Spring has officially sprung, which means burger season is in full swing...or should be. Even if you look outside and it seems like maybe Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow after all, don't despair. When you have a Traeger, it's always burger season.
Here are some great tips to help you perfect your burger craft:
1. Use good meat
Your burger will only be as good as the meat that you put into it. Makes sense, right? Lean meats make for dry burgers.
2. Don't over pack or overwork your burger!
If you want a burger that is tender and moist, don't over pack it. Using wet hands, gently form the meat into patties. The more you handle and squash your poor burger, the sadder and tougher it will be.
3. Make 'em big
Size your burgers a bit bigger than the bun to accommodate for a little shrinking as the meat cooks. This will help you accomplish that perfect burger-to-bun ratio. Also, use your thumb to make a dimple in the top of the burger to help create an evenly-shaped burger.
4. Season aggressively...
BUT don't season it until just before you grill it. There are varying opinions about this. Some like to mix the seasoning throughout the meat and others like to only season the outside. Allow me to submit an argument for the latter. Adding salt into the patty mix breaks down the meat proteins, forming a tighter more sausage-like burger. If you want that tender, juice-down-your-chin bite, restrain your salt shaker hand until just before you toss them on the Traeger. But at the end of the day, what matters most is that you make a burger that you love to eat. So do whatever makes your burger-heart sing.
5. Make sure the grill is hot
Preheating your Traeger is CRUCIAL. Make sure the Traeger is nice and hot before you put on those beautiful beef patties. It will help you get that perfect sear on the outside to hold in all that moisture and help prevent the burger from sticking to the grill.
6. LEAVE IT ALONE
Once it's on the grill, leave the burger alone. Well, you are allowed to flip it once. And resist the urge to squash the burger with a spatula. You're just pushing out that precious, tasty juice! Cook about 2 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes per side for medium-rare, 4 minutes per side for medium and 5 minutes per side for well-done.
7. Toast your buns
Simply putting your buns on the Traeger for the last minute or so of cooking gives them a toasty crunch on the bun and adds a delicious dimension of texture to your burger.
8. Melt your cheese
During the last minute or two of cooking, put your cheese on top of the burger so that it gets all gooey and melted.
Top the burger with your favorite toppings and bite in!
Here are a few of our favorite burger recipes:
Jalapeno-Stuffed Bison Burgers
Tandoori Chicken Burgers with Cucumber Sauce