Home Cooking 41

Why can't I cook a proper hamburger on my grill?

carbonel | Aug 20, 2011 05:39 PM

The number of my failed or only moderately edible hamburger attempts is now in the double digits. Recently -- apparently through dumb luck -- I managed to nail it. Today, however, my hamburgers were once again undercooked. I've read countless web sites, magazine articles, and cook book articles about how to grill the proper hamburger, and am probably overthinking it. But still... isn't this like the most basic American dish?

At this point, I'm using 90/10 ground beef to make sure there is enough fat. (I would prefer to use the maximum lean stuff, but want to master a basic burger first.) I purchase the freshly ground patties from the store. Each patty is approximately .4 pounds.

Preheated gas grill on high. Uncovered. Approximately five or six minutes on the first side until the sweat appears. Then I flip and cook the other side for a few minutes on the grill before moving the burgers to the bun rack near the top of the grill. I cook them until they reach 160 on two cooking thermometers, and then remove them from the grill for at least five minutes.

Usually, when I pull them off the grill, the cooking thermometers are shooting past 170, which makes me paranoid that I've overcooked them. I use two different thermometers just to make sure the reading is accurate, and STILL they're not coming out the right way.

Tonight, I was sure that I had overcooked the patties. They were on a high heat grill for much longer than most recommended recipes, and the thermometer suggested that they were *well* over 165. But, sure enough, when we bit into the hamburgers they were still pink inside.

I guess I should have just designated one patty as a testing patty to make sure the pinkness was gone, but this is driving me crazy. I'm great with steak, I can bake a mean loaf of ciabatta, and my omelettes are almost always right on the money. But I can't, for the life of me, master the simple hamburger.

What am I doing wrong?

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