Before the burgers go on the grill, be sure to press your thumb into the center of each patty, pushing it halfway down. This is the real secret to a perfect backyard burger. This is because as the meat cooks, the fibers expand and they inflate the burger, turning it into a ball. If you make the depression with your thumb, the meat expands to fill the hole, leaving the burger flat.
A hot grill also is important to getting a great burger. Be sure to heat it with all burners on high (or wait until the charcoal is covered with a gray ash), then clean the heated cooking grates with a brass-bristle brush. Reduce the heat to a medium just before placing the burgers on the grill. You should hear a satisfying sizzle when the meat hits the grates! Cover the grill and flip the burgers just once halfway through the cooking time.
The meat will initially stick to the grill grates. But as it cooks, it will naturally release itself. This is true of many foods and all protein, whether you are grilling or sauteing it. This is why it is so important not to flip the burgers more than once, as well as why so many burgers end up falling apart when they are flipped too early. And it should also go without saying that pressing down on the burgers with a spatula is a no-no, too!
CLUB HOUSE BURGER WITH BUTTERED BUN
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 pound ground sirloin
1 pound ground chuck
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Coleman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
6 kaiser rolls, sliced
6 crisp butter or Boston lettuce leaves
6 slices purple or sweet onion, such as Vidalia