Summer’s on its way and that means its burger grilling season! In all fairness, in our house, we grill year round, after all, who can resist a perfectly seasoned medium-rare hamburger?! Here’s our favorite go-to burger seasoning mix recipe . . .
Size and Shape Matters
First, let’s talk about a few pointers for ensuring the perfect juicy burger. One of the reasons we love burgers so much is that it’s one of the few times where a cheaper, fattier meat is better than a leaner, more expensive meat. To ensure a great burger, opt for an 80/20 lean/fat ratio in the ground beef.
Prior to shaping your patties, you’ll want to add a bit of the seasoning blend to the ground beef itself, to incorporate the delicious flavor throughout every single bite of the burger. I’ll share my super secret (dirt cheap) method for forming the perfect burger patty… I use the lid from my peanut butter jar. Line it with a piece of plastic wrap and then put the burger into the lid, pack it down gently, lift up the plastic wrap to remove it. Repeat as needed.
The Juicy Secret
There’s nothing worse than a dry burger, so here are a few tricks to ensure juicy burgers loaded with flavor.
If you’re an avid griller you already know that your steaks should be left out for at least 15-20 minutes prior to grilling to ensure that the meat is room temperature so that it grills evenly, so you might be tempted to do this with your hamburgers as well. This is a big no-no!
Once shaped and seasoned, you’ll want to return the patties to the refrigerator for about 10 minutes to ensure that the fat within the burger is good and firm. Room temperature patties will cause that necessary fat to melt too quickly, creating a dry, crumbly textured burger that requires far too many condiments to properly enjoy.
Just prior to cooking gently press your thumb into the center of each burger creating a light depression well. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you to molest your burger- when the burger starts to cook, the juices will well up to the surface, this slight indentation catches them, preventing the juices from running over the sides and allows it to be reabsorbed back into the burger, where it belongs.
Once the Grill is hot and you’re about to put the burgers on, let me offer one last piece of advice . . . be sure when you cook the burger that you only flip it over ONE TIME and for god’s sake, DON’T press on it with a spatula to squeeze out the juice unless you’re looking forward to eating a hockey puck. In addition to halting the searing process, greatly hindering the flavor, flipping it more than once dries the burger out.
If you intend to add cheese to your burger, place it on immediately after you flip it. Don’t be tempted to wait until it’s nearly ready to add the cheese or the burger will be over-cooked and dried out by the time the cheese properly melts.
Burger and Fries Grilling Mates Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup salt
2 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1/2 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 Tablespoon pepper
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
1/2 Tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Combine the ingredients in a mason jar, zip close bag, or other container of your choice, seal it tightly and shake well to thoroughly combine. We generally use 1-2 teaspoons per pound of ground meat (mixed right into the beef), then another sprinkle on each side of the burger prior to grilling.
This seasoning blend is fantastic when shaken onto fresh hot french fries or roasted potato wedges too!