11 Burger Mistakes Everyone Makes

Celebrate National Burger Day (today) by getting your shit together.

If you're doing any of these things, you're doing it wrong.

If you're doing any of these things, you're doing it wrong.

And she deserves better, guys.

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You don't buy the right amount of meat.

You don't buy the right amount of meat.

AND SO: You have to make tiny burgers and everyone is miserable and riots.

6 oz ground chuck = 1 burger. There are 16 oz in a pound.

(Number of burgers X 6 oz) / 16 = Total lbs of raw meat you need

For example:
4 burgers = 1.5 lbs meat
8 burgers = 3 lbs of meat
12 burgers = 4.5 lbs of meat

Your grill isn't clean and oiled.

Your grill isn't clean and oiled.

AND SO: Your burgers stick to the grill and you look stupid.

If your burgers are sticking to the grill, it's probably because there's a bunch of crap on there that shouldn't be there. To clean it, the basics steps are 1) start with a warm grill, 2) scrape clean with a wire brush, 3) wipe with an oiled paper towel.

Keep in mind that it's much easier to clean gunk off of a grill when it's still warm, so if it's your first cookout of the year (woot woot!), you'll need to heat it up and clean it before you start cooking. Otherwise, just clean your grill after each use while it's still warm.

Martha Stewart has a good set of directions on how to clean gas and charcoal grills.

You're not paying attention to the fat/lean ratio.

You're not paying attention to the fat/lean ratio.

AND SO: Your burgers aren't delicious and might not even be made of cow.

First, remember that once meat is no longer a cow, every step of processing and packaging introduces an additional chance of contamination. And let's be honest — especially in the case of shrink-wrapped, pre-pattied ground beef, there could be anything in there.

Sketchy, cheap ground beef won't necessarily make you sick. But when I have to buy and cook it (and we all find ourselves in that position, especially in rented summer houses in remote towns with tiny grocery stores), I cook burgers to medium to make sure to kill anything nasty. And that makes for a less delicious burger.

So get the best meat available that you can afford. That means ground chuck — and remember that the perfect ratio is 80% lean and 20% fat. Fat is important. And if you can, ask the person at the butcher counter to grind it fresh while you wait. That will make a huge difference.


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