Cooking the perfect burger can be fast and easy… it’s an American favorite, all summer long. I thought I would share five simple tips to get predictably delicious burgers every time.
1. Perfect burgers start with high-quality meat.
Whether you’re purchasing ground beef for burgers or premade burgers, don’t think of it as an inexpensive, cheap and easy meal. Treat it as if you were buying a more expensive steak and be willing to pay a little more for higher-quality beef.
2. Chef Tip: Always season before and after grilling.
Your favorite seasoning salt or rub has been waiting patiently in the cupboard to make its appearance for summer. Ground beef, especially lean beef, takes coarse cracked black pepper and kosher salt very well as a basic seasoning.
3. Don’t smoosh your burger.
Another very common mistake. Using the spatula to push on a burger drives out of all of the fat and moisture and will leave the burger dry. It will also cause fire flareups which can leave a burnt flavoring on the burger.
4 . Choose the right fat content for your burger.
I wanted to keep this to five tips but I had to sneak this additional one in. Going with very lean beef, 95% lean or above does not make the best burger. At the Hollow, our burger blend is between 85 and 90% lean. That means 10 to 15% fat The flavor is in the fat for burgers, and it’s a good thing!
Shopping Tip: When a burger is labeled 80/20 that’s 80% lean, 20% fat. That is a little too fatty in my opinion, but nothing wrong with it!)
5. Use a digital thermometer to test burger temperature.
Even as a professional chef, when at home I still use a digital thermometer to check all cuts of meat when preparing. You’ve spent a lot of time, money and energy trying to cook the perfect burger. A few minutes too long or too little on the grill or in a pan can ruin all your effort. Take this one last step and use a thermometer to dial in your cooking temperature. Treat your burger with the same respect you would a steak.
The last and most important bonus tip would be to make sure to save time to enjoy the day and spend time with your family and friends. The most enjoyable part of cooking at home (especially on the grill) is enjoying the beautiful outdoors with friends and family.
Hope this information helps!