Grilled hamburgers are a summer classic. If you enjoy grilled burgers but want to reduce the amount of direct heat applied to the outside, sear the outer surfaces on the grill to add flavor, color and signature grill marks. Then finish them in the oven for a slower, gentle cooking process. Flavor the burgers as you traditionally would, as this cooking process is not affected by your choice of seasonings, marinades or spices.
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The best finished product always starts with the right preparation. Start with fresh ground beef and add any seasonings before mixing to limit the handling. When you overwork ground beef, it can produce tough hamburgers, even if you sear them on the grill and finish them in the oven. Make your patties a little bit thinner and larger diameter than you want your finished product. Most hamburgers shrink up to 25 percent during cooking. Place a small well in the center of the patty with your thumb so that as the patty plumps during cooking, your final product is even.
Turn the grill on before you are ready to cook so that it can come to temperature and preheat the metal grate. The heated grate will help create a sear on the meat. Brush a light layer of oil on the surface of the burger before placing it on the grate to help prevent it from sticking, or brush the grill grate with a minimal amount of oil as an alternative. Place the patties on the grill and leave them for two to three minutes to create a sear. Flip the burgers and wait two to three minutes for the opposite side to sear.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil then place a baking rack on top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and place the seared burgers on the baking rack. Cook the burgers in the oven for eight or nine minutes for medium-rare, 10 to 11 minutes for medium or up to 15 minutes for well-done meat.
Safe Temperature and Testing
Ground beef should reach a minimum of 160 degrees Fahrenheit for food safety. Undercooked ground beef can harbor bacteria that may make you ill. Test the internal temperature of your hamburgers at the thickest point with a probe thermometer for the most accurate results. Never leave raw or cooked hamburgers out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.