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Burger Help

I've been cooking on my BGE for almost a year now but I struggle with burgers. I've tried them at all temps, direct, raised direct, but still get major flare-ups due to the fat in the ground beef.

Any tips for successful burgers on the BGE?

Thanks for your help.
Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
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Comments

  • Don't feel bad.  You're not alone.  I've had my LBGE for 4 months now and this is the one cook I haven't had consistent success at.

    Damascus, VA.  Friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail.

    LBGE Aug 2012, SBGE Feb 2014

  • FockerFocker Posts: 1,474
    edited November 2012
    A cast iron griddle is a great addition for burgers, direct or raised direct.  Keeps the burgers from drying out by searing and somewhat frying in its own juices.  Also eliminates the acrid, burnt grease taste. 
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    Brandon
    Quad Cities
    "The most important ingredient in cooking is restraint."--Chris Bianco

  • Try this, a reverse sear. I use my CI grid on the fire ring, plate setter legs up, drip pan on the setter, SS grid, stabilized egg at 250 max. Use your choice of smoke if you like smoked burgers. I cook the to an internal of 135-140. Depending on burger size this may take 30 to 40 minutes. Because of the low and slow start, the burger will take on the smoke if you use it, so use sparingly. They will hold their shape and will not shrink as much as they do with a hot sear. Pull them off, remove the SS grid, drip pan and setter, open the egg lower vent and take off the daisy wheel to heat the egg quickly. Once at 400-500, I put the daisy back on fully open. 
    The CI grid is already hot, so this will only take one or two minutes. Drop the burgers on the CI grid to color the outside and provide a nice crust. Cook to internal of 150-160 (Adjust if you like your burgers cooked a little less) Still juicy as the fat has not been driven out of them. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Thanks for the help, guys. It looks like starting with a lower temp is the way to go. 
    Sarasota, FL via Boynton Beach, FL, via Sarasota, FL, via Charleston, SC, via The Outer Banks, via God's Country (East TN on Ft. Loudon Lake)
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,239
    I like to grind my own meat, (slightly freeze first), then season the meat before making the patty.  Form the patty loosely with lots of air in it, put a dimple in the center like a "Certs" candy to counter act the meatball bulge you get from cooking, then I cook to about 135.  Sometimes I'll do a reverse sear.  Throw some cheese on about 3/4 of the way cooked.  The air space helps hold the juices and give it a good texture.  If you cook your burgers more done, use a higher fat content.  And what skiddy said.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • Further to what Nola says, my butcher thought I was crazy when I asked for 80/20 or even 75/25 ground beef. Canadians all seem to want extra lean 93/7 ground beef. 
    Local guy gives me a call now and tells me he has 10 pounds of 80/20 for me. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Skiddy do they rate it in fat content out your way?

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,239
    I almost forgot to mention the fish sauce - mix some of that stanky funk into the meat before you make your paddy.  Don't tell anyone who hates fish sauce - they'll just think they taste better than usual.  Umami burger.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • LS - yes, they do rate by fat - it is on a sign and sometimes on the package. Regular is 15% fat, Lean is 10% fat, extra lean is 7.5%. I have no idea how they actually determine the fat content, other than the experience of the kid running the grinder.....
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,239
    They can't afford to test each batch so It's a formula based on the meat grade and the cut.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • We just get the regular, lean and extra lean here

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Raise the grid at minimum to level with the hinge. Get your fire about medium high, not flaming but consistently well lit evenly and close the bottom vent. Leave the top open and cook your burgers. Leaving the top open lets the "burned fat smoke" dissapate so as not to "oversmoke" your burgers.
  • I don't know what temp you're trying to cook at but this is the easiest I've found (can walk my wife throught this one on the phone on the way home :).  Open the bottom up all the way, top 5 on daisywheel open....This should make 400 +/- (what we like to call a happy egg).  Throw em' on, flip em once, add cheese. This provides a consistent easy cook.  If you're having troubles hope this helps to get a baseline for you.
  • Don't feel bad.  You're not alone.  I've had my LBGE for 4 months now and this is the one cook I haven't had consistent success at.
    The one downfall of the egg is that it doesn't cook a load of burgers real well. A few are great but too many just don't work out in my experience. My wife always thinks it is an easy cook. We don't have a gasser.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • For whatever reason, I have had no issues with hamburgers and those on the Egg are better than any I have ever made by far. I usually cook around 400. No daisy wheel and bottom open about an inch or so. I cook until I see grease bubbling up on top and then flip. I do find myself turning more often and moving around to less hot spots but they still taste great.
    Clarendon Hills, IL
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 4,875
    One tip is to keep the dome closed more.  If you are opening too much and trying to fight flare ups, you are sort of swimming up stream because the oxygen is fueling the flare ups.  Just shut the dome and walk away.  If you see obvious hot spots you may need to move things around, but be quick! 

    One other tip I learned recently that I like is using less lump for "grill mode".  This gets the coals further from the grid, and it also allows your fire to spread out more to get a more even cooking area. 


    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg wing. 
    2014 Wing King's Apprentice
  • I will get the fire going and stir it up to try and have even heat across the entire grill. I cook burgers at 350*. Keep the lid closed as much as possible.Most of all keep practicing!!
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 11,166
    The best I've cooked were at about 300. No sear...really juicy. Not the normal approach.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • Seems to be a lot a ways folks do burgers so i'll add my 2 pennies worth. We make ours from ground chuck, 80/20. Use one of those tupperware thingies to make all the burgers the same thickness. Get the LBGE to 400/425 dome. Leave the bottom vent half way open, daisy about the same. Burp...add ci grate flat side up. Egg back to dome temp...add burgers. After about 3 minutes flip burgers. About 3 more minutes and they are done for us. About med rare...Yummy.  :)>-

    Alexander City,Al
  • They can't afford to test each batch so It's a formula based on the meat grade and the cut.
    OK - so the kid at my local Safeway can't tell the difference between ground pork and ground beef so the fat content is purely by coincidence. Thats why I go to my local butcher. Twice now, we have purchased a full rib, 13 bone. Trimmed it to make real rib eyes (just the actual eye - which are great as steaks), and ground the rest. Unbelievable - lots of flare, but great taste. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • Check out GrillGrates at GrillGrates.com. They make them to fit the EGG. Solves your flare-up problem .
    LBGE and Mini
  • dweebs0rdweebs0r Posts: 497
    I also bought a cast iron griddle that I like to use for burgers.  I got a vintage round griddle on Ebay for like 20 bucks.
    -Jody Newell (LBGE & finally a mini BGE!)
    Location:  Munford, TN  Homepage:  Shadow photo shadow.gif
  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    I almost forgot to mention the fish sauce - mix some of that stanky funk into the meat before you make your paddy.  Don't tell anyone who hates fish sauce - they'll just think they taste better than usual.  Umami burger.
    Just made 'em up, firming up for a few minutes in the freezer while the Egg comes up to temp. I picked up two different fish sauces at the store yesterday and the one from Viet Nam is stinky and the one from Thailand is filtered and not so. Made a few with each. We'll see shortly.

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 11,239
    Cool - fish sauce is a secret weapon.

    One other tip - don't do the classic "squash the meat into the griddle or grate with a spatula" technique.  It dries out the burger and dumps a bunch of fat into the fire.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.
    Large and Medium BGE, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Thanks, Nola, did not do dat. Did the following (using the recipe above) and it worked out, maybe it'll help Eggbert - 

    Made a batch of turkey and a batch of beef umami burgers. Fired up the LBGE to 475F dome and threw the BGE grate on top of the fire ring and did the turkey batch first. Seared for about 2 minutes or until firm and nicely browned.
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Flipped and seared the other side
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Threw on the CGS extender and a second, raised grate and cooked until 160F internal temp. Took about five minutes.
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Pulled the turkey batch and threw on the beef batch on the lower grate and seared those suckers in the same manner.
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Flipped
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  • SteveWPBFLSteveWPBFL Posts: 1,251
    Loaded them on to the top grate with target internal temp of 130F and they were essentially there. 
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