Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tips for Grilling Healthy Burgers

Posted by Neill Abayon

Grilling perfect burgers is easy if you follow these simple tips:

  • Use beef with the right amount of fat. I recommend 80% to 85% lean ground beef. The fat is what makes your burgers juicy.

  • If your ground beef is frozen, thaw completely in the refrigerator before using. Do not try to cook beef from a frozen state.

  • To see if your burgers are done, check using an instant-read thermometer. Insert it in the side of the burger through to the middle. Burgers should be cooked to 160 degrees F.

  • Color is not an indicator of whether or not your burgers are cooked thoroughly. Burgers that are brown inside may not be cooked to 160 degrees F, and burgers that are cooked through may still be pink inside.

  • Handle the beef as little as possible while shaping the burgers. Overhandling results in toughness.

  • Form patties that about 3/4-inch thick. Press your thumb in the middle of each patty to prevent it from bulging during cooking.

  • Refrigerate your burgers while preparing the grill. Preheat the grill long enough to get it nice and hot, about 15 minutes should do it.

  • Season the burgers with salt and pepper on the outside, just before grilling. This will prevent the salt from drawing moisture out of the burgers. And the salt, which enhances the meat's flavor, will hit your mouth first.

  • Place the burgers on the grill, and leave them there. Do not press down on the burgers during cooking.

  • Flip once, after 5-6 minutes.

  • Let your burgers rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

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