The return of backyard grilling season means plenty of burgers are on the horizon. Ensuring that warm spring and summer nights bring tender, juicy burgers and not dry, dense hockey pucks has to do with both sourcing and technique. Chowhounds share a few simple tricks, starting with buying the right ground beef. Tip number one: Avoid extra-lean grinds. The higher the fat content, the moister the patty. A burger with beef that’s 80 percent lean (i.e., 20 percent fat) is luxurious and juicy, Brandon Nelson explains on Chowhound.

Minimal handling is just as important. Form the patties gently, compressing as little as possible. Making an indentation in the middle of each will prevent it from puffing up and will allow it to cook evenly, mike0989 says. And don’t press the patties with a spatula as they cook—that just forces out the juice. Keep in mind there’s carryover cooking time, so pull the burgers off the grill just shy of your target doneness. They’ll be just right when they hit the table, cstr says.

If you just can’t resist buying lean ground beef, try adding a bit of water to it, valerie says. A little extra moisture helps even well-done burgers stay juicy.

Check out this CHOW video for a helpful burger how-to.

Discuss: Hockey puck or juicy burgers

Photo by Flickr member jasonlam under Creative Commons

See more articles