Hamburgers on the grill are about as good as it gets. But cooking them on the grill makes it easy to dry them out. Here are 12 tips to make the juiciest burgers you can find.
- Mix 1/2 tsp of salt into 2 tbps water for each lb of meat you will be using. Add pepper according to your taste. Mix the seasoned water with the meat. This is similar to how seasoned sausage is made. The water helps distribute the seasoning while giving the meat extra moisture. Now crush up 2 ice cubes and gently work the crushed iced cubes into the meat. Make 1/4 lb patties (four of them) and grill.
- When you grill hamburgers, sear both sides on high heat, then move the burgers to the top rack to complete cooking to the level that you like. Searing the meat helps keep the juices inside.
- Add finely minced or grated onion to the meat before grilling. The onions will release their juices as you grill, while the onion adds flavor.
- You can use beef base to make juice burgers. Add enough beef base with other seasonings that you like to the meat until the meat is really juicy. Then grill. The added moisture will give you really juicy burgers.
- Add vegetable juice (like V8), or Heinz 57 or Worcestershire sauce to the hamburger meat before you make the patties.
- Make sure you use fresh meat and that it has a fat content of at least 18%. Ground chuck works great.
- Use a digital instant read meat thermometer to grill the burgers to the desired temperature (around 140 degrees) but no more.
- Don't overwork the meat as you make the burgers. Keeping the patties looser will make them not as tough.
- Some say to flip early and flip often. If you wait to flip until the juices are pooling on top of the burger (as you have probably seen them do), you just end up dumping all those juices into your grill. Flip them early and often and the juices stay in the meat.
- When making the burger patty, add a pat of butter to the middle of the patty.
- Poke a hole in the middle of the patty. This will help the burger cook more evenly and you won't be tempted to overcook it. The hole will close as it cooks.
- Don't mash the burger down with your spatula as it cooks. This just squeezes the juice out. If you use the "poke a hole in the middle trick" they won't be so thin on outside and thick in the middle and you won't be tempted to mash them down.
How about you? What are your tricks for grilling the juiciest burgers around?
P.S. If you love grilled hamburgers, I would like to suggest that you look at The Great Big Burger Book. This book has 100 new and classic recipes for mouthwatering burgers!