cup the portioned beef in your hands to form a lightly-packed ball. Be careful not to overpack it, which can lead to a dense burger. Then, press the ball down into a disk thats roughly one-inch thick and just over three inches wide. You can use your thumbs to smooth out the edges. To form the patties like a restaurant chef, use a tool to create perfectly formed patties. You can press the beef down using the lid of a large sour cream container or a peanut butter jar lid lined with plastic wrap.
Before you pop the patties back into the refrigerator, press a small indentation into the center of the patty. Creating a dimple helps the patty cook more evenly on the grill. If youre planning to cook the burgers inside on a skillet, make a doughnut hole in the center of the patty instead.
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Flip Don’t Press Your Burgers
Once you put those patties on the grill, dont press them down. Pressing forces the fat and flavor out the burgers, which results in dry, bland patties.
However, feel free to frequently flip your burgers. Raichlen once believed it was best to let the burger be and only flip once during cooking, but he has since changed his tune and cites research that says it frequent flipping cooks a burger more evenly.
Keeping Your Whole Grill At One Temperature
An effective grill must make like Walt Whitman and contain multitudes. If you have a smaller grill area its trickier, but best practice is to effectively create two different temperature surfaces to allow for versatility in cooking. I like to use the on-off method,” says Lang. “Hot area and cooler area, cool for even cooking and hot for more char.
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Use cold ground beef
Use cold ground beef | While one of the best tips for grilling steaks is to bring the meat to room temperature, the best way to cook an average-sized burger patty is straight from the fridge. By cooking from cold, you allow the burger the chance to develop a lovely crust while getting the center to that desirable medium-rare.
Mix in butter, not seasonings
Mix in butter, not seasonings | Beef patties loaded with onion, herbs and even eggs may be fairly common, but its important to remember that youre making burgers, not meatloaf . All you need to mix in is butter. Why? It adds moisture and fat. For every 1 1/2 pounds of beef, grate 1 stick of cold, unsalted butter into the mixture using a box grater.
Dont overwork the meat
Dont overwork the meat | Some people behave as though the ground beef destined to become burgers has personally affronted them and needs to be wrestled back into submission. But really, the less you handle the meat, the better. Instead, mix it just enough to form the perfect patty by gently tossing it from hand to hand and flattening the patty until it’s a little less than 1 inch thick. Then, make an impression in the center of each patty with your finger to ensure it doesn’t break while cooking.
Season the burgers liberally
Use a clean grill
Heat your grill with zones
Wait to flip
Seriously, let the burgers be
Add cheese at the last minute
Serve the burgers immediately
How Long Should You Grill Burgers For
The surest way to know when your burgers are finished cooking is to use a thermometer. That said, if you dont have one or you dont want to use one, you can time the burgers for a general idea of when theyll finish cooking.
Heres a guide for the cook time and temperature of one-inch-thick burger patties:
- Medium-rare : 6 minutes, or 130 to 135°
- Medium : 7 to 8 minutes, or 140 to 145°
- Medium-well : 9 minutes, or 150 to 155°
- Well done : 10 minutes, or 160 to 165°
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Grilling Burgers For Beginners
There are lots of little tidbits to keep in mind when you are making the best burgers. You will love how simple these grilled burgers come together!
- Resist The Temptation: Try not to press down on the burger while it cooks. This squeezes out all those lovely juices that are meant to be inside.
- Let it Rest: Let the hamburger rest for 5-10 minutes after grilling to redistribute the juices throughout the meat.
- Got Fire: If you get a flare up on your grill, cut off the oxygen to the flame by closing the lid. This should put it out. And have a glass of water on hand, just in case.
- Variations: There are many ways to vary your burger from the kind of meat you use, to the seasonings and the toppings. Once you feel you have the basics down good, experiment with flavors and textures. Keep in mind any time you change the meat, you will change the cook time, temperature, and seasonings. Besure to do your homework before working with different meats in your burgers so that you can still have the best, juiciest and most flavorful burger around.
- Toppings: Get creative with your tastebuds and try different toppings. Some ideas include grilled onions or mushrooms, pineapple and teriyaki sauce, pepper jack cheese and avocado spread. Melt blue cheese and top with bacon. The possibilities are endless. Let the grilling begin!
Whats The Best Size Shape For A Burger
After handling the meat as little as possible, this is another big rule. You want to match the size of the patty with the bun. Figure there will be shrinkage, so shape the patty about ½-inch larger than the bun. Generally, a 4-inch in diameter patty, with a dimple in the center, that is at least ¾3/4-inch thick will suffice.
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Work With The Meat When It Is Cold
For the best results, you want to handle the meat when it is cold. At room temperature, the fat in the meat will become softer, and it can easily transfer away from the meat. If you cook the burgers when they are cold, the heat will be more of a solid, and the burger will retain more of the juices. After you have the burgers shaped and ready, put them in the refrigerator for about 20-minutes before putting them on the grill.
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How Long To Cook Burgers On The Grill
The key to testing the doneness of a burger is measuring the internal temperature with an Instant Read thermometer.
The USDA guidelines state ground meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. This temperature ensures killing of any dangerous food safety related bacteria.
Meat does continue to cook while it rests off the grill so usually they can be taken off the grill slightly under 160 degrees.
This guide focuses on beef burgers but if cooking ground turkey burgers the internal temperature needs to reach 165 degrees. Grilled salmon burgers need to reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
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Which Ground Beef Ratio To Use For Grilling Burgers
You can make amazing Turkey Burgers, Portobello Burgers or even Salmon Burgers. But if youre a beef loving Texan like me, youre gonna go with ground beef! Now that weve established the type of meat lets talk fat ratio. Most research out there will tell you the more fat the better when it comes to burgers, after all it cooks out when its on the grill. That being said the most popular ration used across the board is 80/20. However, recently I started using 85/15 and I like it better. You still end up with a great juicy flavorful burger but just with a little less fat. No dry burgers here! If youre store doesnt have an 85/15 Id recommend buying one package of 80/20 and one package of 90/10 then combine the two. It will be perfect!
How To Grill Perfect Hamburgers
Are you tired of the same old dry and bland burgers? With this tutorial on how to grill perfect hamburgers, you will learn everything you need to know about grilling amazing burgers that are juicy and bursting with flavor!
Being confident at the grill is not as difficult as you might think. Learning and mastering how to grill a hamburger is the most basic form of grilling you can do and it can also be the most rewarding.
No more flipping or checking the hamburger every few seconds or serving hockey pucks to your family and friends. In this step by step guide Im going to walk you through the easiest, most effective way to grill the perfect hamburger.
The best hamburgers begin with the finest ingredients. All you need to make the perfect hamburger is ground beef, salt, and pepper. I love to buy my ground beef at my local butcher, but your local grocery store should have good options too. My go to mix for getting perfect hamburgers is 80/20 . This ratio tends to be the perfect balance of fat and lean, which will help achieve a moist and flavorful burger.
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Buy An 80/20 Mix Of Ground Beef
A burger can be seasoned a hundred ways to Sunday, but it means nothing without a solid foundation. For a juicy, flavorful burger, skip the extra-lean ground beef patty blends and use ground beef with a higher fat content.
Ground beef with an 80/20 mix is the best for grilled burgersthis means a mix 80 percent lean beef and 20 percent fat. The 80/20 ground beef you would buy in the supermarket is usually ground chuck, which is great for burgers.
Raichlen actually prefers mixing ground chuck and ground sirloin to create his own mix of 80 to 83 percent beef and 17 to 20 percent fat
I opted for 80/20 ground chuck because its easily available in most supermarkets, but dont be afraid to ask your butcher to grind your own blend or grind a higher fat-to-beef ratio.
Should You Let Burgers Rest After Grilling
For the juiciest burger, let the patties rest for at least five minutes before serving. The meat experiences carryover cooking during this time, where the internal temperature can rise as much as five degrees. If youre worried about the burgers cooling off, feel free to tent a piece of aluminum foil over the top to keep the heat in.
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Going Crazy With The Dimples
Sometimes it’s necessary to dimple the burger, sometimes it’s not. It’s necessary when using cuts high in collagen like brisket or short rib, but not with sirloin or chuck,” Lang advises, in order to avoid the burger puffing up in the middle. “If you cook a brisket too fast it’ll buckle because that collagen is contracting. The same with a burger. Depending on the amount of brisket, if you don’t put that dimple in it, it will inflate and almost balloon.
How To Grill Burgers 8 Keys To Pro Success
You may be surprised that many grilling tactics, like pressing the burger down, are the WRONG way to get the perfect grilled burger. Following these simple steps will have you grilling burgers like a pro!
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