Five Steps To Burger Brilliance
Excerpted from "Weber’s Big Book of Burgers™"
Jamie Purviance, Author
1. Meat Matters
When you buy prepackaged ground beef from no particular cut, you will probably get scraps from an assortment of relatively mild cuts. You can still make some good burgers with this meat, but don’t be afraid to ask the butcher to grind some chuck just for you, maybe mixing in some sirloin for extra favor.
2. Thorough Seasoning
Ground beef alone makes a pretty dull-tasting hamburger, so make sure that the meat is mixed throughout with at least salt and pepper. Other ingredients, like Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or grated onions, will improve not only the taste but also the juiciness of your hamburgers.
3. Portion Control
The ideal thickness for a raw patty is ¾ inch. If it’s any thinner, it’s likely to overcook and dry out before a nice crust develops on the outside. If it’s much thicker, the crust might turn black and unappetizing before the center reaches the safe internal doneness level of medium. Be gentle when forming the patties, too. If you compact the meat too much, the patties will be tough.
Burgers tend to puff up in the middle as they cook, making the tops rounded and awkward for piling on toppings. A good trick for avoiding this problem is pressing a little indentation into the top of each raw patty with your thumb or the back of a spoon. Then, when the center pushes up, the top of each burger will be relatively level.
5. Handling The Heat
The grill has to be hot (400 to 500 degrees) and clean. Close the lid as soon as the patties hit the grate. Grill them for 8 to 10 minutes, turning only once. And don’t smash the burger down with a spatula – the juices will run out quickly and cause flare-up.
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