It’s summertime and there’s no better way to celebrate it than having a cookout with family or friends in your backyard. When it comes to a Sunday afternoon cookout, nothing beats the experience of being around a fully-loaded grill, especially if you’re grilling our beloved hamburger.
Whether you are cooking for a big neighborhood party or a small get together of friends or family, you must master the technique of grilling hamburgers on a charcoal grill to cook the perfect hamburgers. By learning the art of grilling the perfect hamburgers, you can amaze your friends or siblings with your grilling skills the next time you host them over at your place for a ‘grill out’.
So, how can you prepare big, juicy mouth-watering hamburgers on a charcoal grill? You can do it by referring to this guide; it covers everything needed to grill the perfect hamburgers on a grill. This includes the ingredients and techniques needed for preparing and shaping the patties, the steps to prepare the grill, and finally the method to grill the hamburger on the charcoal grill.
Preparing the Hamburger
There are several recipes for making a hamburger. However, the classic recipe has the following ingredients:
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- Two pounds ground beef
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
These are all the ingredients you need for preparing a big, juicy mouth-watering hamburger patty. However, you will have to season the patty and you can do it in two ways. If you’re looking for convenience, Weber’s Burger seasoning would be the best choice.
However, if you want things to stay all ‘natural’, then you can prepare your own seasoning by mixing paprika, onion powder, salt, seasoned salt, garlic, and pepper. Once you have prepared the seasoning, mix all the ingredients listed above, including the seasoning, in a large bowl.
Giving Shape to the Patties
If you want to know the secret to making the perfect hamburgers on a charcoal grill, then pay careful attention to what we’re going to explain next. The best way to shape a hamburger patty is by making sure that its thickness is less than 3/4 of an inch. Also, your hamburger patty should have a small hole poked through its center.
The reason why you need to make your hamburger patty as thin as possible is that it will cook faster and won’t be charred before it is cooked all the way through. On the other hand, poking a small hole in the center of the hamburger patty will ensure that the center of the party is cooked all the way through. The best part is that once you are done with the cooking, the hole in the patty will be negligible, especially if you cover your hamburger patty with cheese.
Preparing the Grill
If you’re grilling hamburgers on a charcoal grill, then you’ll require a whole lot of patience. However, as you gain more experience with grilling hamburgers on a charcoal grill, things will become extremely easy for you.
If you don’t know much about preparing a charcoal grill for cooking hamburgers, then the best charcoal you can use for cooking hamburgers is the charcoal that lights up instantly without any lighter fluid. If this is your first time grilling, then you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration by using the above-mentioned charcoal type.
While the charcoal mentioned above isn’t the best type of charcoal available today or a charcoal type that is recommended by experts, it will ensure that you cook the hamburger patty fast and serve it to guests before they exit out of your front door.
Another important thing to keep in mind before you start grilling is the basic safety tips for cooking on a charcoal grill. If you are cooking indoors, then make sure that your grill is at least five to ten feet away from other objects. Additionally, make sure that your kids or pets are nowhere near the grill while it’s burning. If you have kids or pets who like to run around the house and are hard to control, then you’d do well to have a fire extinguisher in place just in case something goes haywire.
On the bottom of the grill, position a piece of crumpled newspaper and then depending on your grill’s size, cover the newspaper with between fifty to sixty pieces of charcoal. The pieces of the charcoal should be arranged like a pyramid.
Use a BBQ lighter or a long match to light the newspaper and ensure that the pieces of charcoal placed over the newspaper catch fire. Till the time the charcoal pieces start to turn into ash, keep the lid open and let them burn. It generally takes ten to fifteen minutes for the charcoal pieces to turn into ash. However, the time may be less or more depending on weather conditions if you’re cooking outdoors.
When the charcoal pieces are slightly ashed and turn white, you can start to cook the hamburger patties. Spread these charcoal pieces across your grill’s bottom and start cooking.
Grilling the Hamburger
If you’re looking to cook hamburgers on a charcoal grill, then there are many different methods that you can use to get grilling. However, a proven method for cooking hamburgers on a charcoal grill is placing the hamburgers on a metal aluminum tray until they are cooked all the way through.
By using a metal aluminum tray to grill the hamburgers, you will ensure that the burgers do not stick to the grill or fall apart. Additionally, this technique for grilling hamburgers will help minimize flame flare from the leaking grease that burns burgers on the outside. While using a metal aluminum tray is not necessary. This precautionary step makes sure you grill a good-looking hamburger that isn’t burnt or cooked raw.
Ideally, you should cook the hamburger for five-to-eight minutes on both sides. When you notice the bottoms looking hallway cooked, you can get ready to flip. To ensure that the heat does not escape and cook the burgers faster, close the lid of the grill. However, keep checking the burgers after every 30 seconds to make sure they do not burn.
How long the burgers take to cook will depend mainly on the hotness of the grill and the thickness of your patties. Remove the burgers from the foil pan and place them immediately on the grill grate once you notice the burgers are almost done. By placing the burgers on the grill grate, you will ensure grill marks on your hamburgers as well as a ‘charcoal flavor’ to them. This is perhaps the best time to add the cheese, as it will easily melt onto the burgers.
When cooked to a 160-165 ° temperature, hamburgers are done and ready for eating. If you grill often and want to ensure that you don’t overcook or undercook the meat, then you’d do well to buy a digital meat thermometer. This is the only way you can truly know if your hamburger is done or not. Also, once your hamburger is done, you will notice that the hole you poked into the center of the burger is pretty much gone.
Also, you should read important information about internal meat temperatures provided by the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service; this is crucial for maintaining food safety. There is no guarantee that a burger has reached a safe temperature if it appears brown on the inside, so you’d do well to read and follow the given guidelines.
Now, depending on your personal preference, you may want to cook the hamburger to a medium-rare, medium, medium-well, or a well-done level. Following is how you should grill the hamburger for each of these grilling preferences:
Medium-Rare: Grill one side of the patty for3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 4 minutes
Medium: Grill one side of the patty for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 5 minutes
Medium Well: Grill one side of the patty for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 6 minutes
Well Done: Grill one side of the patty for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 7 minutes
Once you have cooked the patty to your preference and the cheese melts onto the burgers, you can start to serve the hamburgers to your guests. Also, if you want, you can garnish the burgers with onions, pickles, mayo, ketchup, tomato, lettuce or any other thing that you’d like on top of your hamburger patty. Have a great time!