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Last year, we polled FN Dish readers: Burgers or hot dogs for Memorial Day weekend? While 44 percent said they would be indulging in both, 35 percent said they were all about the burger. To ensure you cook up tender and juicy burgers this upcoming long weekend, we asked the “Magician of Meat” Pat LaFrieda, Jr. to offer up some tips.
5 Things to Avoid Doing to Your Burger
• Never place your burger on a grill that is not preheated. Always make sure your grill is hot enough and ready to cook on before placing the burger down. Too often people turn on the grill and immediately place the meat down to start cooking — and the end result is never pretty. If the grill is preheated to the right temperature, you’ll notice the difference.
• Never ever press down on your burger patty! That’s one of the worst things you can do when cooking your burger on the grill. Juices will be released and you will end up with a dried-out version of what should be a delicious, tender and juicy burger.
• Avoid flipping the burger patty too often. There’s a misconception that you need to flip the patty on the grill over and over again while cooking. You don’t and you shouldn’t. The best-tasting burgers result from just two flips on the grill to cook the meat through just enough — and to achieve those beautiful grill markings we all desire.
• Don’t top it with everything under the sun. The star of the show on that grill is the meat, so let it speak for itself. When it comes to topping a burger, it’s always best to keep it simple. A nice slice of cheese, tomato and some lettuce, and you’re good to go.
• Don’t close the grill hood. Make sure you keep the grill hood open. Closing the hood will overcook your burger; it’s best to keep the hood up and open to allow the meat to remain moist and tender.
Catch Pat LaFrieda, Jr. and his family on Meat Men: Monday 11 pm eastern/10 pm central