Burger Grilling Tips for the Perfect Burger & my California Burger Recipe

by Suzanne on June 6, 2011

in Beef, Savory

California burger | www.you-made-that.comIt is burger grilling season for sure!  Summer is here to stay well… at least at  my house it is.  It’s already above the 90 degree mark so cooking outdoors is a must.  I think you could just throw your burger on the cement and it would probably sizzle, but if you want those pretty grill marks you might want to stick to the gas grill or charcoal grill.

It seems from Memorial Day to Labor Day and many celebrations in between call for a grilled burger.  Why is the grilled burger so popular?  Because it’s usually rather cheap and easy to cook…I use the term “easy” loosely, because we have all been to a “burger burn party”  or the “tasteless cardboard burger party”, too many of those to count. So how do you get a tasty, not burned, juicy burger grilling party that your friends and family don’t secretly dread to come to?

California burger | www.you-made-that.com

Here are a few tips that will help you grill the perfect burger-

  • Start with good meat- Ground chuck that’s freshly ground from a butcher you trust (or that’s ground at home) is a good place to start. You may also experiment with mixtures that use different cuts, but you can’t go wrong with chuck—it has the right fat content for a juicy burger. Go no leaner than 80 percent. If you have to go leaner add egg whites and or breadcrumbs to add moistness.
  • When forming the patties- Make 1/2  to 3/4 in. round patties with depression in the center, with thicker edges and a thinner middle, the swelling will eventually even things out for a perfectly round flat burger.
  • Season the meat, season the meat, once more SEASON THE MEAT!- Heavy on the salt and pepper makes a great burger, or use less salt and added soy sauce to makes great seasoned burgers. It’s next to impossible to season the meat after you have grilled the burgers. If adding spices,bread crumbs or egg to patties do not over mix the meat or it will become tough and no one likes a tough burger.
  • Grill on “high” not “smokin hot..burn mode “- it’s more important to put a few burgers on the grill at a time and keep the temperature even than it is to put them all on at once and try to feed all your guests at once.
  • Turn your patty once not 2 or 3 times, this will ensure maximum juiciness. Avoid pressing down with the spatula while on the grill, all the juices that keep the meat moist will run out.
  • Keep a water spray bottle handy to spray on the grill for hot spots or flare ups.

Now, for the recipe I’m calling the California Burger, for obvious reasons California grows amazing avocados that make this burger seriously good.  There are some other secrets to the tastiness of this burger they begin with spices,then a special sauce that some people call fry sauce (if you’re from the west) plus crispy thick bacon, jalapeno jack cheese with tomato and sweet red onion (optional). My daughter said this burger was the best she had ever had in her life, not that 15 3/4 years is  a long time. As for me when the kids like something I’m usually pretty happy, because they are the hardest ones to please around here next to my little Pomeranian.

Burger Grilling Tips for the Perfect Burger & my California Burger Recipe

1.5 pounds of ground chuck
1 T. soy sauce
1/2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 T. dried minced onions
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
If using leaner meat or ground turkey add-
1/3 cup of panko bread crumbs
1 egg white

Hamburger Fixin’s
2 avocados sliced
1 tomatoes sliced
red onion slices
leaf lettuce washed and torn
8 thick slices of bacon cooked crispy
4 slices of jalapeno jack cheese

Special sauce:
Equal parts mayonnaise and BBQ sauce
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of each mixed together.

Step 1: Mix spices and dried onions together in small bowl, take meat out of container lay on a platter and sprinkle half of spices over the meat.  Flip meat over and sprinkle the remainder of the spices on top.
Step 2: Mix soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce together and sprinkle half on each side of meat.  With your hands mix the meat together (if using bread crumbs and egg add now), divide meat into fourths begin to form the patties.
Step 3: Turn on the grill and let pre-heat for 5-10 minutes while meat is resting in the refrigerator.  When the grill is heated up spray cooking oil (optional) on grill and put the patties on and grill for 4-5 minutes per side.  If  you like your buns toasted then toss those on the grill right before you’re ready to take the burgers off.
Step 4: When the burgers are done, slather on the special sauce on the buns and load on the toppings and enjoy!
Serves: 4

California burger fixings | www.you-made-that.comCalifornia burger | www.you-made-that.comCalifornia burger | www.you-made-that.com

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1 Raul Pacheco June 6, 2011 at 1:15 am

Thanks for the burger grilling tips. Love your website!

2 Suzanne June 6, 2011 at 3:16 am

thanks my friend.

3 Aimee June 6, 2011 at 9:08 am

I love burgers. I really love putting avocado on my burgers too! Thanks for the grilling tips.


4 Suzanne June 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Your welcome Aimee, isn't avocado the best pretty much on anything even pizza its good too.

5 Aleks June 6, 2011 at 9:14 am

Yum, yum, yummy! I love homemade burgers. I'm such a burger snob I refuse to order them at a restaurant. This makes me crave one 🙂

I'm your newest GFC follower – I found you through basilmomma's blog hop 🙂 If you'd like, feel free to visit either of my blogs!

busyworkingmama.com (mommy/giveaway blog)

recipeobsessed.com (recipes only – I LOVE to cook!)

6 Suzanne June 6, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Aleks, its okay to be a burger snob, its called you know that yours is better 🙂 I'm kinda like that too with cakes tho, I tend to think mine is best!

7 Lynn Burton June 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

Look's like another yummy dinner. I didn't think about the Soy Sauce.

8 Suzanne June 6, 2011 at 1:19 pm

thanks Lynn hope you try it, the soy sauce is great in it!

9 Liz June 7, 2011 at 7:02 am

Oh, this is one heavenly burger!!! All my favorite toppings, plus I love the additions to the chuck. YUM!

10 Peggy June 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

This burger looks fantastic! Thanks for all the great burger tips too =)

11 Kimby June 8, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Hi, Suzanne! Just checking in from basilmomma’s blog hop! I enjoyed your site and your perspectives on blogging (May 10th post, I think?) Very true. Motivation is KEY. Sounds like your “commentless” break paid off — you have an easy-to-read, relaxed style of writing! Nice to “meet” you — thank you for the grilling tips — that burger is calling my name… 🙂

12 Kimby June 8, 2011 at 12:55 pm

P.S. Your Chocolate Marquise looks delectable! Will be checking your Daring Baker’s Challenge recipes after I get done hopping!

13 sarah June 9, 2011 at 7:53 am

Will try these tonight – I'm a bit worried about spraying the grill as it's heating up – I had a friend that the fire went into the can and it exploded, burning off only his eyebrows and hair, which grew back, thankfully. I tend to take a little bowl of olive oil and a napkin soaked in it, and paint it on right before adding my meats.

14 Suzanne June 9, 2011 at 10:19 am

Sarah, probably the safer thing to do than spraying while the grill is heating up, thanks for telling the story

15 Lisa June 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

Looks to be one of the Best.Burgers.Ever. So juicy looking and perfect! I love all the spices with the sauces. Another great recipe of yours I’m filing away for making 🙂

16 Suzanne June 9, 2011 at 10:27 am

thank you Lisa!

17 Sherri@FoodBasics101 June 9, 2011 at 9:58 am

Hello Suzanne! I found you through Basilmomma's Blog Hop. I love your logo design. I've never had a burger with avocado on it. I may have to try it. Have a great day! Sherri

Facebook- http://tinyurl.com/3nd53r4

18 Suzanne June 9, 2011 at 10:24 am

Nice to meet you Sherri, glad you stopped by, and thanks for the compliment. Bob Suh is a friend of mine if you are interested in a design I know he would be happy to work with you. And never had a avocado on a burger wow that is almost un heard of, you must try it out!

19 Reeni June 11, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Your burger looks amazing Suzanne — I would love to sink my teeth into it! Thanks for all the tips — I'm off to vote – good luck! So happy you turned on your comments too!

20 The Culinary Lens June 19, 2011 at 6:57 am

I do not know how I skipped over you last week when I was checking the links from Basilmomma. Sometimes the most basic tips are the best. There is nothing to beat a simple juicy burger.

21 Suzanne June 21, 2011 at 9:42 am

glad you popped by for a visit, your right about a juicy burger.

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