Pellet grills have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason. They offer a unique flavor profile, convenience, and ease of use that many other types of grills can’t match. When it comes to cooking burgers, pellet grills offer even more benefits. They provide consistent heating, which makes it easier to get the perfect sear and doneness on your burgers.
However, cooking burgers on a pellet grill requires some finesse. The cooking time, in particular, is an essential factor that can make or break your burgers’ taste and texture. In this article, we’ll explore how long to cook burgers on a pellet grill at 350°F, step-by-step, to help you perfect your grilling game.
Preparing the Grill
Before you start cooking burgers on your pellet grill, you need to ensure that the grill is properly set up and preheated. Here’s how to do it:
Setting up the Pellet Grill for Cooking Burgers
First, clean the grill grates with a wire brush to remove any debris from previous grilling sessions. Next, add pellets to the hopper, making sure that you have enough to cook your burgers thoroughly.
Preheating the Grill to the Desired Temperature
Once the pellets are in the hopper, turn on the grill and set the temperature to 350°F. Depending on the model of your pellet grill, it may take between 10 to 15 minutes to reach the desired temperature.
Choosing the Right Type of Pellets for Grilling Burgers
The type of pellets you use can affect the flavor of your burgers. Hickory, mesquite, and applewood are popular choices that can add a smoky and rich taste to your burgers. However, if you prefer a milder flavor, you can use oak or pecan wood pellets. Make sure to use high-quality pellets without any additives or fillers, as they can affect the taste and texture of your burgers.
Now that your grill is set up and preheated let’s move on to preparing the burgers.
Preparing the Burgers
Preparing the burgers is a crucial step that can affect the outcome of your grilling. Here’s what you need to do:
Choosing the Right Type of Ground Beef for Grilling
When it comes to cooking burgers, the type of ground beef you use matters. Look for ground beef that has a 70/30 or 80/20 ratio of lean to fat. Too lean, and your burgers will dry out, too fatty, and they will fall apart.
Shaping and Seasoning the Burgers
Once you have the ground beef, divide it into equal portions and shape them into patties, making them slightly larger than the buns you plan to use. Use your thumb to create a shallow indentation in the center of each patty, which will help them cook evenly. Season the patties with salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer, like garlic powder or paprika.
Tips for Ensuring Even Cooking and Preventing Dryness
When you’re grilling burgers, it’s essential to cook them evenly and prevent them from drying out. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:
- Avoid pressing down on the burgers with a spatula, as this can cause the juices to escape and make them dry.
- Keep the lid closed as much as possible, as this will help retain the heat and smoke inside the grill.
- Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers. For medium-rare burgers, the temperature should be 130°F to 135°F, while medium burgers should be at 135°F to 145°F. Do not rely on the color of the burgers as an indicator of their doneness.
Now that the burgers are ready let’s move on to the next step; cooking them on the pellet grill.
Cooking the Burgers
Now that the grill is preheated, and the burgers are ready, it’s time to cook them. Here’s how:
Placing the Burgers on the Grill and Closing the Lid
Place the patties on the grill grates, making sure to leave enough space between them for air circulation. Close the lid and let the burgers cook for about 4-5 minutes on one side.
Monitoring the Temperature and Adjusting as Needed
While the burgers are cooking, keep an eye on the temperature of the grill, as well as the internal temperature of the burgers. If the grill temperature drops below 350°F, adjust the settings to bring it back up to the desired temperature. If the burgers are cooking too quickly or too slowly, adjust the temperature accordingly.
Flipping the Burgers at the Right Time and Checking for Doneness
After 4-5 minutes, use a spatula to flip the burgers over and let them cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side. Once the burgers have been cooked for a total of 8-10 minutes, use a meat thermometer to check their internal temperature. As mentioned earlier, for medium-rare burgers, the temperature should be 130°F to 135°F, while medium burgers should be at 135°F to 145°F. If the burgers are not yet at the desired temperature, continue cooking them for another minute or two.
Once the burgers are cooked to your desired level of doneness, remove them from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
Serving the Burgers
Now that the burgers are cooked and ready to serve, it’s time to add some toppings and condiments. Here are some tips for serving delicious burgers:
Letting the Burgers Rest Before Serving
After the burgers are cooked, let them rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute, making the burgers juicier and more flavorful.
Choosing the Right Toppings and Condiments
The toppings and condiments you choose can make or break your burger. Classic toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese are always a safe bet, but you can also get creative and add toppings like bacon, avocado, or grilled onions. Don’t forget to add your favorite condiments, like ketchup, mustard, or mayo.
Serving Suggestions and Ideas for Sides
Burgers are a classic American dish that can be served with a variety of sides. French fries, onion rings, and coleslaw are traditional options, but you can also serve them with a side salad or grilled vegetables for a healthier twist.
Cooking burgers on a pellet grill at 350°F requires some finesse, but with the right preparation and technique, you can achieve delicious and juicy burgers every time. Remember to choose the right type of ground beef, shape and season the patties properly, and cook them evenly and thoroughly on the grill. By following these tips and serving them with your favorite toppings and sides, you’ll be able to perfect your grilling game and impress your friends and family with your delicious burgers.