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How to Grill Burgers

Learn how to prepare and grill burgers in this video from EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine, plus get tricks and tips on the best way to use your outdoor grill and barbecue. From our collection of Step by Step cooking videos.

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-Hi, I'm Terry Singh, the food editor here at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. And today, we're going to be talking about everyone's favorite summertime activity, grilling burgers. We've actually got some turkey patties here as well as some beef patties and some onions that we're going to be grilling up. And just some fix things for your burgers. And the first thing that you want to remember about grilling is you'll always pre-heat your grill. You want it to turn it on with all burners up on high. This will, number one, give you an opportunity to clean the grill as you don't want any leftover bits stuck to the grill. You don't want them on your food and it also prevents the food from sticking or keeps the food from sticking. So, my grill is up about 400 degrees which is perfect. And first, I'm going to brush the onions with a little bit of olive oil. Again, this will help them keep from sticking. And if you'd like, you can also skewer the onions which might help them from sort of falling apart and just for ease in flipping them. But this look nice and compact so I'm not that worried about that. All right. Just take your tongs and open up the grill. And I'm going to stick these over indirect heat. Now, let's clean that for you in just one second. And when you're grilling, make sure you line things up in an order in which you'll remember. So in this case, I'm working from left to right, from bottom to top. And I'm also going to add the turkey patties. And the reason why I'm putting all of these on first because they take a little bit longer to grill than the beef patties. The turkey patties, however, I'm going to use with the spatula here and add this over direct heat. The turkey patties will cook for about 8 minutes in total, so about 4 minutes and you're going to want to flip them. And make sure to cover your grill when you're actually like doing the cooking because what the grill does is sort of act like an oven. Set this down here. And it just keeps the heat circulating so you don't lose the heat which will, number one, change the cooking time if you leave it up and it also might prevent the center from cooking through and sort of burn the outside which is definitely not what we want. And I've mentioned earlier that there's a difference between direct and indirect cooking. For most foods that take around 15 minutes to 20 minutes, you're going to want to use indirect heat which allows it to sort of cook in a more like oven-like surrounding and what that does is prevent the outside from burning but allows you to still maintain enough heat so you'll cook all the way through it to the middle. And so for something like a beef patty where you might want to eat it medium rare and that sort of thing, you can do it actually over direct heat the whole time and that will just burn the outside or char the outside-- excuse me-- for a nice, smoky flavor without cooking through all the way to the middle. Whereas for the turkey burgers because you want them cooked completely through, you're going to want to start them on direct heat so they get that nice and sort of charred outside and then finish them off on indirect heat which is where the onions are. So, this will also take about 10 minutes. So, the turkey burgers and the onions have been on for about 1 minute or 2 minutes. And I'm going to add the beef patties now. This will take about 4 minutes to 6 minutes depending on how rare you like your burger. And as you can see from this indent, I've sort of just press my thumb to create a little valley if you will on the burger patty. And what this does is it helps the burger from doming while it grills and it just makes a nice sort of smooth top to the burger patties for placing your condiments on. And these, again, I'm also going to cook over direct heat. I'm just going to use my hands because these are firm and a little bit easier to work with. And again, I'm going to close the grill to keep the heat inside. So the burgers have been cooking for about 3 minutes to 4 minutes and I'm going to check on them. And the heat is still about 350 degrees which is great. All right. And they smell fantastic. And one tip to keep in mind when cooking burgers is that if they-- when you slide the spatula underneath, if they don't release naturally on their own, then they're probably not ready to be flipped. And if you've got any flare-ups, bad ones at least, it always good to keep a thing of course salt near the grill to sprinkle it over if needed but this will die down. You're going to cover up the grill again and let it cook for another 3 minutes to 4 minutes. And at this time, this is when I usually stick the buns and the cheese on top because you want the cheese to melt during the last minute of cooking. When flipping the burger patties, be sure to use a new spatula especially when working with poultry like chicken or turkey. You don't want to cross-contaminate the patties. And so I started with this one for the turkey patties. I'm using this guide actually to flip them. I'm going to remove the onions from the grill and then add the cheese and buns. So, let's take these guys off. Another thing that's tempting to do when you're grilling burgers is sort of to press down on the burgers to release the juices. That is not a good idea. You want the juice to stay in the patties because that's what keeps them nice and juicy and prevents them from drying out. These onions look fantastic. And I'm going to toast some of these buns, but I'm also going to show you a great tip that we learned from our test kitchen director to just warm the buns. And the buns are also going over indirect heat so that you don't char them on the outside. Add slices of cheese. If you're worried about the cheese sort of dripping off the burger patties, you can always cut them a little bit smaller than the patties. And again, be sure to add this in the last minute of cooking as you don't want them to actually melt off the patty. I am going to close up the grill and just let it go for about another 1 minute. And here is a great tip that I was talking about warming up the buns. As the cheese starts to melt, I'm going to add the top part of the bun to a few of these guys. And then, invert the bottom part of the bun on top and this will just warm them through. So for those of you that don't like toasted buns, do not stick with the toasted bun. And just close this up again for just a few more seconds like 30 seconds or so. So, we've grilled the onions. We've added the cheese. We're toasting the buns. We're warming the buns. And the patties should be done. So, I'm going to check on everything and take them off if they're ready. All right, everything looks great. So, I've got this platter here. And again, I'm going to use the same spatula I used to flip them in touching the cooked meat and not the raw meat. You can see the bottoms are nice and toasted for those of you that like toasted buns. Grab these turkey patties from the back. And we're going to clean the grill in a bit too. So, it's best to do it at the end of the grilling so that everything is sort of nice and so it can be easily scrape off with the grilling brush. So, I'm going to add lettuce and tomato and these great grilled onions to my burger. All right, thanks for watching and happy grilling.