Nothing says summer bbqs like a classic cheeseburger. Over the years we have collected tips to making the best burger and here are 5 key tips.
Once you are ready to grill up a burger scroll down to check out our Ideal Cheeseburger, which is a fan favorite from our newest cookbook, Weber's Greatest Hits. Preview more recipes from the cookbook here.
5 Burger Tips
What Makes Them Juicy
Fat makes burgers juicy. That’s a big reason why ground chuck (from the shoulder) is better for burgers than ground round (from the rump). Chuck is typically about 18 percent fat, whereas round is often about 12 percent fat. The reality is that most ground beef in supermarkets comes from all kinds of parts of the animal. Ask the person behind the counter to grind some chuck just for you, maybe mixing in some sirloin for extra flavor.
Ground beef alone makes a pretty dull-tasting hamburger, so make sure 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.
The ideal thickness for a raw patty is 1 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.
Level them Off
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.
Flip Only Once
You should flip each burger only once, and only when it’s ready to flip. You’ll know when it's time by slipping the edge of a spatula underneath the edge of the burger and lifting up very gently. If the meat is sticking to the cooking grate, back off and try again a minute later. When you can lift the edge of the burger without sticking, it’s ready to flip.
Weber’s Ideal Cheeseburgers
by Jamie Purviance
For a cheeseburger to merit the word ideal in its title, the meat must ooze with beefy, seasoned juices, the cheese must melt into a smooth, rich blanket, the toppings must be fresh and crisp, and the whole ensemble must travel to your mouth on a toasted bun. Open wide. Here comes that ideal cheeseburger.
1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80% lean), preferably ground to order by your butcher
2 tablespoons minced white or yellow onion
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns, split
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese, each about 2 ounces
4 leaves butter lettuce Ketchup (optional)
Dill pickle chips
1. In a medium bowl mix together all the patty ingredients with your hands. Gently shape the mixture into four patties of equal size and about 1 inch thick. With your thumb or the back of a spoon, make a shallow indentation about 1 inch wide in the center of each patty to prevent it from doming as it cooks. Refrigerate the patties until ready to grill.
2. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (400° to 500°F).
3. Brush the cooking grates clean. Lightly season the patties on both sides with salt and pepper. Spread the cut side of the buns with the butter. Grill the patties over direct medium-high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to medium doneness (160°F), 9 to 11 minutes, turning once. During the last 30 seconds to 1 minute of grilling time, place a cheese slice on each patty to melt and toast the buns, cut side down, over direct heat. Remove from the grill.
4. Build a burger on each bun with a lettuce leaf, a patty, ketchup (if using), and 4 pickle chips. Serve warm.