Grilling Tips

by Chef John Rivers


4 Tips For Grilling The Perfect Burger

When it comes to grilling the perfect burger, a little goes a long way, and with the right tools, precision and a few special ingredients, you’ll be on your way to burger grilling glory in no time.

1. The Perfect Meat

The first place to start when grilling the perfect burger is, you guessed it, picking the perfect meat. In my experience, I have found the Omaha Steak Private Reserve Angus Burger to be the quintessential blend of juiciness and tenderness, as well as having the overall structure and density that is expected of high quality beef (a.k.a. it cooks and tastes great).

5PR angus burger

Omaha Steaks Private Reserve Angus Burger

2. Seasoning

Next, you have to determine whether you would like to add any seasoning. Some people insist their burgers to be plain, but I prefer to use some seasonings to add zest and keep the meat moist. You can also salt the burgers, as it brings out the natural flavors and helps the beef develop a delicious crust. However, salting the burgers too early will drain the juices, eventually drying out the meat, so be sure to salt them just before they are put on the grill.

3. The Cooking Process

Now you are ready to get cooking, make sure the grill is clean, oiled, hot and ready to go. To ensure the crust is excellent, start off by searing the burgers over high heat. Once the crust has formed, move them to the cooler part of the grill to cook. When cooking, do not press down on the burgers, this causes the juices to ooze and eventually dries out the burgers.

4. Are We Done Yet?

To determine whether or not your burger is ready, you can poke the patties, which will range depending on whether you want them medium-rare (soft), medium (semi-firm), or well-done (firm). You can also find out visually based on the juices, if they are coming out of the top of the burger it is medium, when the juices are cooked and look less red, it is medium-well. If you’re like me, you use both techniques.

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About the Author

John Rivers’ diverse career experience spans two decades and ranges from managing a billion-dollar pharmaceutical distribution operation to opening one of the fastest-growing new restaurants in the southeast with his Texas-inspired 4Rivers Smokehouses in Winter Park, Winter Garden, Longwood, East Orlando, Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida. Rivers is scheduled to launch his first cookbook, “The Southern Cowboy” in the fall of 2014 and has appeared on NBC and FOX morning shows as well as The Good Life Network. Among others, Rivers has been celebrated nationally on Food&, and in Cigar Aficionado, Restaurant Business, FOOD Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine the Paula Deen Magazine and was most recently named as a finalist for the 2014 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

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