How to Grill Hamburgers
Grilled hamburgers. I can’t think of a more American meal.
Us Cajun’s love grilling hamburgers almost as much as eating crawfish.
There’s not many things better than a grilled hamburger cooked over a charcoal grill. We’ve been grilling hamburgers for 40 years or more, and I’d like to think that we’ve gotten pretty good at it.
So here are some grilling tips and complete step by step preparation and grilling directions by Cajun cooking star Beryl Stokes along with her husband Mike.
There’s really nothing quite like a good hamburger. And a grilled hamburger is the best of all.
For many years we used regular briquette charcoal and lighter fluid. What a blessing to get a natural food supermarket in town. We discovered real hardwood charcoal that is made from the scraps of wood from furniture makers.
Natural hardwood charcoal is so much lighter than pressed together charcoal briquettes and much better for the environment and your food.
Another change we made, we stopped using lighter fluid. Think about it. You’re putting lighter fluid on chemically made briquettes and then cooking your very expensive steak on something you use to light a candle or cigarettes. Gross!
We started using a charcoal chimney instead of lighter fluid. With a charcoal chimney, you light your charcoal with two sheets of newspaper instead of a toxic petroleum product similar to gasoline.
A charcoal chimney is a piece of sheet metal formed into a cylinder with a handle and disk with holes to hold the charcoal. The charcoal is poured into the cylinder and two pieces of newspaper is placed in the bottom of the chimney. The crumpled newspaper is lighted, which in turn lights the charcoal.
In about 20-30 minutes, you’re ready to cook on a natural hardwood fire.
It’s kind of like cooking on a campfire, but it is much more convenient. Who wants to eat food off a gas grill? You’re just gassing your food. I don’t cook my broccoli directly over the gas stove burner. I put the broccoli in a pot.
I’m getting hungry. Come on and let’s get to grilling!
Grilled Hamburgers Recipe
• 1 quality grill (Old Smokey is our favorite)
• 1 bag of All Natural Hardwood Charcoal
• 1 bag of mesquite or hickory chips
• 1 charcoal chimney (available at any store selling grills or grilling supplies)
• 2 sheets of black & white newspaper, 1 long grill flipper, 1 grill brush (for cleaning the grill)
• 1 – 2 pounds lean ground round or sirloin (about ¼ lb per person)
• 1 bottle Smokey Maple BBQ sauce (whatever BBQ sauce you like)
• 1 sweet onion
• 1 ripe tomato
• Cheddar cheese slices, dill pickle slices or relish, shredded lettuce, ketchup, mustard, and mayo
• Seasoning – salt, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, and granulated garlic powder
Old Smokey Charcoal Grill
Start preparing your grill about an hour before you want to eat.
Scrape the grill with a grill brush to remove any residue from prior cooking.
In a small bowl, soak a handful of mesquite or hickory chips until ready to start cooking.
Loosely crumple 2 sheets of newspaper (the black & white section) and place under the Charcoal Chimney.
Place the charcoal chimney on the grill surface. Fill will charcoal.
Light the newspaper through the holes on the bottom of charcoal chimney.
Wait for charcoal to catch onto the flame.
(If the flames do not catch on the charcoal, repeat the newspaper step.)
In about 15-30 minutes the coals are ready for cooking.
Pick up the charcoal chimney using the handy handle and be sure to use an oven mitt (that handle gets hot).
Carefully remove the grill and set aside.
Pour the charcoal into the well of the grill. Spread around if needed with grilling tongs or spatula.
Spray your grill with cooking spray (away from the flame) to prevent the meat from sticking. Place back on the grill base.
Prepare the hamburger patties by evenly dividing the meat.
Either form the patties by hand or use a hamburger press. (I’ve had Tupperware hamburger press for 20 years.)
Do not overly handle the ground meat to prevent your hamburgers from being tough.
Season with sea salt, Tony’s Creole Seasoning, garlic powder and top with your favorite sauce.
Place your prepared meat evenly around the grill surface. Close the damper and put the top on.
For ¼ lb hamburgers, cook on one side for about 5 minutes.
Remove the cover and flip the hamburger with a grilling spatula. Drizzle on BBQ sauce.
Cover and cook again for about 5-8 minutes.
For melted cheese, place slices directly on the hamburgers and put the grill cover back on for about 1 minute.
Remove the cover and place the hamburger patties on a clean platter.
(Never use the same platter as used for the raw patties without a thorough cleaning.)
Add burgers to a toasty bun and pile on your favorite condiments.