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Tips for the best burger

Karen Miner is the Food Associate Editor for SheKnows, ChefMom and FabulousFoods. She is a freelance writer, recipe developer and is also the cook, author and photographer behind the food blog, Tasty Trials, a collection of original reci...

You'll need extra napkins

Grilled cheeseburgers are a quick and easy summertime meal. Make them even better by following a few simple rules next time you throw a few patties on the grill.

spicy stuffed cheeseburger

We've all been to a barbecue where the burgers are like hockey pucks — dry, overcooked and charred beyond recognition. With these tips, you'll avoid that grilling faux pas and make the best, juiciest burgers you'll eat all summer.

Try throwing these summer fruits and veggies on the grill >>

The meat

Although we're always trying to find ways to cut fat from our diets, the fact is that ground beef with a higher fat percentage makes a juicier burger. Splurge this once and buy ground beef with a lean meat/fat ratio of at least 80/20.

Be gentle

When mixing the ground beef with any spices and other additions, use care. Do not over mix or squeeze the meat tightly together as this will produce a tough burger. Lightly combine with your fingertips and gently form into patties.

Shaping the patties

When shaping your hamburger patties, ensure that the middle is not fatter than the edges by making an indent with your thumb in the center of the patty to flatten it out. This way the thickness is uniform, and the burger will cook evenly.

On the grill

Once you've put the burgers on the grill, leave them alone! Do not press on them to flatten (you should have already flattened them anyway) and do not flip them more than once. Constantly moving and flipping the burgers does not let them cook evenly, and you risk breaking them apart. By only flipping once, you allow a crust to form on each side and they will release easily from the grill on their own.

Now that you're a burger pro, let's make a burger! >>

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