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The 12 Secrets To Making And Grilling Hamburgers – Perfect Every Time!

After many years of trying, and with several failed attempts, we have finally figured out the secret to making and grilling hamburgers. 

No more dry and brittle burgers, no more under-cooked and red centers, and no more chewy and flavorless chunks of meat. 

With the picnic season now in full force, we wanted to share the 12 secrets for not only making, but also grilling hamburgers at home. With just a few simple tips, you will be making the best burgers right in your own backyard!

And once the word gets out, you might just become the new grill master for your entire neighborhood!

grilling hamburgers
The end result of the secrets to grilling hamburgers

The Secrets To Making And Grilling Hamburgers

1. Use 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef.  The fat content is important as it will break down during the grilling process and provide extra flavor for the hamburgers. Not to mention, if you use a leaner cut of beef the burgers have an increased risk to sticking to the cooking grates.

2. Take the thawed beef out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you make your patties. This helps the patties adjust to warmer temperatures before being formed and placed on the hot grill. 

3. Season the ground beef before you form your patties. Many people make the mistake of adding the seasoning on each side of the hamburger, however, it is best to add your seasonings before making individual patties so that the spices can be incorporated throughout the burger. 

seasoned ground beef
Ground beef sprinkled with seasonings before being made into burgers.

4. Don’t overwork the ground beef when you are making your patties. You want to form the patty with your hands, but not squish the meat together forcefully. 

5. Make the patties slightly larger than the size of your bun. There will be some shrinkage when the burger is grilled and you don’t want to end up with mini-burgers. 


6. Place a small pat of butter on top or in the middle of each hamburger – the butter will melt and add additional flavor and moisture to each patty. This truly is the best secret to grilling hamburgers!

making and grilling hamburgers
Be sure to add a pad of butter on top of each burger.

7. Make a thumbprint indention into the center of each hamburger. When grilling, the center expands upward and if you didn’t put a divet onto each patty, you would end up with a dome top. 

8. Place the patties on a hot grill to sear the meat, which will help keep the hamburgers moist once cooked. 

Flip One Time!

9. Turn the hamburgers one time only!  One of the biggest mistakes people make is to flip the burgers over and over again.

Place them on the hot grill and turn them after 4 or 5 minutes. You will know if they are ready to be turned if you can easily slide a spatula under them.

If they stick to the grill, they are not ready to be turned. Once turned, grill them for an additional 5-6 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. Again, flip only one time.

10. Remove the hamburgers from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to filter back inside the meat. 

grilling hamburger
The burgers are ready to be flipped when they pull away from the hot grate easily.

11. Never press your hamburgers down with a spatula or a meat press. This forces the juice out of the meat and results in a dried out burger.

12. If you are going to add lettuce to your hamburger, place the lettuce directly on top of the bottom bun. This will keep the bun from getting soggy once the burger has been added. 

And that is it! Follow these simple tips and your grilling season just got that much better!


Mary and Jim

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