I can already tell my youngest son is going to be working with his hands when he grows up. He is constantly asking me for paper and tape to make little shapes that he likes to put up all over his room. He also likes to help me in the kitchen; however, there is not a lot I will allow him to do which invariably leads to tears and sometimes the dreaded complete meltdown. Once those start, they never stop!
One of the things he can do is help me prepare burger patties. There might be a mess and you might not have the perfect burger, but you will have that priceless time with your little ones. Here is the Weber way to grill burgers with tips on getting your kids “assistance.”
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: Make sure all hands have been thoroughly washed with soap and water.
Measure out the amount of seasoning you plan to add to your ground beef. We like to use salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Let the kiddos add the seasonings into the ground beef mixture, making sure to keep everything away from the edge of the table. You can either put everything in a large bowl or portion out the ground beef into plastic baggies that the kids can then add their own spices to, which also makes it super easy to mix in the spices.
If you are combining in a large bowl feel free to let the kids stir the mixture with a spoon. You wouldn’t want to mix with your hands because the heat in your hands breaks down the fat in the ground beef.
The kids can then portion out sections into 5-ounce balls. For those parents who don’t have a scale, this is about the size of a tennis ball.
Using a Weber Burger Press, have the kids squeeze the balls into a flat patty. The Burger Press is double sided for either ¼ lb or ½ lb patties.
Help them take the patty out of the press and place on a clean cutting board.
The last and most important step is for the kids the use their little thumbs to make a dimple in the middle of the patty. This helps the burger cook evenly and prevents it from puffing up on the grill.
Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after touching the ground beef.
How to Grill: this is where the parents take over!
Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450º-550ºF)
Brush the cooking grates clean.
Grill the burgers for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping once to a new spot on the grill, until the burgers have reached an internal temperature of 155ºF. Add cheese during the last minute of grilling.
Take the burgers off the grill and let them cool for a just a minute, then the kids can add their favorite burger toppings. Surprisingly my kids like pickles! You’ve just given them some small tools to be a big help in creating your burgers.