Overview of Darn Good Burgers on a Grill
Whether you’ve grilled a lot of burgers before or you’re new to the game, we all have the same goals. We want a great tasting grilled burger and we want it as quickly and easily as possible. Maybe you want to look for something different from the store-bought frozen burgers or the basic ground beef patty. Well, get ready to expand your horizons. You’ll probably about to save time, money, and improve your burger grilling skills.
Hamburgers On The Grill Recipe
- 1.2 lbs ground beef
- 4 servings hamburger buns
SEASONINGS for Ground Beef
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder optional
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 leaf Romaine Lettuce
- 4 slices tomato
- 4 slices onion sweet or purple
- 8 slices dill pickles
- 4 tsp sweet pickle relish
- 4 slices American cheese
- 4 tbsp mayo
- 4 tsp yellow mustard
- 4 tsp ketchup
- 4 tsp BBQ Sauce
- Start to preheat the grill. Temp can be between 375-500°F.
In a mixing bowl, combine thoroughly the ground beef and seasonings.1.2 lbs ground beef, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper, 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- Forming the Burgers: For every 1.2 pounds, divide and roll ground beef into 4 balls. Then, gradually flatten them to desired thickness while compressing inward the outer sides of each patty. If available, place each between patty papers, or keep somewhat separated on a plate.
- On The Grill: Place each hamburger patty on the preheated grill on direct heat initially. If temp control exists, maintain between 350-400°F. After initial 1 to 3 minutes, turn each burger. Monitor to ensure no side gets too charred. A typical 1/3-inch thick burger (this recipe) will take about 5 to 10 minutes to cook. However, if grill is too hot (or flaming a lot) for continued cooking on direct heat, you can opt to move patties to side for indirect heat and close the grill lid. When burgers are done, remove from grill onto a plate or platter for serving.
Serving: The buns can be warmed, if desired. It's easiest if condiments and toppings are laid out for making each sandwich. Here are several popular example burger combinations that you might make.4 servings hamburger buns
BURGER SANDWICHES OPTIONS The Midwestern Burger has mayo, lettuce, and tomato.2 leaf Romaine Lettuce, 4 tbsp mayo, 4 slices tomato
The Southern Burger has mustard, pickles, and onion.8 slices dill pickles, 4 tsp yellow mustard, 4 slices onion
The St. Louis Burger has BBQ Sauce, onion, and cheese.4 slices onion, 4 tsp BBQ Sauce, 4 slices American cheese
The Kid's Burger has mustard and ketchup.4 tsp yellow mustard, 4 tsp ketchup
The Old Classic Cheeseburger has mustard, ketchup, and cheese.4 slices American cheese, 4 tsp yellow mustard, 4 tsp ketchup
Homemade Burgers on the Grill Recipe
You can never beat homemade burgers on the grill, especially if you feel you have the best hamburger recipe. I worked in the foods industry, including fast food restaurants for over a decade, all across the Southeast United States. There are tons of “best burger” recipes out there but this one has evolved over a few decades and it’s been narrowed down to the most popularly loved ingredients for homemade burgers.
I’ll cover that plus a lot of tips for prepping, grilling, and serving them a lot easier. This recipe has some basic info but there are many more things to know that will make it easier for you every time. And, the most popular questions are answered as well.
I use 80/20 ground beef mix.
Best Cheese for Grilled Burgers
The best cheese for grilled burgers is American Cheese. However, there are some surprising changes that have been taking place these past 10-20 years. People have experimented with and also love White American Cheese, Provolone cheese, and Swiss (with grilled mushrooms).
When you add cheese to grilled burgers, you’ll want to only add it about 1 minute before removing from the grill.
How to Season Grilled Burgers
In some cases, such as this burgers on a grill recipe, it’s best to add the seasonings into the raw meat before grilling it. However, not everyone may like it seasoned the way I do so, over the years, I gradually reduced and eliminated some internal seasonings to get the best balanced amount to where all agreed they liked it the best. So, it’s a very subtle amount of initial ingredients (garlic and onion powder, S&P, Worcestershire sauce) in the meat. And it lets individuals add more of whatever they want on their own grilled burgers, e.g., extra salt.
Saving Time on Seasoning Burgers
Now, if you’re running short of time, do what I do. I’ll get the unseasoned ground beef patties slapped onto the grill to start cooking. I’ll run inside and grab the spices and sprinkle them about the top of each raw burger on the grill.
I’ll use very little salt, pepper, pinch of garlic & onion powder, and a splash or Worcestershire Sauce. Although not mixed into the meat, they still turn out as darn good burgers on a grill.
How to Keep Grilled Burgers Warm
You can keep grilled burgers warm in several ways. Don’t forget that the doneness continues to increase while keeping it warm if it’s for an extended period of time. Here is a variety of popular ways.
- If it’s just for about 5-10 minutes, you can keep it off direct heat, remaining on the grill off to the side or on the upper warmer shelf, if your grill has one.
- You can put them on an oven-proof platter or plate, cover it with foil, and set it the oven set to 225°F.
- You can set them on a microwave-proof dish and set your microwave on “Keep Warm” if it has that function. Don’t cover with foil, of course. But, if it’s going to be for longer than about 10 minutes, you can consider enclosing it with paper towels that will cover over all the burgers to help with moisture retention.
- Some have been known to just put them all in a big sheet of foil and close it up and set it off to the side of a still warm grill.
Time and Temp for Burgers on the Grill
The cook time and internal temp for burgers on the grill are dependent on these things:
- what heat control you have and the grill temp itself
- the distance of the meat from the direct heat source
- grilled burgers cook time
- grilled burgers internal temp
We now review all these items.
Controlling the Grill Temp
When you first place each hamburger patty on the preheated grill on direct heat, the typical initial temp might be around 375-500°F. As you continue to cook, it may drop to about 350-425°F. All of this depends if you have a charcoal grill, a pellet grill, or a more consistent gas or electric grill.
Controlling the Grill Temp Using the Grill Vents and Lid
You can control your grill temp using available vents by opening or closing them. You can also use the grill’s lid. You can remove it to let the upper heat quickly escape. Or, you can use it to snuff out some air (lid vent closed).
Controlling the Grill Temp Using a Water Spray Bottle
If your grill allows it, you can also have water in a spray bottle handy for quickly putting out excessive flames or mildly toning down a hot charcoal area. If using charcoal, you can spread out any charcoal that might be piled up a bit too high, which was causing higher heat. With gas or electric, it’s easy enough to turn the temp down.
The Distance of the Burger Meat from the Heat Source
In the case of burgers, you’ll want the usual distance to be anywhere from 3 to 8 inches from your heat source on a charcoal or gas grill. Although this isn’t a steadfast requirement, this is referencing a common distance when referring to direct heat. For indirect heat, of course, you’re not directly over a heat source, and the distance doesn’t apply as long as you’re still cooking off to the side (and the grill lid is on).
Grilled Burgers Cook Time
Cook times vary a lot but here is a generic guideline that might help you. It does vary with the temp of your grill grate and the distance from your direct heat source. For about 1/2-inch thick burgers, the following is a total estimated burgers on the grill time, including when you turn the burgers over.
- Rare: 2-4 minutes
- Medium-Rare: 6-8 minutes
- Medium: 8-10 minutes
- Medium-Well: 10-13 minutes
- Well-Done: 13-17 minutes
There are cooking timers (some include probe thermometers) based on better reviews or sales from Amazon. You can also find these routinely at your big box stores or Wal-Mart.
With experience of grilling burgers, you can tell based on the feel of the resistance when pressing a spatula down on a burger. A well-done burger will give the most resistance and doesn’t press down very far. A medium burger will press down a fair amount. All pressing down with a spatula will release a lot of juices usually. The best confirmation of doneness is performing an internal temp check with a grill thermometer.
Grilled Hamburgers Temperature
If the hamburgers aren’t too thick, it might be difficult to test the internal temp. But you can angle the tip of the thermometer when testing the meat’s center. Angling it gives you more meat contact. Also, it’s a good idea to test more than just one burger in order to get a more accurate “sampling size” of your set. However, it’s generally not necessary to check them all. I usually only check about 2 and sometimes 3 max. Here’s a good grilled burgers internal temperature guide regarding doneness. We’ve used the top end of the temps instead of a range for safety reasons.
An excellent reference work and study on time, temps, and food safety for cooking burgers was done by ThermoMeat.com. Check it out here.
Grilled Burgers Charcoal
Grilling burgers on a charcoal grill results in a fantastic flavor. The skill rests with managing the heat during the cooking process. All grills are different so here are some basic concepts to address while using your own techniques for your grill. It’s also a learned skill of when to flip the burgers.
When to Flip Burgers on the Grill
Manage flames, if any, to not become excessively long periods on burgers. Try to avoid flipping burgers for first 1 to 3 minutes, but don’t risk burning for this.
When sides become slightly browned and surface starts to show juices, it’s time to turn the burger. If flames were excessively a long time, you’ll need to turn them before this.
Also, when flipping a burger, especially the first time for each one, you especially want to use the spatula to scrape deeply into the grate’s surface. Your thinking can be you’re wanting to avoid the burger falling apart. Also, on the very first turn, the burger will want to “pull itself together” due to the shrinking process. Sometimes, on some burgers, I’ll just scoop inward about halfway and then back off as it pulls itself together. Then, I’ll finish scraping it off the grill coming in from a different angle. I usually only have to do this for when I’m making bigger skinny burgers for double-decker sandwiches.
Sides for Grilled Burgers
Having sides for grilled burgers is to understand what complements this kind of sandwich. So, let’s look at what goes with grilled burgers commonly.
Fast and easy things are shown here:
- canned, already seasoned baked beans
- regular potato chips
- French fries
- pickle spear
Also, here are some good recipe ideas for more substantial side dishes for burgers on the grill.
Nutritional Values of these Hearty Burgers
Conclusion of Burgers on a Grill
In conclusion, we provided all of this information in one article so you don’t have to click around for expanded details on cooking burgers on a grill. We hope you enjoyed it. Also, try grilled hot dogs with lots of ways to cook and prepare them.
And, here’s an article that covers grilling both hamburgers and hot dogs together. Or, below is just for hot dogs on the grill, stovetop, or other ways.
Please let me know (leave a comment below) if you want to see any additional sub-topic or more expansion on existing ones. I’m also very interested in your thoughts on how you cook burgers on a grill. Thanks for reading!