One of the great American pastimes is cooking burgers for your family or a big group of friends on an outdoor grill.
Not only is it a great chance for everybody to spend time together, but it also means everyone gets fed a delicious meaty meal.
The only issue with this fun activity is that most people think they’re much better cooks than they actually are! How many times have you been to a barbecue and eaten undercooked or burnt food?
Well, if you follow the steps in this handy guide, you can become an expert in the best ways to cook burgers on a propane grill.
In general, it’s best to cook burgers on a propane grill at a temperature of around 375°F-400°F.
However, cooking the perfect burger isn’t as simple as finding the right temperature and leaving them to cook. Read on to find out all the best tips for perfectly grilled burgers…
Choosing The Right Burgers
Before you even fire up the grill, you’ll need to think about what kind of burgers you want to serve at your next barbecue.
The type of meat you want to grill is an important consideration. Beef is the most common option but turkey and chicken burgers offer a slightly healthier alternative.
The main thing you want to think about when it comes to beef burgers is the level of fat content in them. Most store-bought ground beef or pre-made burgers will have an indication on the label of what percentage fat is in the beef.
A burger with more fat is going to be less healthy than a lean one but these will tend to taste worse. Fat is what makes burgers juicy and delicious so you’ll probably want to have at least some in there.
20% fat content is usually a good balance between making the burgers taste good, while still keeping them somewhat healthy.
In general, though, the decision of what type of burger you want to serve is down to you and your barbecue guests. If you don’t know what type of food your guests will prefer, you’re probably best off getting a variety of different burgers to cover all your bases.
Seasoning Your Burgers
If you’re making the burgers yourself from ground meat, you can easily add your seasoning into the burgers before shaping them and it will be evenly dispersed throughout.
However, if you’re cooking burgers that you’ve bought pre-shaped from a store, you can still add your seasoning to the surface of the burgers just before you cook them.
What seasoning you use is all down to personal preference. Salt and pepper are a definite staple and plenty of grillers believe this is all the seasoning you need to let the meaty flavor shine through.
However, things like paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and dried herbs can be wonderful additions to your burger patties and allow you to experiment with a variety of flavors.
Cooking Your Burgers On A Propane Grill
Once you’ve chosen the meat for your burgers and seasoned them thoroughly, there’s nothing left to do but cook them!
Start by firing up your propane grill to high heat. Even if your grill doesn’t have a thermometer to tell you what temperature each setting indicates, just have it turned on as high as possible to start off with.
It’s best to keep the lid closed while the grill is coming up to temperature and use this time to prepare your ingredients and your workstation.
Once the grill reaches 400°F (you should probably invest in a food thermometer to help you out with this), you can reduce the heat slightly so that it sits around 375°F.
Then, simply lay your burgers on the grill, trying to keep them fairly close together, without them touching. Some grills will have spots that are slightly hotter than others, so it’s best to keep all the burgers roughly together.
Close the lid on your burgers and leave them to cook until they’re about halfway done. You should flip the burgers once to make sure they get evenly cooked on both sides but try not to flip them any more times. If you flip the burgers too many times, you could risk them falling apart.
How To Grill Burgers To Different Levels Of Doneness
You’ll probably have heard of chefs cooking meat to levels of rare, medium, or well-done but what do these terms actually mean?
This simply refers to how long the meat is cooked for and what internal temperature it eventually reaches.
This simple guide can tell you how to cook your burgers to different levels for your guests:
- Rare: 2-3 minutes per side (125-130°F)
- Medium: 3-4 minutes per side (130-140°F)
- Medium-well: 4-5 minutes per side (140-150°F)
One piece of equipment you might want to think about getting is a food thermometer. These devices often have a needle that you can insert into your burgers to check exactly what their internal temperature is and take all the guesswork out of how cooked they are.
Here are a few extra considerations you should keep in mind when grilling your burgers:
- Toast the buns on the grill before assembling the burgers. This way, they won’t go soggy and become messy to eat, and will also provide a nice crunchy texture.
- Make sure the grill is hot and the burgers are cold before adding them. This will help to prevent the burgers from falling apart when you flip them. Forming the patties the day before and refrigerating them overnight is a good way to achieve this.
- Add any cheese during the last 30 seconds of cooking. Try to use appropriately-sized slices of cheese to make sure it stays squarely on your burger and only add it for around 30 seconds at the end of the cook, otherwise, it could burn or end up not melting properly.
Like we said at the start, grilling burgers is a really fun activity that can bring a large group of people together for an enjoyable meal.
Plenty of grill-gatekeepers will try to scare you off by overcomplicating the process and making it seem more difficult than it is.
In reality, grilling is easy and the steps we’ve outlined in this guide are simply there to help you make your burgers as delicious as possible.
Have fun grilling!