Braden Family Cookbook
CHARCOAL-GRILLED HAMBURGERS Cook’s Illustrated
Weighing the meat on a kitchen scale is the most accurate way to portion it. If you don’t own a scale, do your best to divide the meat evenly into quarters. Eighty percent lean ground chuck is the favorite for flavor, but 85 percent lean works, too. If you start with a chuck roast or steak, ask the butcher to grind it twice and expect some weight loss—2 to 3 percent in our experience—to the grinder. Toasting the buns is an easy extra flourish; just split them open and lay the halves cut-side down on the grill rack for the last 45 to 60 seconds of the hamburgers’ cooking time.
1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
1. Ignite about 6 quarts (1 large chimney or about 6 pounds) charcoal and burn until coals are completely covered with thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread coals evenly over grill bottom, position grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium-hot (you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds).
Turn all burners on gas grill to high, close lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes. Follow recipe for Charcoal-Grilled Hamburgers from step 2, grilling patties 3 minutes per side for rare, 3 minutes on the first side and 3 1/2 minutes on the second side for medium-rare, or 3 minutes on first side and 4 minutes on second side for medium.