Random header image... Refresh for more!

Tip Tuesday

Today’s tips are all about making the most fabulous at-home grilled burger possible. Later this week, I’ll share the burgers I made for Marissa and Jeff while in Chicago last month. The Illinois grilling season is quickly coming to a close, but here in Arizona, it lasts all year long. Chef John Ash was a frequent guest chef at Les Gourmettes Cooking School and one of my favorite teachers. All of the tips/secrets come from him.

Chef John Ashs’ Secrets for a Great Grilled Beef Burger

  • The right meat and fat content are critical. I prefer ground sirloin or chuck with 15 – 20 % fat. The old axiom “fat is flavor” really applies here and fat is also what keeps the meat juicy. More fat however doesn’t necessarily make it better. Burgers that are made with 25 and 30% fat, although delicious and juicy, can leave a greasy mouth feel. Ideally, meat should be freshly ground and if you have a store with a kind butcher ask him or her to do that for you.
  • Mix in whatever seasonings you are using very gently. Like pie dough, the more you handle the meat the tougher your burger. Loosely mix to incorporate seasonings and then gently but firmly form the patties. Wetting your hands will help too to prevent them from getting sticky and helps the meat to come together faster.
  • Make patties a little thinner in the center. I shoot for something like 1 inch on the edges and about 3/4 inch on the edges. As the meat shrinks during cooking it’ll even out and the meat also will cook more evenly.
  • Keep the patties cold until you are ready to grill them. This keeps the fat firm and helps it stay in the meat adding flavor and juice which is what we are aiming for.
  • Cook on relatively high heat. Obviously make sure your grill is hot, clean, and well-oiled to prevent the burgers from sticking. Remember too that the hood is your friend. Open the vents so that the fire stays hot but put the lid on while cooking. This provides even heat and takes advantage of the convection of the heat rising and circulating around the meat.
  • Turn the burgers just once. Resist the temptation to constantly turn them. The more you turn the more you are likely to toughen and dry out the meat. Also if you turn too soon the burgers are more likely to stick to the grill. Also never press on the burgers while they are cooking. The juices you squeeze out are where much of the flavor and moisture is.

Print pagePDF pageEmail page


There are no comments yet...

Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment