July is the peak of grilling season. Can you count how many burgers and hot dogs you’ve eaten so far? Now, think back to all of those burgers and try to county how many of them came frozen from a cardboard box versus how many were melt-in-your-mouth, juicy, works of art?
My guess is that you’ve been eating a lot of the frozen, cardboard variety. Well it’s time to kick things up a notch. You may even be able to impress your friends and family. Here are some great tips for grilling a to-die-for, tasty, juicy, burger.
- Use FRESH ground meat! make sure that it is bright pink, without any unpleasant odor or dark spots. We aren’t talking about the “must-sell-today” butcher’s special.
- Don’t over-mix the ground meat because it becomes tougher with handling.
- Set the grill to a high heat to sear the outside of your burgers which will seal in their juices.
- The juiciness of your burgers will come from the fat content. So user a higher fat meat or, if you are using extra-lean meats, add moist ingredients (like an egg), extra seasonings for flavor and be sure to grill them slowly over a medium heat.
- DO NOT press down on the burgers while they’re grilling! This squeezes out the juices and makes the burgers dry and tough. (We can’t stress this one enough!)
- Don’t ever cook burgers until they are dry but you do want to be sure that they are fully cooked. The burger should show no signs of pinkness on the inside, the juices should run clear and the meat temperature should read 160 F in the center (use meat themometer!).
Once the grilling is done, be sure to have well chilled and fresh condiments available. The burger could be delicious but if you’re serving up hard buns, warm mayo, mushy tomatoes and limp lettuce, you’ve wasted your time.