How To Grill the Perfect Burger

How To Grill the Perfect Burger

How long do I grill a burger at 400 degrees? And What temperature do I grill a burger? These are two of three very important questions you need to know. The third is what kind of ground meat makes the best burger. Lets get started on these very opinionated topics.

Lets start with the ground meat!

Having the freshest ground meat will give you the juiciest and freshest tasting burgers. If you are fortunate enough to have a home grinder this can be an easy hill to climb. I do prefer 75% lean grind. What this means is 25% of the meat you will use is fat cap. The other mixture I prefer is an 80% beef and 20% pork. If I am grinding this will be my choice. If you do have to use a meat market for your ground beef, let them know what your cooking and some places make up a special grind for just grilling of burgers. 

Once you have your ground meat and its time to prepare the patties. Lets look at the size of patty for what your going to cook. Some decisions are needed to be made at this point before you ever get to the grill. For instance if you like the flavor of the juices dripping down and hitting an open fire you may want to make sure your patty is a touch thinner and the heat is a little less than 400 degrees so you can get the medium temp range and still stay 145 internal. If you don't the flames will add to much heat/flame/char to the surface and start to dry it out. Resulting in an overcooked patty on the outer surface while the inside isn't finished. Lets look at cooking on a gas grill, a pellet grill, and even a live fire but using an off set method. Any of these will produce a very fine burger and you can even start your burger over the live fire and get some flame kisses on the meat then transfer it to an off set position.

Now lets look at how to make your patty. If you want to add some spices to the internal part this would be a good time. I love our Grilling Addiction and our Texas Bark for this. Be sure not to over work the meat while adding the spices. What will happen is the fat will warm up and start to stick to your hands. Then less fat for juice and flavor when eating (note this would be a good time to add some shredded cheese). Next lets work on having a consistent size of patty. One popular way is to use an ice cream scoop. While this works, it just doesn't make a large enough patty for me. I have a wooden spoon that is cupped just perfect for this. I can scoop the same size each and every time. Lay the ball of ground meat on a piece of wax paper. Once you have all the ground beef balls done. Place a second sheet of wax paper on top. Using a flat cookie sheet slowly flatten them out to the desired thickness. 

How long do I grill a burger at 400 degrees?

This is pretty hard to answer till you know what your end goal is for the final creation. What I'm trying to say is the time required to grill a burger depends on desired level of doneness and other factors, such as the thickness of the patty and the grill's temperature, but here is a good rule of thumb you can use:

  • Rare
    5–6 minutes total, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 125°F and is completely pink
  • Medium-rare
    6–7 minutes total, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130–135°F and is lightly browned near the crust
  • Medium
    7–8 minutes total, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140–145°F and has a slightly pink center 
    You can use our instant-read thermometer to check the burger's internal temperature.
    Then starts a whole new set of questions. What type of bun will I choose to use, what sauce or dressing serve on it, what veggies do I have to go on it, what sides goes with my creation, and many more. But thats it for now.