A well grilled hamburger is pure heaven! We will give you some great tips and tricks to make your next barbecue one to remember.
Most of us want a juicy burger. Dripping on the chin, 3 napkin kind of a burger! One key to achieving this is to purchase ground beef that is 80%-85% lean. If you purchase meat that is leaner than that, you will end up with a dry burger. Another fantastic trick is to add 4 tablespoons icy cold water to the burger mixture as you are shaping it. This helps keep the fat cold, same concept as adding ice water to a pie crust as you work with it. Also the less you handle ground beef, the juicier it will be. Overworking any ground meat will make it tough.
Now that we have talked about the basics, let make our burgers. You need about 1/2 lb of ground beef per person, that might seem like a big burger but remember that the meat shrinks as you cook it. Place your ground beef in a large bowl and add your seasoning. You can be really creative here with your Milford Spice Company blends, as ground beef is really adaptable and is pretty much a blank canvass for your creativity. For this example we used Brighton’s Burger Blast. A flavorful blend that brings out the best in your burger! Add 1 tsp per pound of meat.
If you like your burgers really crusty, add a little salt to the burgers on both sides before cooking. The salt will seal the burger and help create a really good crust.
Some people like to add eggs and breadcrumbs. This is so not necessary! It will create a “meatloaf” taste to your burgers and you will not have the crusty juicy goodness we crave.
Blend the seasoning and meat gently, add 4 tablespoons icy cold water and form into patties slightly larger than your buns. The patties will shrink as you cook them. Take a spoon and make an indentation in the center of your burger. As the burgers cook they will shrink (about 25%) and puff in the center. This causes the burger to cook unevenly, and causes a hazard to your burger toppings! The dent will puff up as it cooks and even out, and you will have a nice looking burger. In this example, we used a burger press to make our patties. This keeps the uniform and thereby they all cook evenly. You can of course free hand burgers and will will be equally as delicious!
If you are making your patties early for a party or gathering, make sure they stay really cold. A one hour rest in the fridge will ensure a really cold patty, this is key to them not falling apart on the grill. Also, make sure your grill grates are clean, a dirty grill make make foods stick!
For some reason grillers love to push on the burgers as they cook. All this accomplishes is to press all the juice into the grill and out of the burger! You only need to flip your burger once. Place your burgers on a medium-hot grill and close the lid. Cook for 5-6 minutes, flip and grill for an addition 4-5 minutes for medium doneness. If you like you burger well done, cook until the burger feels firm when you press it.
A little bit of a flare-up is a good thing! It creates that luscious crust. Most grills are designed so that these are minimal. A little flare, good, a lot of flare you will get hockey pucks instead of burgers! If your grill is prone to long flare-ups you can keep a squirt bottle filled with water to douse the flames (not the food, only the flame).
Add your cheese during the last few minutes of grilling. At the same time place your lightly buttered buns on the grill to toast them.
Pickled Jalapeno Slices
Suggested Milford Spice Company Grilling Rubs & Spices for Burgers: