5 Quick Tips for "Outdoor Parties and Picnics"

Posted by Clarice Williams on

My Lunch Lady Blog

The following grilling tips are loosely based on recommendations found in Weber’s Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling.  

According to Weber’s Way to Grill: The Step-by-Step Guide to Expert Grilling, the ideal thickness for hamburger patties is ¾ of an inch. Thinner patties tend to overcook or fall apart on the grill, while thicker burgers may burn on the outside before they reach a safe temperature inside.

1. When it comes to grilling, it is important to know the difference between direct and indirect heat. Direct heat refers to when the fire or heat source is positioned directly under the food you are cooking. With indirect heat, the fire or heat source is still present, but it is not directly below the food. As a result, direct heat tends to cook foods faster than indirect heat

2. Direct heat is ideal for smaller and faster-cooking items that won’t over-cook on the outside before they are cooked through on the inside. Burgers, fruits and vegetables are examples of foods that can be cooked over direct heat.

3. When grilling, use indirect heat for larger items, such as roasts or whole chickens that require a longer cooking time. Indirect heat can also be used to finish items that were seared over direct heat.

4. Plain ground beef or turkey doesn’t have a lot of flavor, so be sure to blend in plenty of seasonings before forming it into hamburger patties. Basic additions like salt and pepper make a big difference, but why stop there? Worcestershire Sauce, very finely minced onions, garlic, and fresh rosemary add wonderful flavor, as well.

5.Tired of dry, boring burgers? The "secret" to juicier burgers is to select meat with a higher fat content. Regular ground beef or turkey is a great choice because it is higher in fat than ground chuck, ground round or ground sirloin. If the package isn't clearly labeled, don't hesitate to ask whoever is behind the meat counter to point you in the right direction.

For less "fatty" alternatives, add Worcestershire sauce and/or very finely minced onions to your ground meat before making into patties. Both add moisture to your mixture, so your burgers will be juicier (and will taste better) as a result.

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