Chef Reveals The Most Common Mistakes You're Making While Flipping Burgers On The Grill

With spring in the air, nothing feels better than breaking out the grill and treating your friends and family to some fresh burgers. While this iconic warm weather meal makes any cookout complete, novice chefs often fall into some deep grilling pitfalls when handling this item. According to Today, simple mistakes like cooking at the wrong temperature setting, overhandling the patties, and not using enough fat in the meat can all spell disaster when you tackle grilled burgers. Thankfully, Director of Culinary Operations at the Institute of Culinary Education, Frank Proto, spoke with Mashed about how we can avoid these issues.

According to Proto, some of the most dire mistakes any burger griller faces starts in the prep stages. Not seasoning the meat can immediately set your meal up for an imminent disaster. "I like to keep it simple, with just kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper," Proto said. "Make sure to put a nice dusting of salt and pepper, so you can see a thin layer of it." Once you have your meat properly seasoned, you can start addressing any issues that happen over your grill grate.

The perfect way to handle patties

When you need to whip up the perfect burger, you need to use the right heat setting for the beef. Failing to preheat the grill and not keeping the grate clean can undo any of your burger cookout plans. "This is one of the most important steps of grilling," Proto said. "The grill needs to be heated for at least 20 minutes and then cleaned with wire brush or scrubber. I also recommend lightly oiling the grill as well." Once you have your grill clean and preheated, you can start laying down some patties.

While everyone faces the impulse to show off and flip some patties in front of friends, avoid any temptations to overhandle your burgers. "A lot of home cooks will get nervous and try to move the burger before it's ready and the burger will stick to the grate or shred," Proto continued. "Have patience! The burger will release itself when it is ready. Test the burger's doneness by feel. If after poking the meat it feels soft, the burger will be rare, firmer means medium and very firm translates to well done." By following these sage words of advice, you can guarantee to end up with a great burger and can even gain some bragging rights at your next grill out.