Summer Grilling Tips: Outstanding Burger & Steaks
Warm weather brings the scent of dinner cooking on the grill. Whether you’re grilling burgers for a big crowd or steaks for your family of four, grab your apron and spatula, and follow these summer grilling tips from the experts in the Stauffers meat department.
Prepping Your Grill
You can choose the best cut of meat and season it perfectly, but you can also ruin a great meal by not taking the right steps to get your grill ready to go.
Make sure it gets hot! Start by pre-heating your grill for 15 – 25 minutes, until your grill reaches 400° F. After the grill is hot, brush your cooking grates clean with a good grill brush and season your cooking grates with fats or oils before grilling.
Grilling a Crowd-Pleasing Burger
There’s nothing better to feed a big crowd in the summer than perfectly-grilled burgers. Follow these tips to get them just right!
- Start with 80/20 beef. That designation means the beef consists of 80% lean meat and 20% fat. A higher fat content results in a juicier burger.
- Form your patties bigger than your bun. They will shrink upon cooking.
- Salt both sides of your patties to draw moisture to the surface. Don’t mix salt into your beef mixture beforehand.
- Indent the center of each patty with your thumb to avoid a “balloon” burger when grilling.
- Don’t give your burgers too much attention. Burgers cook best when they have sustained, uninterrupted heat.
- Cook ground beef burgers to an internal temperature of 160° F.
If you don’t have time to mix and form your own patties, taste test a few of Stauffers Signature Burgers.
- Classic American cheese slices are perfectly acceptable for burgers — sometimes simpler is better.
- Avoid using hard or aged cheeses, which can turn out greasy instead of melty.
Beyond Ground Beef
For something new, try these alternatives to the standard ground beef burger:
Turkey burger — Ground turkey is lean, which means it dries out easily. Use Worcester sauce, soy sauce, or even Sriracha to keep it juicy when grilling.
Lamb burger — To avoid a burger that’s too “gamey,” create a mixture that’s half ground lamb and half ground beef.
Buffalo burger — Buffalo meat is lean, so it will cook quicker than beef (approximately one-third faster).
Portobello burger — Vegetarians love “burgers” too! Remember to remove the gills from the portobello.
Grilling A Perfect Steakhouse Steak
Steaks are perfect for a special occasion or a simple weeknight dinner. Here’s our advice for grilling a steak that rivals any steakhouse.
Know Your Cuts
Choosing a great cut of meat is the first step to grilling success. Filet, Ribeye, and Porterhouse cuts are great for grilling.
Filet — These steaks are cut from the center of the Beef Tenderloin. They are the most tender beef steak and have a delicate beef flavor.
Ribeye — These come from a center cut from the Delmonico. They are tender and moist with a rich prime rib flavor.
Porterhouse — These steaks are a Filet Mignon and New York Strip steak combined, with the bone still in place.
Want more options? Stauffers offers a wide variety of Signature steaks.
Prep & Grilling
You don’t need to do anything fancy when grilling steaks, just follow a few simple steps.
- Remove your steaks from the fridge about 20 minutes prior to grilling (keep them covered) to reach room temperature.
- Brush each side of your steaks with oil, salt, and pepper.
- On a pre-heated grill, cook for 4-5 minutes on the first side, then 3-5 minutes on the second side for a medium rare finish (5-7 minutes for medium or 8-10 minutes for medium well).
- For steaks, we recommend a medium rare finish cooked to an internal temperature of 130-135° F. Below is a list of degrees of doneness. Find your favorite:
- Rare — 125° F
- Medium Rare — 130-135° F
- Medium —135-140 ° F
- Medium Well — 145° F
- Well Done — 155° F +
Keep in mind that all steaks will continue to cook and increase 5-10 F in temperature after removing them from the grill and allowing them to rest.
Take a Rest
Allow your steaks a rest time of 3-5 minutes before slicing or serving. Letting the meat rest allows juices to reabsorb into the meat. Place your meat on a plate or serving platter to rest and cover it loosely with foil. For best results, do not wrap the foil tightly.
Tips for Your Other Grilling Favorites
If you don’t favor burgers or steaks, we’ve got tips for grilling pork, chicken, and turkey as well.
We recommend that pork is cooked to medium rare or medium. Below is a list of degrees of doneness:
- Medium Rare — 145° F
- Medium — 150° F
- Well Done — 160° F
Chicken or Turkey
- The minimum safe internal temperature to cook chicken or turkey to is 165° F.
- If you’re using ground chicken or turkey, internal temperatures should be at least 175° F.