This time of year, I start using the grill far more often than I use my oven – it’s just too hot! We put just about EVERYthing on the grill. In the summer here in Greece, it’s either cook outside, or eat a cold dinner!
One of our family’s favorite foods to put on the grill is definitely burgers! You can season them all different ways, as well as top them with different veggies, so they don’t always have to be the same….plus you can let your creativity shine!
Tips for Making Great Burgers
Here are a few tips for making great burgers that I’ve compiled over the years — these will ensure that you get a moist, flavorful burger every time!
1. Use a fattier meat
If you use extra-lean meat for your burger, it’s going to be dry. You want to get a fattier meat, like 80/20. That fat is important in keeping the meat moist during the cooking process!
2. Season your meat well
If you don’t put flavor into your meat….surprise! …it’s not going to have flavor! Don’t be afraid to put a lot of seasoning into your meat because this is what will set apart your burger from a boring burger.
My go-to seasonings for a basic burger are salt and pepper, oregano, and garlic powder. Sometimes I change it up and do chili powder, cumin, and smoked paprika for a Mexican flavor. You can also add crumbled feta or blue cheese with oregano and fresh garlic for another flavorful option!
3. Add heavy cream to hold the meat together
Adding some heavy cream to your seasoned ground meat mixture will bind the meat together so it doesn’t fall apart when you put it on the grill. Just use a couple tablespoons of heavy cream for each pound of meat. You will be able to tell that you have enough when your meat binds together well. (This is my favorite trick because it makes such a big difference!)
4. Use your thumb to put a dent in the top of each burger after you have formed it.
When forming the meat into patties, flatten well, then use your thumb to put a dent (or well) in the top. Putting a dent in the top of each burger will allow the grease to pool there while it is cooking – this keeps it moist! It also keeps the burger from plumping into a ball-shape instead of staying flat.
5. Chill your burgers
Room temperature meat does not hold together well, so putting your burgers into the freezer while the grill heats up will do wonders for helping them keep their shape!
6. Resist the urge to flip or press your burgers over and over again!
Place your cold raw burgers on an oiled grill, and let them sit there and cook undisturbed. As a result, they will have beautiful grill marks! About 4-5 minutes on the first side (dent side up) and another 4-5 minutes after flipping is usually enough to get your burgers up to 150-160 degrees F. Do not press burgers down with the spatula, as this only squeezes the moisture out of them, causing them to dry out!
Now get out there, get creative with your spices, and grill up some awesome burgers this summer!
I’d love for you to comment below and tell me what your favorite spice combinations for burgers are!
All great tips, while I agree never press burgers if you flip every couple minutes the juices will travel through the burger rather than dripping out down into the grill
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Yes! Excellent grill technique! I like to use pepper jack cheese to bind them and chopped fresh parsley…it’s what my kids request for their birthdays and holidays. ????
That sounds like a yummy combination!
Rachel, these are great tips! I’ve never heard of adding heavy cream to the burger mix or putting a dent in the top. Now I want a burger and try your secrets! It will have to wait til tomorrow. Thanks so much!
Can’t beat a good burger.
I do these for company often! Always a hit!