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5 tips for the best grilled burgers from Executive Chef Louis Pechan

Food & Drink (& recipes!)

Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of the summer season. Many of us will be firing up the grill and enjoying good food, fun friends, and sunny weather. We asked our Ebell Executive Chef Louis Pechan for tips on how to make the best grilled burgers. Here are his suggestions:

1. Use ground beef that’s between 15% and 20% fat. More than 20% fat will make a greasy burger and less than 15% fat will make a less flavorful less juicy burger.

2. Make sure your beef is cold when making the patties and dip your hands in cold water before forming them. This will keep the fat in the meat from melting which will prevent the burgers from getting tough (and your hands won’t get as greasy.)

3. Form the patties quickly and delicately. Handling the meat less prevents it from becoming dense.

4. Don’t season the meat until you are ready to grill it. As soon as you add salt to the ground beef it starts to lose moisture. So, if you’re going to grill your burgers immediately after forming the patties, go ahead and salt and pepper the mixture (but don’t mix too much!); if not, then wait and season them just before grilling.

5. To prevent your burgers from being rounded in the middle during cooking, the secret is to make a depression in the middle of one side of the uncooked patties. Make your patties like usual, then push in the middle third of the burgers to 1/2 the thickness of the rest of the patty. Grill the burgers first on the flat side (the side without the depression). The flattened area will swell to become the same thickness as the rest of the burger, then flip and grill on the other side as usual.

As we recognize the blessings of fun, friends, and food, we also keep in our hearts and minds those who gave their life in military service and we honor their service and their sacrifice. We wish you a safe and joyful Memorial Day Weekend.

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