When most people think of the quintessential classic American barbecue, there are usually two main food that are always there- hotdogs and hamburgers. Today we’re going back to basics and teaching you how to perfectly grill burgers (the real MVP)every time. This article discusses how to create a juicy on the inside, crispy on the outside burger from start to finish on your outdoor grill in Tampa.
Let’s get to grillin’!
Grilling The Perfect Hamburger
In America, it just wouldn’t be a barbecue without the hamburger, however this centerpiece of Americana often falls short or often falls apart. From crispy burnt edges, to lighter fluid-flavored hockey pucks and undercooked, “are you sure that’s safe to eat?” burgers, we’ve seen them all and it hasn’t been pretty. So if you’ve had a hard time creating a juicy, mouth-watering, steal-the-show burger, you’re in for a treat. This definitive guide will have you grillin’ up perfect patties in no time. So let’s start with the two most important things, the ingredients and the grill.
A Great Burger Starts With Great Meat
Many pit masters and grill effciendos agree that fresh 80/20 ground chuck is the best base for creating your burger. In addition to the lean to fat ratio, the fresher the grind the better the burger, so if your local butcher or supermarket offers this service-take them up on it! If you or your guests prefer a different type of base for your burgers (lamb, chicken, pork, black beans, etc,) try choosing fresh and high quality cuts to grill up whenever you can.
In addition to good meat for your burger, you’re going to want to make sure your Tampa outdoor grill is up to the challenge. While charcoal grills are a good contender for the job, they just don’t offer the same kind of control as a gas grill, which is what you want to be in when your tending the grill. But wait, what about the delicious charcoal flavor that many of us associate with burgers? Gas grills, can’t offer that, can they? Yes and no, gas grills on their own can’t fake the charcoal flavor, however one of the accessories offered by Paradise for your outdoor kitchen in Tampa is a charcoal and woodchip smoker box. By using this box, you will be able to “fake” that smoky flavor for all the foods you grill, not just burgers.
Preparing The Meat
Prepping and shaping the burgers can vary slightly depending on specific flavor profiles that individuals prefer and if you’re making “fancy” or gourmet burgers. If you’re making a gourmet burger and are following a recipe, make sure to read the recipe from beginning to end before anything else. This will allow you to know what you need to do and when to do it without missing any vital steps that could lead to disaster. The following burger preparation assumes that your using fresh ground chuck with a lean/fat ratio of 80/20 and that you’re just putting it on a bun (with condiments of course) when you’re done. To prepare your burgers, follow these simple steps:
- Seasoning – This is where preparation between households will be the most different. However, if you want a perfectly seasoned burger everytime, mind this rule of thumb. For each pound of meat, use a mixture of a teaspoon of salt, pepper and other dry seasonings that suit your taste-literally. For example if you’re cooking up 6 pounds of meat, you’ll want to use 6 teaspoons, pretty simple right?
- Don’t Overwork The Meat – Using a large bowl, add the salt and pepper to the meat and gently toss the meat so that it is evenly seasoned. Avoid overworking the meat, as this will result in a tougher burger.
- Use Wet Hands – When you’re ready to form your patties, get your hands a little wet. This will help to avoid the “sticky mess” that usually accompanies the task of “pattie forming”.
- Divide The Meat – With wet hands divide the meat evenly. Each pattie should be about 6 oz or more depending on how big you like your burgers. You can either eyeball this or use a scale for the perfect patty.
- Create The Pattie – Now that your meat is evenly divided, begin to shape your pattie. Think about how big your bun is and try to create a pattie that is a little larger than the bun, as burgers will shrink when they cook. Additionally, one you’ve created your perfectly round, even pattie press a “dimple” in the center using your thumb. This dimple allows the burger to cook more evenly.
- Keep The Patties Cold – This is one of those times when an outdoor fridge attached to your Tampa outdoor kitchen really comes in handy. Keeping your patties cold until they hit the grill keeps them from falling apart and retaining all that good juicy, yummy flavor.
It’s Showtime: Burger Grilling Techniques
Alright, you’ve followed all the steps above, your guests are starting to show up, you have a cold beer in hand, now what? Turn your grill on of course! But first, make sure your grill is clean and doesn’t have any questionable food or other items on the grates. Always cook on a clean grill, your Tampa outdoor grill and your guests will appreciate it.
These following techniques will help you create a phenomenal burger that won’t make you or your guests want to drown it in ketchup and/or mustard:
- Use High Heat – Taking the cold burgers out of the fridge, slap them down (don’t really slap them) on a hot grill. Your outdoor grill in Tampa will have different temperature settings so you know how hot your grill is. Turn that on high! This creates that crispy crust for added texture and deliciousness.
- Don’t Press Your Burgers Down – Just don’t. Remember how you wanted a juicy burger? By pressing the burger down with a spatula, as many of us are wont to do in hopes of hearing a sizzle, we release the juices into the grate. Goodbye delicious juicy burger, hello dry hockey puck.
- One & Done – Flip your burgers only once on your Tampa outdoor grill. To measure doneness, The Spruce Eats offers this time table, “Cook two minutes per side for rare, three minutes for medium-rare, four minutes for medium, and five minutes for well-done.”
- Allow Your Burgers To Rest – Finish your beer and let about 10 minutes pass before serving up your burgers to your hungry guests.
We hope this guide will help you create the burger you’ve always wanted to on your Tampa outdoor grill!