Barbecuing is the perfect summertime activity for family dinner or a party with all the neighbors. Grilling burgers to perfection takes some practice but it can be made easier with the help of a simple but amazing recipe.
3 Perfectly Simple BBQ Burger Recipes:
The Best BBQ Burgers Ever
Easy Honey-BBQ Burgers
Barbecued Cheddar Burgers
Even though these recipes are easy to make they are still deliciously mouthwatering. Once you take them off the grill you will find truth in the statement that less is more!
Continue reading below to take a look at these 3 simple recipes to add to your grill nights. You will also learn some helpful tips and tricks on how to use your grill to get the most out of any burger recipe you choose.
1. The Best BBQ Burgers Ever
Why not start out with the best?
This recipe from Daily Dish Recipes claims it will make you the most amazing BBQ burger you have ever tasted. It uses basic ingredients to take you from raw meat to a melt in your mouth patty everyone will be raving about.
One of the most important components of making these perfect BBQ burgers is a burger press. This recipe says they work like magic to produce the best burgers every single time. Using a burger press to evenly shape your burger patties ensures they will all cook at the same time and come out the same way.
Using this recipe you can take those simple ingredients you have lying around your house and turn them into a mouthwatering meal in a snap.
2. Easy Honey-BBQ Burgers
If you are looking for a little more flair in your BBQ burgers, why not give this recipe by My Fearless Kitchen a try? It combines your everyday simple grilled burger patty with the fresh taste of honey for a little extra zing.
This recipe took a little bit of trial and error to get just right but thank goodness it all came together. You’ll need a couple of napkins to make your way through this messy meal. It’s worth it, though, for that sweet and savory taste that will bring your taste buds to life.
You can try something a little different here while still taking it easy at the grill. The secret to keeping these burgers perfect is to wait to add the sauce until you flip them over. You won’t be sorry when you take that first bite.
3. Barbecued Cheddar Burgers
Adding honey to your BBQ burgers isn’t the only way to make them even more delicious. This simple, highly rated recipe from Epicurious gives you the guidelines for making mouthwatering burgers on the grill with that extra beloved element on top– cheese.
This recipe is perfect for a family barbecue night. Its instructions yield 8 child-sized burgers and 4 adult-sized burgers so that everyone ends up happy in the end. It even offers some advice on extra toppings for the adults and what sort of sides might go best with your burgers.
Look no further for an easy BBQ burger that screams grill night. The addition of a nice slice of cheddar is just the icing on the cake.
How to Grill Burgers
Grilling may seem like a pretty basic process but it takes some know-how to turn out excellent quality burgers on the grill. There are some tips and tricks that will help you step up your barbecue game and make you the unofficial grill master of the neighborhood.
- Aim for a 20% fat content in your beef or combination of meats
- Create an indention in the center of each patty using your thumb
- Prepare your patties beforehand and let them chill in the refrigerator
- Grill over a medium-high to high heat (at least 375 degrees)
- Only turn your burgers once during the grilling process
- Season your patties with at least salt and pepper
- Let the burgers rest before serving
- Eliminating the fat from your ground beef will result in an incredibly dry burger. The fat in the meat is what gives it that key juicy delicious flavor that you’re looking for. If you want to go leaner you can use meat with 15% fat content, but you shouldn’t go any lower than that.
- If you don’t depress the center of your burger patties, they will puff up into more of a ball shape that doesn’t quite work between the buns. Having an indention will help them cook nice and flat how you want them. Cook the patty on the flat side first and then flip them on the side with the well.
- Chilling your hamburger patties before grilling them will help them stick together better. You will want to make them well enough ahead of time to give them a good 30 minutes to chill.
- High heat is crucial to grilling your burgers. You want your grill to be hot enough that it will form that delicious crust on the outside of the burger as they cook. It will trap all of the delicious juices inside.
- You’ll want to know how long you’re going to be grilling your patties so that you don’t have to flip them more than one time. They should be grilled the same amount of time on each side. Once you can see juices forming on the top of the patty it is time to flip. Flipping more could cause them to fall apart.
- Salt and pepper are the staples of the seasoning world. Once you season your meat don’t leave them sitting for too long before grilling. If they are left for more than half an hour or so you risk the salt drawing moisture out of your meat.
- Burgers continue to cook even after you take them off the grill. Letting them rest off of the heat before you put them on the buns gives them the chance to settle and allow the juices to evenly distribute throughout the patty.
- Use frozen burger patties
- Overwork the meat when forming your patties
- Press down on your burgers while grilling
- It’s kind of a no brainer but fresh ingredients and hand made patties are always going to yield a better burger than if you use a pre-packaged frozen one. Putting a frozen burger on a grill is almost an insult to the process.
- Handling the meat too much or with too rough a hand can result in a dense and unpleasant burger. You should always be gentle with your burger patties as you season and shape them. You can be a little firm while pressing them out to ensure they stick together.
- Pressing down on burgers with a spatula as they cook is a common image when it comes to grilling but it is a huge mistake! Pressing down with the spatula is only going to squish all of those delicious juices out of your patty and make it dry and chewy in the end.
- If your grill flares up, close the lid to deprive the flames of oxygen.
- Brush the outside of your patties with olive oil to keep them from sticking to the grill and help them form a nice crust.
- If it’s a hot day, run your hands under cold water before forming your patties to keep from melting the fat.
Using a Burger Press
A burger press is an easy-to-use tool that could inevitably fast track you from raw meat to tasty grilled burgers. Traditionally, you would make your patties by hand. You roll the beef into equally sized balls and then press it down with your fingers until you achieve the perfect patty shape.
Using a burger press will do the hard part for you! It will press your beef into perfectly shaped patties without you having to worry about them falling apart or being handled too much.
A burger press will ensure that your burgers cook evenly by forming them into the same size and shape every single time. They also keep your burgers flat for the grill so that they don’t puff up and end up round when they’re done. Not to mention using a burger press cuts down on the mess of forming patties.
Burger presses are generally made out of either plastic or aluminum. The aluminum ones are going to be more sturdy and probably last longer. You want to make sure whatever press you choose is non-stick. If it’s not you may want to buy parchment paper circles to use along with it.
How to Use a Burger Press:
- Mix together your burger ingredients, working the seasonings and other flavors into the meat by hand for a more even mixture.
- Separate your beef into equal portions. A typical portion of meat ranges from 4-6 ounces depending on how big you want your burgers.
- Put one ball of meat into your burger press and follow the instructions to shape it. This will typically just be pressing down on a handle to apply pressure.
- Repeat for the remaining portions of meat.
In addition to a regular burger press, you can also purchase a stuffed burger press for those nights when a simple burger just isn’t enough. It makes it easy to create a space for your filling of choice and then seals it in for that perfect stuffed burger.
Keeping Your Burgers from Falling Apart
One of the most frustrating parts of grilling is spending all that time forming and getting the patties ready to go only to have them start to crumble apart while cooking. Here are a few tips to help you keep those perfect patties in one piece.
Refrain from adding any liquids to your patty mixture. Putting in some kind of sauce may sound like a great way to gain flavor, but it will encourage your burgers to fall apart. If you want to add some kind of sauce you should brush it onto the patty after cooking.
Don’t handle your burgers too much when forming them. Add your seasonings and mix with your hands for a gentler touch. While forming the patties don’t press anything together too firmly or they may come out too dense.
The colder the burgers are when you grill them, the less likely they are to fall apart. Make your patties well ahead of time so that they have at least half an hour to chill in the fridge. The cold will keep them together as they are cooking.
Try to only turn your burgers once while they are cooking. The more you flip your burgers the more likely they are to fall apart. Leave them on one side for half the cooking time and then flip them over and let them finish.
If all else fails, add an egg to your mixture. A lot of people don’t find this necessary while others swear by it. The egg will act as an extra binding agent during grilling that holds everything together without sacrificing flavor, much like it does in meatloaf.
Using a Charcoal Grill
When you’re cooking on a charcoal grill it is recommended that you use a chimney starter instead of lighter fluid to avoid adding an unpleasant taste to your burgers. Put some crumpled up paper at the bottom of the grill to light and add your coals on top. It should take 15-20 minutes to heat up.
If your grill doesn’t have a built-in temperature gauge you can purchase a grill thermometer to check if it is hot enough. Your coals should be bright orange and start to ash over when they are ready to go.
A great method for grilling burgers is to use direct and indirect heat.
You pile most of the charcoal to one side of the grill to create an area of high heat. Grill your patties for the first half of the cooking time over the direct heat. After flipping your patties you move them to the lower heat side and allow them to finish cooking there.
Using a Gas Grill
Preheat your grill by turning all of the burners on at once until it reaches the proper heat– somewhere from 375 to 450 degrees. Once it is up high enough, turn off one section when you are ready to cook. Check out this article for a list of the best gas grills.
Place your burger patties on the grill and close the lid. Let them cook for half of the total cook time and then flip them once. Lower the heat after you’ve flipped them to allow them to finish cooking for the rest of the time.
Try to keep an area of your grill free so that you can move your burgers in the event of a flare-up. Leave the lid open to allow the excess grease to burn off more quickly. It’s always best to keep an eye on your grill to ensure the flames don’t get out of control.
Checking Your Burgers for Doneness
The best way to check your burgers after cooking is to use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature. Burgers should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. It’s safe to take your burgers off the grill at 155 degrees, as they will cook a bit more while resting.
That being said, if you are going for anything less than well-done the temperature will change. Rare burgers will only be 120-125 degrees, medium-rare burgers will be 130-135 degrees, and medium burgers will be 140-145 degrees.
Store-bought ground beef should always be cooked to the full 160 degrees to get rid of all of the bacteria that may be present in it. If you want to achieve less of a cook it’s best to use meat that was ground in-house at a butcher shop or to grind it yourself at home.
Your cook time will vary depending on what sort of doneness you are hoping for. It will also vary depending on your personal grill. The more you grill burgers, the more familiar you will get with how long it takes to achieve certain cooks.
As a general rule of thumb:
- Rare burgers need 2-3 minutes per side– 4-5 minutes total
- Medium-Rare burgers need 3-4 minutes per side– 6-7 minutes total
- Medium burgers need 4-5 minutes per side– 8-9 minutes total
- Well Done burgers need 5-6 minutes per side– 10-12 minutes total
It’s Time to Get Your Grill On
Even though burgers seem like the easiest thing to make on the grill there are a lot of ways they can go wrong. With a little practice on your grill, you can easily hone your skills at crafting the most delicious BBQ burgers for your family and your friends.
Remember to avoid making the most important mistakes of burger grilling. Don’t handle your beef too much while forming your patties and don’t, for the love of every burger lover out there, press down on your patties with a spatula. Your taste buds will thank you for those juices later.
Now that you have all of these wonderful tips and tricks at your disposal you can get to work putting one of the 3 recipes above to good use. Get your grill going, throw those patties on, and never look back!