Last year our gas powered barbecue grill met its end in a pretty lackluster affair no giant flames or the like- we simply had to move on. Because of it our backyard grilling has never been better- more on what change we made in a second, but first a ‘hot’ spring time grilling tip:
Stick a Thumb in your uncooked meat and get a better burger
Chef Bobby Flay has some great advice in his article Chef Secrets: Bobby Flay On Making The Perfect Burger. Simply make a 1/2″ depression in your 3/4″ meat patties with your thumb- almost all of the way through . This keeps them from growing too much in the middle- and helps your husband not to squash them down and dry them out.
You see, because the meat prep and the actually grilling are often done by two different people in our house (I prep, Matt grills) with this tip I get to do a perfect preparation on the meat – and HE feels like he did a great job grilling-we’re ALL happy, and he feels like a man…. Don’t you just love how the guy gets all the credit for making dinner if he flips the burgers on the grill and you do all of the real work?
In the article, Flay says:
One it prevents flying saucer-shaped burgers – you know the ones I am talking about: all puffed up and bulging in the center. What’s the thing you want to do when you see one of those? Press it down with a spatula as it cooks. And what happens when you do that? All the juices run out and you end up with a compacted, dry hockey puck. So, two, making the indentation in the patties helps keep your reflexes in check and ensures juicy, moist burgers. As the meat cooks and expands, the depression magically disappears, leaving you with beautifully shaped and cooked burgers.”
This mom blogger’s charcoal Grill of choice
Anyway we bought a round charcoal grill at Lowe’s last year kind of like the one below in shape (but not style) and without the gas ignition system (which would be nice).
Why we switched to charcoal:
- You can smell the charcoal burn- and they’ve got flavors if you check out the selection at the store!
- It takes a little bit more time to light up – making it more of a social event
- No ‘dangerous’ propane tanks
- The hot coals are a visual treat (well they are!)
- The coals burn AFTER your meat is off- so you don’t feel like you are wasting natural gas when you’re burning residuals off the grill
- The meat is infused with a great smokey flavor that you can NOT get with propane
- The neighbors smell it and get jealous because you’re all retro