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The Total Grilling Manual Recipe: The Perfect Burger

Grilling-Manual_Burgers_400Treat your barbecue guests to the best burger with this simple recipe that lets you know when they are perfectly done. From The Total Grilling Manual: 264 Essentials for Cooking with Fire.

2 lb (1 kg) ground beef (your choice of grind and cut)
4 hamburger buns (your choice of type)
Flavor additions, toppings, and condiments (your choice)

Makes 4 servings

PREHEAT Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat. If using a gas grill, soak wood chips (such as hickory, mesquite, or a combination of the two) for at least 30 minutes. Drain, transfer chips to a smoker box or foil packet, and place on the fire at least 5 minutes before cooking.

SHAPE Add any additional flavoring agents (if using) to ground beef and mix in with hands. Divide meat into four 1⁄2-lb (225-g) portions. Shape each portion into a patty a little wider than the buns you will be using. Press a wide, shallow dimple into each patty (so burgers will cook to even heights when centers expand with heat.) Season with salt and pepper, as well as any other seasonings you prefer.

GRILL Place burgers on grill rack and cook, without turning, until browned on the bottoms, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook the other side until browned and burgers are cooked to desired doneness, about 10 minutes total for medium-rare. (Place cheese, if using, on the burger just after the first flip.)

REST Let burgers rest away from the heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to buns, layer with desired toppings, and serve.

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