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• Last updated: September 10, 2021

How to Grill the Perfect Burger

Comic guide of grilling a perfect burger.

Smoke wafts through the air, there’s a cold beer in your hand, and the smell of freshly cut grass drifts by on the breeze. Nothing beats a summer barbecue, and when it comes to grilling, there’s just no substitute for the perfect burger.

Unfortunately, grilling burgers is an essential grilling skill that lots of people don’t have (and don’t even know they don’t have). Burgers aren’t meant to be football-shaped balls of meat, hidden within the recesses of an oversized bun. Nor should they be dry and filled with non-burger ingredients, like breadcrumbs and eggs. They should be juicy and thick, but not too thick, and seasoned with basic ingredients that don’t hide the burger’s true flavor. If that sounds like a burger you want, read on.  

Before you start grilling your perfect burger, make sure to start with the best meat possible — a freshly ground mix of 80/20 chuck. Chuck is a cut of beef and 80/20 means that 20 percent of the ground beef is made up of fat. Any less than 20 percent fat and the burger tends to be too lean, which will make it come out dry. Once you’ve got your meat, it’s time to start grilling.

Grilling the perfect burger

1: Clean and preheat your grill to about 450 degrees.

2: From six ounces of beef into a patty a bit wider than your bun size.

3: Create a shallow dent in the middle of the patty with your thumb.

4: Season your patty with salt, pepper, and a bit of olive oil.

5: Oil your grill and cook patty for three minutes before turning.

6: Take your patty off the grill once it reaches 140 degrees for medium, or 150 for medium-well.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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