So you’ve grilled a few burgers in your day, but you’re not sure you’re worthy of the name Grillmaster, yet. Are there areas that could stand a little improvement? Read on to see if you’re guilty of any of these BBQ blunders.
Mistake #1: Overworking Your Burger Mix
Result: Dry Burgers
Once you’ve added your seasonings, be careful not to overwork your hamburger. Combine everything together gently. You want the meat to be loose. If it is too compact and dense it will take longer to cook which will result in your burgers being too dry. Think lifting and mixing instead of smashing and squeezing when combining your seasonings with your ground burger.
Mistake #2: Making Your Patties Too Thick in the Middle
Result: Uneven Cooking
Burgers shrink as they cook. If you make your patties thicker in the middle, they continue to get smaller and the middle gets even thicker. To get the middle done, you must leave them on the grill longer which overcooks the edges. Mike’s tip is to make your patties a little concave in the center, and a bit bulkier on the outer edges. This will ensure a more even cook throughout the patty.
Related Read: 20 Tips to Beef Up Your Grilling Game
Mistake #3: Using Lighter Fluid
Result: Lighter Fluid Flavored Burgers
Mike suggests using a charcoal chimney to get your briquettes going. Just fill it with charcoal, then stuff a wadded up newspaper in the bottom, and light it on fire. Once the coals get going, let them burn out a little before you put the burgers on. It’s fast, and also prevents the need for lighter fluid, which can affect the taste of your meat.
Mistake #4: Poking & Pressing Your Burgers
Result: Dry Burgers
One of the most common mistakes is to poke your burgers with a fork or press down on them while they are cooking. Both behaviors allow delicious juice to escape leaving your burgers dry. Use a spatula, not a fork to turn your burgers and avoid pressing them into the grill. It won’t help them cook any faster, but it will result in juiceless burgers.
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Mike’s Secret Tip for Making Burgers Extra Juicy
Add ice water. That’s it. Sounds simple, but it makes a big difference. When beef is ground it gets pulverized and loses a lot of moisture, which can make for a very dry and tasteless burger. Ice water adds back in some of that lost moisture, and ensures your burgers will stay moist on the grill, will cook quicker, and won’t char as much. Just add two to three tablespoons of ice water per pound of burger. The extra water will migrate towards the center of the burger and the steaming process will help it stay moist and cook more quickly. You won’t have to char the outside to get the inside done.
Watch Mike’s burger grilling video tutorial for more tips.