How to grill the perfect burger


What's better than a thick, juicy burger fresh off a charcoal grill? Elias Iglesias, executive chef of Morton's, The Steakhouse, shares one of his delicious burger recipes and tips for grilling on a charcoal grill.

How to grill the perfect burger Tips for Grilling Burgers:

To get the most flavor out of his steak burger recipes, Chef Elias recommends using a charcoal grill.

  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Shape mixture into four half pound (8 ounce) steak burgers.
  3. Score top in checkerboard pattern
  4. Place steak burgers on very hot gas grill (500-600 degrees).
  5. Cover grill to cook evenly and sear in juices. Flip burgers with spatula half way through the cook time, depending on your preferred doneness. (Medium rare: 8 minutes total. Flip at 4. Medium: 10-12 minute total. Flip at 5-6.) Resist the urge to press the burger down. This will only release juices and diminish flavor.
  6. Close lid again and cook for the remaining 4-6 minutes.
  7. Use the “hand trick” to tell doneness of your steak burgers.
  • Medium rare: burgers should feel like the base of your thumb — spongy with a little bit of give.
  • Medium: burgers should feel like the middle of your palm — firmer.
Transcript <!--StartFragment-->

Hi, I’m Elias Iglesias, Executive Chef for Morton’s Steakhouse. And today, I’m going to show you how to prepare and grill the perfect burger.

First, you start with two pounds of freshly ground sirloin. You’re going to add half a cup of tomato juice, and that’s to make the burger nice and juicy. You’re going to add one egg, to keep it from falling apart, one teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of black pepper. That should make about four eight-ounce burgers.

Once you have the burger, it’s very important, and something a lot of people don’t do, is to cut some grid marks into it. This is going to keep the burger from becoming a big meatball when you put it on the grill. On a charcoal grill, you want to make sure that you light the coals at least 45 minutes before you need them. You want to make sure that the coals are a bright white before you put the burgers on the grill. And always use a spatula. Once you put the burger on the grill, remember: always cover it. This’ll ensure that all the stays in and around the burger, so that it sears up almost immediately, and seals all those juices inside. This step should take approximately five minutes before it’s even ready to turn.

After about four minutes, this burger should be about ready to flip. Once you flip the burger over, remember: resist the urge to squeeze it down. You don’t want to let any of those juices escape. And most importantly, put the cover back on.

At this point, the burger should take another four minutes for it to be ready. After about eight to ten minutes, this burger should be ready.

The best way to see if the burger’s ready, is with a simple hand trick. You want to compare the feeling in the burger, with that of your hand. A medium-rare burger will feel just like the spongy area under your thumb, while a medium burger will feel more like the center of your palm – less bounce, and a little bit more tight.

And there you have it: the perfect grilled burger. Enjoy.

meet theexpert
  • Elias Iglesias

    Elias Iglesias Executive Chef, Morton's The Steakhouse Elias Iglesias is the executive chef of Morton's The Steakhouse in New York City. more about this expert »

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