Sometimes the simplest food items are the most challenging to cook. Many Americans grill up charred, dry burgers that defy the medium-rare, juicy, perfectly disc-shaped burgers they set out to make. Making a perfect burger is more attainable than it seems. Gather the correct ingredients and follow a few techniques, and you will be the hero of your backyard grilling party. The leaner the beef, the fewer calories you will consume. A 6-ounce beef burger, 85 percent lean, contains 360 calories before you add a bun and condiments. A 6-ounce turkey burger contains 180 to 300 calories. Try a leaner ground meat for a healthier option.
Turn the gas grill burners on the highest setting, and close the lid. Heat for approximately 10 minutes. For a charcoal grill, light the charcoal about 30 minutes prior to grilling.
Season the hamburger meat with salt and pepper. Use the kitchen scale to weigh six 6-ounce portions, or separate the ground meat into six equally sized segments.
Flatten the meat into patties approximately four inches in diameter.
Depress the center of the patties about a half inch to prevent the patties from puffing up during cooking and creating a dome-shaped burger.
Clean the grill rack with a wire brush, and using tongs, apply vegetable oil with a handful of paper towels. Add the hamburger patties to the grill. Do not press down on them.
On the gas grill, allow to cook three minutes on the first side, flip, and grill approximately three-and-a-half minutes on the second side for medium-rare. On the charcoal grill, cook for two minutes on the first side, flip, and cook about two-and-a-half minutes on the second side.
Grill the hamburger buns for 30 seconds just before serving. The Cook's Illustrated test kitchen recommends using a hamburger bun with a hearty texture that stands up to condiments and remains moist after grilling.
Things You'll Need
2 1/4 lbs. ground meat
Kitchen scale (optional)
Salt and pepper
Charcoal or gas grill
For a spicy burger, add seasoning, such as oregano or Cajun spices, to the hamburger meat prior to forming the patties.