5 Tips for a Juicy Summer
Backyard barbecue crusaders have pursued the elusive “juicy burger” every summer since barbecue began. The results have ranged from burgers falling apart underneath
their cheese to rock hard lumps with no flavor at all. Many have given up and resorted to frozen, preformed patties.
Don’t give up! You can still achieve juicy burger glory. All you need are some great burger hacks.
Some say don’t flip, some say mix your meats, some say dimple. It’s hard to find a conclusive source for juicy burger tips. While we by no means have that conclusive source, we are definitely weighing in on the subject. Here are our 5 Tips for Juicy Summer Burgers.
1. Go for meat with higher fat content.
As much as nutritionists and food experts everywhere hate to admit it, fat = flavor. So, it stands to reason that meat with more fat in it is going to make for a juicier burger. We recommend at least 85/15, with 80/20 being preferable. If all you have is leaner meat or you are cooking with ground poultry, consider adding some fat. The preferred ingredient is finely chopped fatty bacon; in lieu of that, you can also use mayo or full-fat greek yogurt.
2. Keep your meat really cold until the last possible moment.
We’ve all been there. You’re in the kitchen, forming those patties for the grill, and they’re all squishy and sticky and just not holding form. When you bring them to the grill, they just fall apart and lose all of their juicy goodness. Why is this? Fat, which we have established is the source of a lot of burger flavor, becomes more liquid at room temperature, and therefore leaves the meat a lot faster. With the binding fat gone, the burger falls apart and becomes dry. Solution: preform your patties, then keep them in the fridge until grill time.
3. Form your patties as uniformly as possible.
You may think that this is a rule only for those obsessed with perfect burgers. How often do you cook just one burger? Forming all of your burgers the same size ensures that they’ll all cook at the same rate for the same amount of time. (It also eliminates the “Your burger is bigger than mine!” argument). Weight is good, and so is form. Having problems with your burgers shrinking and forming meatballs? Put a dimple in the middle to ensure a nice,
4. Season intelligently.
There are some who believe that burgers should remain unseasoned (ahem Bobby Flay), and many who believe that there is no such thing as too many additions, from onions and peppers to garlic to salt and pepper. In the end, a lot of it is up to personal preference. Don’t add salt to your patties until after they are formed and are moments from the grill. Salt breaks down protein, so if you salt your burgers as you are forming them, you’ll end up with tough,
5. Flip your burgers often.
Forget everything you’ve learned about flipping your burgers only once! New studies show that flipping your burgers often, even as much as every 30 seconds, allows them to cook more evenly and retain their juiciness better. Never, never, never squash down your burgers! That squeezes out the precious flavor that you’re trying to preserve.
Delicious, juicy burgers are not as difficult as you might believe. With a few kitchen hacks and some grilling know-how, you can have the best burgers on the block. Happy Grilling!