Grilling the ultimate burger this July 4th
Jun 29, 2012, 8:29 a.m.
Summer's here, and the time is right for dancing in the street... but maybe if you're not up for that, you can simply opt to grill the perfect burger instead. After all, there isn't all that much to it, especially when you've got our considerable skills to borrow from. Here's a handful of some of our best tips, culled from the minds of culinary experts who know from excellent grilled burgers.
- Check the meat's color. The best ground beef will be pinkish in color.
- Indulge by choosing ground beef that's about 80 percent lean, but no more. The leaner the ground beef, the more likely it'll be that your burger will fall apart before it's even hit the grill.
- Mix the seasonings in beforehand. Ingredients for burgers run the gamut, so season to your tastes. Just make sure to mix all the spices in ahead of time. Adding spices while the burger is on the rack is one of the biggest mistakes that can lead to a somewhat tasteless end product.
- Don't over-handle the meat. Form it into a patty and set it down. The more you handle it, the drier and tougher it'll be.
- Prep your grill accordingly. Gas grills should be completely hot before the burger is slapped on. If you're using a charcoal grill, stay away from lighter fluids and use chimney starter instead. A charcoal grill should also be burned far enough in advance to ensure the coals are fully hot.
- Use cooking spray or brush some cooking oil directly on the grill to prevent your burgers from sticking.
- Don't overcook your burgers. Approximately four to five minutes on each side is sufficient to fully cook the meat. Any longer, and you'll be chowing down on a rock-hard, bone-dry patty.
If you follow these guidelines, you're bound to impress your friends and neighbors -- not to mention your own stomach -- with the perfect burger.
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