Ah, burgers; the ultimate contender at BBQ parties and grilling frenzies. Burgers are at the very core of our soul as food lovers, and with good reason. They’re juicy, packed with flavors, and fills one to the brim.
For years, we’ve grown accustomed to the tradition of burning wood or charcoal to make a hot grill for our patties. But technology has given us an alternative- the gas grill. With their convenient use and less-messy operation, a lot of people are finding them more ideal. But with gas grills come a worry- will I still attain the same delicious result?
Burgers Nutrition Facts
Tips for Making Great Burgers on a Gas Grill
The big difference between a gas grill and a charcoal grill is smoke. Indeed, besides the fact that charcoal grills add a smoky flavor to patties, both cook burgers in the same manner. As such, you still need a quick rundown of what is expected if you want to make the best-tasting burgers.
Use the Right Ground Beef
While lots of ground beef options are available, there’s a reason why ground chuck remains the most popular option for burgers. And the reason is that it contains the perfect amount of fat and beef content, ensuring a juicy burger all the time. Also, ground chuck is super affordable, so you get great value for money.
Go For 20% Beef Fat
Ground chuck is renowned for its perfect beef-to-fat ratio regarding burgers, but you may want to experiment with other types of beef grounds as well. Whichever you select, always keep the fat content up to 20%, ensuring the patties stay moist after cooking.
Keep the Beef Chilled
Some people believe they only need to form the patties when making burgers, but it’s not very effective. The best way is to create the cakes after seasoning the ground beef and keep them in the fridge until you need them. The coldness allows the grounds to stay intact better as you grill them.
Avoid Over-Mixing the Beef
As tempting as you may be to mix the ground beef generously, avoid doing such. Otherwise, you stand a chance to over-mix the meat and break the bonds between protein and fat. Instead, gently fold the seasoning into the beef grounds, and cut a small piece out. Then, flatten the meat on your palm and turn your hand down. If the beef ground doesn’t fall off, the beef ground is mixed correctly.
Correctly Form the Patties
When making your burger patties, shape them one inch thick at the edges and about an inch larger than your bun. Also, make it such that it is about half an inch thicker than the middle. And instead of a thumb-sized dimple, dimple a broad depression in the patty at the center of the patty. But do it with as minimal hand contact as possible by forming them on a tray. That way, you won’t overheat the burgers with your palm.
Flip, Yes. Press, No.
It’s okay to flip your burgers as often as possible, so they cook evenly. But you shouldn’t press the burgers on the rack with your spatula, as most do. When you do so, you’ll squeeze the melting fat juices out and lose precious moisture in the patties.
View this post on Instagram
Cooking Burgers on a Gas Grill
Now that you’ve noted these crucial tips, it’s time to quickly look at how to cook burgers on a gas grill;
Prep the Grill-Make sure to clean the rack with a wire brush before you start cooking. Then, turn the gas on and let it heat to about 450 to 500F- you’ll want the grill to be scalding hot before adding the patties. You can coat the rack with cooking spray or brush some olive oil on the burgers before arranging them on the grill. This technique prevents the meat from sticking to the frame. Also, leave a corner of the grill to serve as a ‘safe zone’ for patties that sear too quickly.
Add a Smoking Element-Once your grill is hot, you can add a wood element if you want a smoky flavor to your burgers. Some gas grills come with a smoker box for this, with instructions from the manufacturer. Another hack is to place a few chunks of smoking wood under the grate. You can also place smoking wood chips in a foil pouch or use a tube smoker to direct smoke onto the grill grate.
Cook the Burger Patties-Once the grill is ready, arrange the burgers on the rack and cook one side for three to four minutes. Then, flip and cook the other side for four to five minutes. You want the burgers to sear generously, and if they overdo it, move them to the safe zone.
Checking for Burger Doneness-You’ll need a meat thermometer to check the doneness of the patties. And as much as you may love to prepare burgers to preferred doneness, the FDA-approved rating says otherwise. By proper health standards, the recommended internal temperature for a cooked burger is at least 160F. And to know it, probe the patties from the side with the meat thermometer till you reach the center.
Still, if you prefer to cook to specific doneness, note these numbers;
- Rare burgers are done at 125F (four minutes)
- Medium- rare burgers are done at 135F (five minutes)
- Medium burgers are done at 145F (six to seven minutes)
- Well-done burgers are done at 160F (eight to nine minutes)
Regardless, doneness temperature and cooking time depend on how thick you make the patties and how hot the gas grill is.
Rest the Burgers-Once the burgers are ready, let them sit for about a minute before you eat them. This waiting period lets the juices redistribute in the meat, giving you more moisture and flavor.
Serving Gas-Grilled Burgers
These burgers can be presented in the traditional American way; mayo, ketchup, and lettuce with slices of pickles, tomato, and red onions. But you could also consider toppings like bacon jam, blue cheese sauce, garlic aioli, Thousand Island, or sautéed mushrooms.Print
- Two pounds ground beef, 20% fat, cold
- Six hamburger buns
- Four cloves garlic, minced
- Two tablespoons minced onion
- One tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- One-and-three-quarters teaspoons pepper, freshly ground
- One-and-a-half teaspoons salt
- Combine the cold ground beef with the garlic, onion, sauce, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Fold over a few times to mix everything. You don’t want to over-handle the meat, so this process should take no more than 30 to 45 seconds.
- Split the ground beef into six equal parts and place them on a baking tray. Then, gently shape each portion into a four-inch-wide patty with one-inch thick outer sides. Make a shallow depression at the center, with the very outer inch being half an inch taller than the inside.
- Set the grill to 450 or 500F and let it heat up. You want the grill to be so hot; you can only hold your palm above the grate for a second. Then, grease the rack with cooking spray or olive oil.
- Arrange the patties on the rack and cook to your desired doneness. Flip them regularly, so both sides get enough heat and searing, but never press them. The recommended internal temperature for properly cooked burger patties is 160F, at which the burgers will be well-done in eight to nine minutes. Still, other doneness temperatures are listed below;
- 125F at four minutes for rare burgers,
- 135F at five minutes for medium-rare burgers, and
- 145F at six to seven minutes for medium burgers
If you’d like to add cheese to the patties, lay them on at the last minute of cooking. Then, smear some butter over the buns and toast them on the grill at indirect heat as well.
When the patties are done, rest them with the bubs for about a minute on a plate. Then, arrange and serve.
You can also watch this video for more information on cooking burgers on a gas grill.