Grilling burgers method

Discussion in 'Grilling Tips' started by duggy, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. Hey all

    Every time that I've tried grilling burgers I've had to deal with flare ups. I read articles on using indirect heat or closing the lid so the fire goes out by itself but neither really worked for me. With the indirect heat, the burgers seem to be cooking too slowly and with closing the lid, by the time I open it again the burgers seem burnt. 

    Some people told me to freeze the patties the night before but I would like to know if there's any other way. Am I simply doing indirect heat the wrong way (putting the charcoal on one side of the grill and grilling the burgers on the other)?
  2. Try using a grill basket along with a bed of coals large enough so you can move the burgers back and forth if there's a flare-up.

  3. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    First sear both sides over the coals-

    Then move them to the other side of the grill and cover to finish cooking to 165°-

    I usually use 85/15 ground beef and have few if any flare ups. If you are using 80/20 burger then you will get flare ups as the fat drips onto the hot coals, if you are using 75/25 the flare ups will be almost constant.


    jaybone likes this.
  4. pgsmoker64

    pgsmoker64 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Dang Cliff, those are some tasty looking burgers!

    I usually cook indirect until it's time to put a little crust on the burgers, which doesn't take long!

  5. that should do it every time.
  6. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    i wouldnt freeze them....if you do that then even as they start to thaw it'll take you much longer to cook the inside and you'll end up burning the outside.

    i usually make sure i have plenty of room on the grill. When flare-ups occur its usually when alot of fat has collected in one area from one or multiple burgers dripping into it. So when this happens i'll usually move the burgers in the "flare zone" to a another spot in the grill and usually the flair will go out pretty quick once the fat has burned. so if you want to cook over direct heat the whole time just have room to move them around so you can "dilute" the grease pools.

    another trick i've i do is when i see the grease pool on top of of a patty...i'll slowly tilt the burger to allow the grease that is there to slowly fall off and flare...this usually results in a smaller flare up to which the fire burns down quicker, instead of having a larger pool or multiple pulls fall into the fire at the same time..
  7. I use 85/15 and have very little trouble with flair up. I do cook with the lid on the whole time except for 1 flip halfway through cooking. I usually grill my burgers over high direct heat crisping the outside but leaving the middle at a nice medium rare. I do clean my grill very well at the beginning of spring and again at the end of fall as I use it all year round and don"t want any build up. I never freeze my burgers before cooking but I do take the meat right from the fridge to the grill while they are still cold as I feel this just helps them to keep their shape and not fall a part on me. I do agree with others always leave enough room to move them around if needed. 
  8. hova1914

    hova1914 Smoke Blower

    I cook my burgers like my steaks. Flash cook on direct heat, let cook and smoke on indirect heat. 
  9. The trick is getting a nice ash buildup on them first. Get em good and hot after they are more grey than black put the top on for a bit to calm the fire. There will still be plenty of heat but it will be under ash. Then burgers on the grill and you should be good to go. Don't be afraid of a few flareups.
  10. I had the problem of over cooking hamburgers on the grill but went to the reverse sear and they come out great now. Also use no more than a 85/15 hamburger meat or it will seem dry, 80/20 is best for a great juicy burger. For any flare ups, a little spray bottle with a dense fine spray will put out most flares for at least a short period of time. A little mixture of water and your favorite cooking wine or even beer will flavor the burger while your playing fireman.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  11. Yep!
  12. paul01

    paul01 Newbie

    Sometimes i cook my paneer tikka like this. Flash cook on direct heat, let cook and smoke on indirect heat. 
  13. jeffed76

    jeffed76 Meat Mopper

    I like this idea. I have an offset smoker but the spot nearest the intake is super-hot.  I think I'll sear them there and then move them off to smoke.  Thanks paul01!
  14. greg b

    greg b Smoke Blower

    That's a great tip Carlos! It took me awhile to learn to wait and let them temp stabilize before putting the food on.

    I always offset cook on the grill. Yes it takes a little longer but the food is so much better! Even if I'm doing burgers, I let the coals get completely ashed over then throw a couple wood chunks on top. MMM mm MMM![​IMG]
  15. marteenhook

    marteenhook Newbie

    I also face many problems to grilling burgers. But after this post I will do it better,
  16. newbsmoke

    newbsmoke Fire Starter

    Not trying to steal the thread but I always have a problem with them falling apart when I make my own patties.... Any suggestions?
  17. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wrap the outer edge of the patty with a strip of bacon? Usually if you'll just sear 'em first instead of trying low and slow you'll be ok. Normally you are grilling a patty, not smoking it low and slow.
  18. A few things.

    Clean your grill well, if you have an old grill rough/rusted, you will have more difficulty but it should not be impossible.

    Let the meat cook you do not need to look and flip and move if your fire is prepared well. You know when one side is done when the juices start to form on the top(Well done wait for them to start "pooling") meat releases itself from the grill. If you put the spatula underneath the burger and it does not want to come right off, one of many things is wrong. Not letting it cook long enough; Fire too hot; etc...

    The meat should be handled 3 times to done. 1.On the grill 2.flipped (add cheese at this moment) and the grill.
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  19. Double post
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013

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