Top 10 Tips for Grilling the Best Grass-Fed Burger
That thick, juicy, grass-fed burger with all your favorite toppings. It practically screams summer, and it certainly tastes like it.
When you fire up the grill for your next barbecue, keep in mind that grass-fed beef is different than grain-fed beef, not only for its health benefits. The ground beef is leaner and that means cooking it just right requires some technique adjustments.
Here are our top 10 tips for grilling the best grass-fed burger:
1) Start with room temperature ground beef. The extra time your grass-fed ground beef sits on the kitchen counter before cooking is worth it. This simple step allows the beef to reach room temperature, which helps you avoid an overcooked exterior.
2)Give your grill time to get hot. Grass-fed burgers are best when cooked at high heat — at least to start. Preheat your grill, and then let the flame burn down somewhat to reduce the chance of a flare-up.
3) Add some fat. Grass-fed burgers do well with some high-quality fat brushed on them before you place them on the grill. This step adds moisture and keeps your burger intact, instead of stuck to the grill.
4) Consider veggie or sauce mix-ins. The full flavor of grass-fed burgers shines when you simply season with salt and pepper. But they are also tempting with caramelized onions or a hint of Worcestershire sauce mixed in, to add some moisture and change up the flavor.
5) Don’t overcook your grass-fed burgers. When grilling grass-fed burgers, stay close. That’s because grass-fed beef, which is leaner than grain-fed beef, tends to cook about 30% more quickly. That also means there is less fat to keep the inside of the burger juicy. But don’t worry. Just stay nearby and use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
6) Take the heat from high to medium or low. Start grilling your burgers with a quick, hot sear on each side. This step seals in the juices and gives your burgers those beautiful grill marks. Then, take the heat down to medium-low for the rest of the cooking time to avoid overcooking.
7) Resist the urge to keep flipping. You might think your friends will be impressed if you flip that burger over and over again. But resist the temptation or you’ll land with burgers that are dry. While you’ll need a meat thermometer to check for your preferred doneness, we generally start with cooking our grass-fed burgers for 3 ½ to 4 minutes on the first side.
8) Don’t press your burgers down on the grill. Pressing your burgers down on the grill is another common grilling temptation if you’re looking for evenly shaped burgers. But don’t do it! Flattening your burgers while they are cooking lets out all the juices. Instead, keep them thick and make a thumbprint in the center of each burger before you start to cook. This quick technique stops your burgers from turning into balls of beef while they’re grilling – essentially it helps them expand in a flatter way.
9) Cook grass-fed burgers medium-rare. We find that grass-fed beef burgers are so tender and juicy when cooked medium-rare. You can still accommodate other preferences. Just be sure to take the burgers off the grill before they reach your ideal temperature — they will keep cooking for a bit after you take them off the heat.
10)Let your burgers rest before serving. After you take your burgers off the grill, tent the platter with foil to keep them warm and leave them to rest for 8 to 10 minutes. The rest allows the juices to redistribute within the burgers.