Don’t worry I have got you covered on how to grill burgers! It sounds so simple, but you really need to follow some key steps to get a tasty burger. We are going back to the basics. This classic burger on the grill will not disappoint!
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- Prepare the grill
- Choose the Beef
- Prepare the Burger
- Season the Burger
- Grill the Burger
- Dress the Burger
- Some commonly asked burger questions…
Prepare the grill
Clean the grill
If you have not cleaned the grill from your last cook then go ahead and clean it. I prefer a dishcloth with warm water.
If it is really bad then go ahead and scrape the grill. Some do this hot but I prefer it when it’s cool. After you have it clean go ahead and let heat up go a high temperature for a bit to help cook off anything left behind.
Warning – The grill scrapers with the metal wire have been known to leave metal shards in people’s food and they can get stuck in people’s throats.
I prefer to use a wood scraper rather than the traditional grill brush, it is so much safer!
Warm up the grill
Time to fire up the grill. You want to get your grill hot. You are looking to get the temperature somewhere in the range of 350°F – 400°F
Choose the Beef
Please, if you can don’t buy premade burger patties. The patties more than likely won’t be the size or thickness you want. Also, they will not be made with care!
You want your burger to have some fat in it. The basic rule here is to do an 80/20 ratio. You want ground beef that is 80% lean to 20% fat for a good juicy burger.
If you want to do some crazy blends go for it! Grinding a ribeye steak would make an incredible burger!
This post on how to grill burgers is a recipe that will make a very delicious easy everyday burger with an 80/20 mix of ground beef!
Prepare the Burger
Time to make the patties. Now, this is not rocket science but let’s follow a few simple rules.
Let is rest
Before you start making the patties let the beef sit on the counter for 5-10 minutes after coming out of the fridge. You don’t want the meat to cold on the inside because it affects the way it cooks.
Size the patty
Now the size of the burger that you want has a lot to do with the bun size. The burger is going to shrink a bit when you cook it so you don’t want a bun that dominates the burger! Whatever the bun size is, you want the patty to be slightly bigger.
The other thing about the size is, you don’t want it to be too thick. You want the burger to be able to cook evenly all the way through. It’s better to have multiple burgers with some crust on them from the grill rather than a big thick burger that is not cooked all the way through.
If you purchased ground beef already ground then you want to cook it all the way (160°F) to prevent food poisoning.
Don’t compact the patty
You want to form the patty without compacting the beef too much. You want the burger to be juicy and not hard as a rock. Keep the patty under 3/4 of an inch thick and steer more towards 5/8 of an inch.
This is a bit of a balance because you also don’t want the burger to be to loose so that it falls apart.
Keep the thickness consistent to get a burger that cooks the same all the way through. Don’t have the burger be thicker in the middle than the edges.
At the end of preparing your burgers for the grill, I like to put them on parchment paper. This makes seasoning both sides and placing them on the grill a breeze!
Season the Burger
This is one of those things you don’t want to forget. People don’t think of seasoning the patties but it is essential for a great tasting burger!
I keep this part really simple. I like to use good old salt and pepper. Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper are the way to go. I have been known to add a little sprinkle of garlic powder on the burger as well.
A great ready-made seasoning is Montreal Steak Seasoning. Now don’t forget this step! You really want to season the burger.
I know a lot of people just throw the burgers on the grill and don’t even think about seasoning. Seasoning the burger is going to enhance the flavor!
Grill the Burger
Time to grill the burgers! The grill is hot and ready to go, we have made our patties and added our seasoning!
Put the burgers on the grill and do not move them. Let them cook on one side until you start to see blood pooling on the side of the burger that is up.
Try to get under the burger with your spatula to see if it is still stuck to the grill grates. If it is still stuck it might need another minute or two before they are ready to flip. When the burger is ready to be flipped over it won’t be stuck to the grill and the juices will carry under the burger.
Now, you want the burger to be cooked all the way through. The best way to know this is to use an instant-read thermometer. You want to stick the tip of the thermometer halfway into the burger and get a reading of 160°F.
It is really important to cook the burger thoroughly. Ground beef can be a breeding ground for bacteria. Because of the machines, the beef is ground up and bacteria gets spread within the meat and can’t be cooked off as easily.
If you grind your own beef then there is no worry go ahead and cook it medium or medium-rare.
It is always a good idea to have a safe zone on your grill. What is a safe zone? If you have a 3 burner or 4 burner grill keep one side off so you can pull your chicken or beef over if you’re dealing with to many flare-ups.
My go-to Grill is the Weber Genesis Grill!
Toast the Bun
There are all kinds and types of hamburger buns out there. I like to get mine from a bakery.
The least amount of ingredients in the bun the better.
Your local grocery store sometimes has a bakery that makes their own..or they bake them from frozen but they are typically better than the ones in the bread aisle. Also, a lot of the time they are cheaper!
Now it’s time to get those buns on the grill. You want to give them time to toast before you melt the cheese.
I like to add butter to the bun before I put them on the grill. This helps give them that extra buttery taste.
Melt the Cheese
Seeing how this is a recipe for an ALL American burger, the only cheese you can really go with is American.
Is this the best tasting cheese? I would say not, but the beauty of this cheese is it melts incredibly. I would only go with white American, not yellow.
Go ahead and throw the cheese on the burgers and close the lid. You want the cheese to melt quickly so you don’t overcook the burger. Wait 2 minutes and they should be good to go.
Dress the Burger
This is one of the best parts of grilling burgers. You get to decide what you’re going to put on the burger.
I like to keep it simple with a burger like this and I will go with lettuce tomato and mayo.
Now go ahead and enjoy the burger.
Some commonly asked burger questions…
How long do you cook burgers on a gas grill?
The best way to know if your burger is done on a gas grill is to check it with a thermometer. Burgers that were bought as ground beef should be cooked to 160°F. If you ground the beef yourself, then you can go medium-rare 145°F.
How hot should the grill be for burgers?
I like to get my grill up to 350°F – 400°F. But don’t forget if it’s getting too hot, then you want to have a place on your grill to get the burgers out of the heat, your “safe zone”.
How do you keep burgers from sticking to the grill?
The best way is to put a little olive oil on a paper towel and grease the grill grates before you get it up to temp. You can also let the burger cook on one side for a while and let the juices work their way under and prevent the burger from sticking.
How to Grill Burgers
- 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- 4 slices american cheese
- 4 hamburger buns
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Prepare the Grill – Clean the Grill and scrape it if needed. You want to preheat the grill to about 400°F.
- Choose the Beef – Don’t go frozen with your burger patties! Get some really good 80/20 ground beef to make your burgers. If you have the budget ground ribeye makes an incredible burger.
- Prepare the Burger – Let the meat rest a few minutes out of the fridge. Then go ahead and make your patties. Don’t over pack the patties and also make them slightly bigger than the buns you are going to use. Your looking to create patties that about 1/2 thick.
- Season the Burger – Salt and pepper is the way to go. You don’t want to over season the burger you want to have the flavor of the beef come through!
- Start Grilling the Burger – Get these patties cooking, when you see a lot of the juices on top of the burger go ahead and flip them.
- Toast the Bun – Just after you flip the burgers go ahead put the buns on the grill. Don’t forget to give them a little butter.
- Melt the Cheese – Go ahead and add your favorite cheese. I am using good old american seeing that it melts so well.
- Pull the burgers – After about 5-10 minutes since you flipped the burgers go ahead and check the temp, you want 160°F before you pull them off.
- Dress the Burger – Put your favorite condiments on the burger and enjoy!