How to make sure no burger, steak, or chicken breast gets left behind.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: May 28th, 2012
emorial Day is this weekend and it's unofficially the start of grilling season. If you're a seasoned (pun intended!) pro, you probably won't need this article, but if you're new to grilling, you can use this as a guide for how to cook meat on the grill without giving your BBQ guests salmonella from undercooked chicken or a shoe-leather-burned piece of steak.
Grilling is easy, and now that it's summertime, it's time you learned how.
When you make a burger, don't go for the lowest fat content ground beef you can find. You want a little fat so that the burger is juicy - 80/20 or 85/15 is best. 90/10 can be a bit dry. For the sake of not advising you to eat turkey burgers (which some people will say are good, and yeah, they sometimes are, but let's face it: beef is better), let's just stick to beef. Form patties with your hands—make them a little bigger than the buns you bought, since they'll shrink when cooking. Using your thumb, made an indentation in the center of the patty, so that it won't bulge in the middle while it cooks. The indentation insures the patty will cook evenly without getting too thick in the center. If you want, you can add seasonings to the burgers, but keep it simple: a little salt and pepper is fine.
Cook the burgers over high heat (so that that nice crust and grill marks will form), and to attain a medium-rare/medium doneness, cook the burger for about three minutes on each side. Don't press down on the patty with your spatula (this gets rid of the meat's juices, and you don't want that), and you really only need to flip it once.
When the burgers are done, let them rest a few minutes before serving. This gives the juices a chance to get back into the meat. If you don't let the meat rest, the first bite taken will yield the juices oozing onto the bun and making all your hard work basically useless.
Steaks are a little trickier than burgers to grill, but there's no need to be afraid. First things first: you'll want to make sure the steaks are at room temperature when you're ready to cook. Take them out of the fridge about an hour before you want to grill. If you want, you can use a steak rub before grilling, but as with burgers, we prefer simple salt and pepper.
As for doneness, let's assume your steaks are 3/4" thick. For rare beef, you'll want to grill four minutes on high heat, then flip and let cook two more minutes. For medium rare, four minutes, then flip and let cook for three minutes. For medium, cook five minutes, then flip and grill for three more minutes. Finally, for well done steaks (we can't see why you'd want a well done steak, but to each his own), you'll cook the first side for seven minutes, then flip and cook five more minutes.
To get those grill marks everyone loves, about halfway through each side's grilling time, turn the steak 90 degrees.
Chicken breasts are also easy to grill. Oil the grates on your grill so they don't stick and season the chicken as you see fit, then place them on the grill. Cook one side for two minutes, then rotate 90 degress for the grill marks, then cook for three more minutes. Flip, and grill the other side for two minutes, then rotate again for the grill marks, then let cook for an additional 2-4 minutes. Let the chicken rest before serving, and you're all set!