Grilled Hamburgers

Dear Boys,

Here is proof that Dad cooks things other than ghoulash.

Yes, that was his go-to dish for several years.  Cooking wasn’t one of his main endeavors.  He was busy helping save the animal kingdom.

Now he’s working hard to teach others how to treat the beasts of the field, the fowl of the air and the creatures of the sea.  It’s a big job and doesn’t leave him much time in the kitchen.

He covered a lot of chemistry in his day, though, (took organic chemistry III as an elective!), and so much of cooking is chemistry that he can turn out some food when he needs to.

He let me follow him around with my camera when he made hamburgers the other night.  I am far more comfortable behind a stove  than the camera, so I missed a few shots and blurred others.  I am learning, though, and now have your dad’s tips for how to grill burgers.

DSC_0121First, you turn the grill on high for 5-10 minutes.  (This assumes you have a gas grill.  You’ll have to call Dad if you have charcoal.)

Then use a metal brush to scrape off any gunk on the grill.

DSC_0125Turn the grill to low

DSC_0133and place the hamburger patties on the grill.


Dad recommends ground chuck, by the way, for burgers.  I always think the leaner the better for all meat selection, but he said you have to have some fat in there to hold the burgers together and make them juicy and tasty.  He’s pretty much a cow expert, so I trust him completely on this.

DSC_0136Notice that the burgers are all placed on the upper left-hand side of the grill.

I learned later that this is important.  I’ll tell you why in a minute.

DSC_0138Next, he salted and peppered each burger.  It wasn’t a specific amount.  It looked like what you would do if you were seasoning something on your plate.

DSC_0160He said the next step is to close the lid and let the burgers cook eight or so minutes.  He advised flipping them as little as possible, saying they should mostly cook while they are on this first side and then just finish up on the other.

Here is where the empty corner that I mentioned earlier comes into play.

DSC_0191This is what happens when the fat from the meat falls into the flame.

The photo is very poor quality, but you get the idea.


Anytime I have grilled burgers, this has been a problem for me.

I have little fires popping up here and there all over the place.  Sometimes the outside of the burgers get burned before the insides have time to finish cooking.

Today is a new day, though!

I feel like I have been admitted to the Men of America Grilling Fraternity.  Or at least been given one of their secrets.

DSC_0174Dad said you save this corner for flipping the burgers.

While the burgers are cooking on that first side, a lot of the fat melts out of the meat and pools on top of the meat.

Dad gently picked up a burger with a spatula.

Then he brought it over to the magic corner and flipped it there.

DSC_0191This happened.

He let it set there just a couple seconds to burn off the grease.  Then he gently retrieved the burger and returned it to its calm, happy place on the other side of the grill where there is no flaming and burning of burgers.


He continued that process for each of the burgers until they were all back in their spots.

I asked him what he’d do if he were cooking for a real crowd and had enough burgers to cover the entire grill.  He said he would cook them in multiple batches rather than covering the entire surface.

Apparently, the “turning corner” is pretty important.

DSC_0160Then he closed the grill again and waited five or so minutes for the burgers to finish cooking.

DSC_0190He had a few that cooked faster than others.  He placed these on the upper rack to stay warm while the others stayed close to the heat and continued cooking.

DSC_0206In a short while, he had a plate full of juicy hamburgers,

DSC_0211and we had a delicious dinner!

I love all of y’all!



One response to “Grilled Hamburgers

  1. Pingback: Grilled Squash | Teaching My Boys to Cook·

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