Getting grill marks on a burger is fairly easy to do, but it requires some basic grilling equipment in order to get it done. Some grills that are used are not capable of making the lines on the burger, so certain changes have to be made in order to make lines on the burgers when cooking them on grates.
Here we will discuss the many ways that grill or sear marks can be made on burger patties, while they are cooking. You will be able to use any of the listed equipment to be able to achieve the desired effect, as long as it is used correctly. Here is a list of the different equipment that can be used:
You do not need every one of the pieces of equipment listed below. Only one of them is needed to get the job done.
1. Use a grill designed for making grill lines in the burgers while they cook.
Buying a charbroiler grill to cook the burger patties on will produce the desired grill lines on the burger. Some of the grills don’t have the grates on them to put grill lines on cooked foods, but most of them do. Charbroilers can get very hot, so the sear lines can be formed on the surface of the meat fairly easy and pretty quick. In 30 seconds of cooking, the sear lines can form on the surface of the meat and produce some nice sear lines.
Of course, the temperature doesn’t have to be super high for a quick sear for sear lines. The burger can cook like normal while it is on the surface of the grill, which naturally will produce the great looking grill lines.
There are other grills that can be used besides a charbroiler that can make the grill lines on the burger meat. Another option is the panini press grill, which can make the lines on the burger press if they have the right grate that comes with them for cooking. Using a charbroiler is still better overall, as it can reach higher temperatures.
2. Use a grill grate designed to make grill lines in cooked food.
There are grill grates that you can buy that are designed to make easy grill or sear marks in the burgers that you cook. These grill grates can be placed unto a heated surface, which can transfer that heat to the grill grate. If you already have a grill and don’t want to buy another one just to get grill lines on your food, then you can simply just buy the grate itself to place on your own grill.
The grates that make the grill and sear lines in the food are different than the normal grate used in an outdoor grill. They have the same grill lines on the grate, but they sit higher than the surface of regular grates. They protrude upward on the surface like spikes, except they are lines not spikes. While the meat cooks on the heated grate, gravity pulls the meat downwards while it cooks on these special grates, which produces the grill lines on the food.
If the grates are good enough, then the lines will form on the surface of the burger while it cooks. It will also put really nice natural looking lines on its surface with the assistance of gravity, instead of making lines on the surface that may not look as authentic. The grill lines will appear on the surface of the burger meat, but they won’t be deeply pressed into the meat.
However, a weighted burger press can be placed on top of the burger while it is cooking on these special grates, which will produce deeper grill lines in the food while the burger press rests on top of the burger meat. Also, some burger presses have grill lines on them that can mold a burger patty into the grill line shape before the burger cooks. However, this method will not produce as good of grill lines in appearance as grill grates will do.
3. Use a special cast iron pan to make the grill lines.
There are specially made cast iron pans that you can buy that have these same protruding grill lines sticking up from the bottom top surface of the cast iron pan. They function just like the special grill grates that are mentioned, which can also naturally create grill lines on the surface of the burger patty when cooking them.
There is also a checkered cast iron pan that will make the checkered grill lines on the surface of the burger, without having to quarter turn the patties while they are cooking to make the grill line checkered pattern.
The only disadvantage to using a cast iron pan with the grill lines in it, is the size of the pan. If you are cooking a lot of burgers, then it is not ideal to cook one or two at a time, since it will take more overall time for them all to finish cooking; because of the lack of extra space in the pan. Go with a grill instead that can make the grill lines, or get a large grill grate that is specially made to create the sear/grill lines.
How To Make Grill/Sear Marks On A Burger
To make the grill or sear marks in the patty using any of the suggestions above, simply cook the burger patties on the grill grate surface as you would on a regular grill surface.
If you want the checkered grill lines on the burger patty, then half way through the cooking of the first side of the beef patty, pick the patty up off of the surface of the grates, and rotate the patty a quarter of a turn clockwise or counter clockwise. It doesn’t matter which direction that you rotate the patty, just make sure that it is a quarter of a turn.
Once the first side of the patty is cooked, then flip it as usual to cook the other side and repeat the same steps. If you do it properly with the quarter turn, then the burger patties will have a checkered pattern on the surface once they are flipped.
Note: Make sure that the burger patty is fully cooked on the side that is cooking before flipping the patty unto the other side or taking it off of the grill. It may mess up the grill line patterns if the burger has to be placed back on the grill to cook again once the lines are formed, as it may be difficult to reposition the patty again on the grill grates.
To ensure that the burger is fully cooked in its position before it is taken off the grates, use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burger patties. They should be cooked to atleast 160 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
If the grates are made of cast iron, make sure to apply some cooking oil to the surface of the cast iron to keep your meat from sticking to the grates.