SWEAT THE TECHNIQUE AND OWN THE BURGER GAME
Our best burger recipes and grilling tips for your Memorial Day
Fire. It Up. The sun is out, Memorial Day is around the corner, and May is National Burger Month! Usher in grilling season (YAY) with a juicy, grass-fed beef burger. Get your technique in order with grilling know-how and the best burger recipes around.
First, a very simple starter recipe for burgers on the grill.
Classic Grass-Fed Burger Recipe
1 – 1.5 Verde Farms grass-fed ground beef, preferably 80% lean
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Divide meat into four even portions. Gently ball the meat and press *lightly* to flatten. Add a dimple in the middle of each patty with your thumb to prevent softball syndrome.
Start a charcoal or wood fire or preheat a gas grill to very hot.
Sprinkle each side of the burger generously with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place burgers on hot grill and cook 3 minutes on each side for rare. Add another minute each side for each increasing stage of doneness. (See below for internal temps.)
For cheeseburgers, add cheese before the final flip.
Place burgers on lightly buttered and grilled buns, preferably soft but sturdy brioche or potato buns.
Condiment as you will and serve at once. Seems pretty simple, right? Time to up-level.
Start with good meat
It seems obvious, but this is a must. Most experts agree that ground chuck (cut from the shoulder of the animal) makes the best ground beef.
You can buy a whole chuck roast and grind it yourself with a meat grinder or food processor. If you’re buying pre-ground beef, buy the highest quality grass-fed beef available – it makes a real difference.
Fat is your friend
Fat keeps burgers flavorful and moist. We prefer 80% or 85% lean ground beef for our burgers. If you choose super lean beef, be extra careful not to overcook. Leaner burgers can end up like hockey pucks; aim for a lower target temperature.
It runs counter to our programming (especially for the Snackwell’s generation of the ‘80s), but not all fat is bad! Grass-fed beef has the “better for you” fats associated with lowered blood pressure and cardiovascular health, among other benefits. Read more about why grass-fed beef is healthier, or take our word for it: grass-fed beef is your hall pass to enjoying that juicy burger, sans guilt.
Season with zeal
Channel your inner #SaltBae. Be liberal, extravagant even, with the kosher salt and the freshly ground pepper. Most importantly, salt beef after forming the burgers and within minutes of putting them on the grill. While different from the pre-seasoning we recommend for steaks, this technique is essential to creating the best texture for burgers.
A clean grill, a hot grill, a happy grill
Grilling is as much grit as it is glamour. Scrape the grill clean with a grill brush before and after each use. Oil the grill grate to prevent future burgers from sticking.
Once you’re ready to rock, get that fire hot hot HOT – ideally, 500 degrees Fahrenheit or more. You should barely be able to hold your hand a few inches above the rack. High heat creates a beautiful crispy crust and browning on the exterior of the burger.
We love charcoal for its exceptional browning ability and ability to impart a smokey flavor. But the gas grill is also convenient, consistent, and dependable.