5 Dead Simple Grilling Tips to Get Burgers Like Your Dad Used to Make

With summer bar-b-que's gearing up in full swing, you'll likely find yourself playing the part of grillmaster. Many a men think they know how to grill a hamburger and then offer guests dry pucks on buns. Serve up the juiciest, tastiest burgers with these couldn't-be-easier grilling tips.

Salt and Pepper — and Lots of It

The secret to a burger with a lot of flavor is lots of salt and pepper.  When you think you've got enough, it's not, keep pouring.  If your burgers are coming out bland or the meat doesn't seem to have much taste other than grill smoke, this is why. It's honestly very hard to over salt and pepper a burger. Put so much pepper on it that people will think you're out of your mind.  They'll thank you after dinner.

And Worcestershire Sauce? Bread crumbs? Garlic? Keep 'em for the meat loaf.

They're Not as Big as They Look

First time grillers will form patties that look to be a good size but fail to take into consideration that they will shrink on the grill as the fats melt.  For a normal sized hamburger people are used to try aiming somewhere between a quarter and a third pound of meat per burger.  They're going to look massive in the kitchen but anything less and the cooked burger is going to look minuscule on top of the bun.

Flip Them Once

Flipping a burger only once ensures proper heat distribution.  An amateur griller will be flipping every couple of minutes, but this will result in a loss of juices and could cause irregular heating. (Ignore this if you like really dry, over-cooked burgers.)

The actual grilling of the meat is the shortest, and fastest part of the process.  Heating up your grill so it's nice and hot before you stick anything on it is one of the most important rules to remember, and it could take up to 30 minutes. Put the patties on the grill and flip them halfway through.  That's it.  Depending on how hot your grill is and meat temperature preference, it should take about 5 minutes a side.

And for the love of Pete, don't press down on the patties. Sure, it makes an awesome sizzle sound but you're literally SQUEEZING ALL THE JUICES OUT.

Get a Good Bun

The right bun is as important to a burger's flavor as the crust is to a pizza.  Don't buy the $1.09 8-pack, try a kaiser roll or even better ciabatta rolls.  Cheaper buns tend to be fluffy and dry, so doin't skimp in the bread department.

Keep 'em Healthy

While not directly related to the burger's taste this will keep your guests from getting food poisoning.  When not in use, slide your spatula through the grates of your grill until it will balance by itself.  With the spatula only a few inches from the heat, this will aid in killing off anything nasty from the raw meat.

Diagram of burger making tips

What are your burger grilling secrets?  Have a tip that always pleases when it comes to burger de cheeses? Share with us in the comments!

Andrew Snavely

Andrew founded Primer in 2008 and brings 15+ years of men's style expertise. Known for his practical, relatable approach to style and self-development, he has been a recognized speaker at conferences and has styled work for top brands. Off-duty, he loves photography & editing, and enjoys road trips with his dog, Leela. Raised in rural Pennsylvania, educated in DC, and living in LA for nearly 20 years, Andrew's diverse experiences shape the relatable and real-world advice that has helped millions through Primer. On Instagram: @andrewsnavely and @primermagazine.