There is no more traditional of a grilling meat than hamburgers themselves. Hamburgers (as well as hot dogs) are a summer tradition for many people, and are not only very tasty when prepared correctly, but are also very easy to grill. This makes them a hugely popular choice for getting together with friends or just enjoying a meal on a nice, sunny day. Here are some tips for the next time that you decide to grill hamburgers for yourself, family, or friends.
Finding the Right Hamburger Meat
A lot of people do not pay enough attention to one of the simplest, but most important parts of the process: picking out your hamburger meat. When possible, go with high quality, local meat if you live in a good area for it. It may not seem like it, but the quality will make a difference!
Also, many people want to be very healthy and select hamburger that is very lean and has a low percentage of fat. You can do so, but if you do you must know that your hamburgers will be noticeably dry compared to hamburgers with a higher percentage of fat. That is why lean hamburger is often better reserved for other meals, such as spaghetti, where the dryness of the meat will not be noticed.
Making Perfect Patties
A lot of your success when grilling hamburgers will also be dependent on how well you make your patties! This is really a very basic idea, because if you make very thick patties, they will take longer to cook, and vice versa.
You generally want a baseball-sized amount of beef for each patty. Try to make the patty as thick around the edges as you do in the middle, and make the patties larger around than the buns that they will be eaten with. Otherwise, you will end up with those small, thick hamburger balls that no one wants to eat!
Grilling for Success
Your grill should be set at a high heat. Hamburgers are easy to grill on a charcoal grill as well as a gas grill, because the heat does not have to be lower or at a specific level. Instead, you can just fire up the grill and get ready to go.
Oiling the grill’s grating is probably a good idea if you are worried about your meat sticking. Place the patties on the grill, and then cook them equally on each side. You will generally need to grill them for about ten minutes total, so five minutes on each side. However, this is largely dependent on how hot your grill is! Until you get the hang of it, use a meat thermometer to tell if the hamburgers are done. You are shooting for about 160 degrees for a medium-cooked hamburger, or a little hotter for well done.
There you have it! While you can personalize the preparation by adding seasoning or using toasted buns (and let’s not forget the toppings!), that is the basic method for cooking hamburgers on the grill. As you can see, it’s not so difficult after all!
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