The Best Burger Grilling Tips from a Restaurant Chef

A good burger could be the ultimate food. Although the ingredients may seem simple, the combination works so well. The super juicy burger is served on a soft bun with gooey melted cheddar and perhaps a pickle. (Psst…check out our pickle taste testing results before buying another jar. Unless you make your buns, the burger patties are the most difficult part of any burger. It is easy to overcook the outside of the burger and leave the middle uncooked, make a greasy burger or end up with dry, bland meat.

As a former chef in a restaurant, I can tell you the secrets to making the perfect burger. It’s easy to recreate at home.

Secret #1: Choose Your Beef Wisely

First, fat is flavor. Although a lean burger may sound appealing in theory, the fat makes this sandwich delicious and juicy. You will end up with a dry, mealy burger. A mix of 80 percent fat and 20 percent lean is moist, delicious, and cooks well.

Let’s now discuss grain- vs.grass-fed. Although it is widely debated which burger is better, I believe grass-fed flavor is unbeatable. You don’t have to be a fan of grass-fed beef. Instead, invest in high quality grain-fed beef. No matter what your preference is, choose quality. Bad beef is not the best ingredient to make a great halal burgers in barrhaven.

Secret #2 – Grind Your Own

Ground beef is made from leftovers from roasts and steaks. It’s difficult to know what goes into your blend unless you have a local butcher who does all the work in-house. You can control every aspect of your burger by grinding your beef.

You can either have your meat ground by a butcher or grind it yourself using a KitchenAid attachment. Add your seasonings to the meat and chop it. Then, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes and an hour. Once the meat has firmed up, place it in a food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse again until you get a uniform mixture. A nice mix of fat and finesse is achieved by using equal parts sirloin steak and chuck steak. You can add brisket and short ribs if you feel fancy.

Secret #3 – Keep it Cold

Keep everything cold throughout the entire process. When making the patties, use cold, damp hands. Once the meat is ready for grilling. The fat in the patties should be super chilled to allow it to rapidly expand when heated, creating flavor pockets within the patty. This results in a burger that is well-seasoned and has maximum flavor.

Secret #4 – Salt It at the End

We are breaking all the rules! This is usually the last thing I would ever recommend you to do. Salting the burgers at the beginning is a good idea to add layers of flavor. This doesn’t work for burgers. Salt’s natural ability to pull out moisture from proteins makes steaks great, but it can also lead to dry patties made with ground beef.

Salt the outside of your burger before it goes on the grill. This burger will not lack seasonings, and it will leave you with a delicious, salty crust.

Secret #5 – Perfectly Shaped Patties

Have you ever wondered how restaurants create perfect burger patties. To mold the burgers, most restaurants use a lid (from the tops of yogurts, sour creams or other containers). This method makes uniformly-sized patties and it is difficult to overwork the mixture.

Any lid will work. You can make perfect peanut butter patties at home by using a large peanut butter jar lid covered with plastic wrap. You don’t have to cover the peanut butter jar lid again after you’re done.

Secret #6 – The Doughnut Hole and the Dimple

This trick may be familiar to you: Make a hole in the middle of your burger or poke a small dimple into the middle. The burger will cook evenly and keep the center from bulging. These are the times you should use each method.

For outdoor cooking, press a small dimple in the middle of your patties. A hole is unnecessary because the air circulates the burger and through the grill grates.

Make a hole in the middle of your burger if you grill inside on a cast iron pan or griddle. This allows for airflow inside the burger and ensures even cooking.

Secret #7: Use Indirect Heat

Because I love juicy, plump burgers, I make sure my patties are thickened to 1 inch. Cooking thicker patties takes longer. Once you have grilled each side of your burger on the hot side of the grill, transfer it to the indirect heat side. This will give the burger a crusty exterior, especially if you used the salt secret, and allows it to cook through the middle.

Secret #8 – Choose a melting cheese

Except when it’s melted on top of a hamburger, processed cheese is not my favorite ….. American cheese is a classic. It’s gooey. It is so delicious.

You want a cheese that melts with the patties. You can choose from Swiss, Monterey Jack, Cheddar and Monterey Jack. (Love cheese? For your next event, make a retro fondue.

Secret #9 – Use a Thermometer

Nothing is worse than putting a perfectly grilled hamburger on your bun only to discover that the middle is still raw! Thermometers are essential kitchen tools. Let’s use them!

160 degrees is the recommended cooking temperature for ground beef. You can either grind it yourself or purchase meat from a trusted source. This temperature guide is a great resource.

Secret #10 – It’s All about the Squishy Buns

A perfect patty is impossible without a soft, fluffy bun. The potato bun is a classic. Brioche buns are rich. Pretzel buns add salty goodness.

No matter what you do, avoid choosing a hard bread or bun. This is not the right place to bake a crusty loaf of bread. The hard bread causes the patty to slide out of the bread, creating the Dreaded Sandwich Slide. I refer to this as (whose only purpose in this life is ruining your outfit and possibly your day).

You can prevent your bun from becoming soggy by giving it a light toast.

Secret #11 – Carefully Consider Your Tops

What is so special about a classic hamburger? Every flavor is incorporated into each bite. You will love the combination of juicy meat, melting cheese, chewy buns, and tangy pickles. You can’t overload the toppings. They compete with one another and with the beef. You did put in the work to create the best burger patties. Enjoy it!

What is our favorite recipe for a great burger? You can add one topping from each category: savory, rich (fried egg and bacon, cheese); creamy, cool (avocado mayo or aioli); crisp, fresh (lettuce and tomato, thinly-sliced onion); sharp (dill pickle and pickled onions). This will create the perfect balance bite.

You now know how to grill the perfect patties. Check out this step-by-step guide that includes instructions on making burgers in the oven or stovetop. We also have recipes for some of our favorite homemade sauces.

Hero Certified Burgers
1950 Unit 14 Merivale Rd, Ottawa, ON, K2G5T5
6138571077, 6135524282

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