Tips for Burgers on the Grill

Food, Hometown Cooking
on July 15, 2010
Mark Boughton Photography/Teresa Blackburn Styling

Making the perfect burger for everyone’s taste takes a little planning. Do you have a purist in the family? Then try the Two-Cheese Burgers recipe. How about a vegetarian? The Salmon Burgers recipe will fill the bill. Nearly any kind of ground meat or fish or vegetables can be made into a burger. The trick is to get the texture right. If the patties are too moist and tender, they may fall apart on the grill. If there’s not enough moisture in the mixture, the burgers will be dry after grilling. Here are a few tips to follow, no matter what type of burger you’re making.

  • The more fat in the meat, the more the burger will shrink when cooked. Start with burgers that are about 20 percent bigger in diameter that the buns you plan to use.
  • Use the backside of a spoon to create a small indentation in each burger patty to decrease the likelihood of a dome forming in the center during cooking.
  • Don’t press the burgers too hard with a spatula during cooking to avoid losing juices from the meat.
  • Just before the burgers are done, place the bun halves, cut sides down on the grill, preferably on the upper rack if you have one, to toast lightly.