When the weather starts warming up, people across the country start busting out the grills. Barbecuing is an American pastime and synonymous with summer. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Nothing can ruin a cookout like charred burgers that look more like hockey pucks than a tasty dinner.
Here are a few steps to cooking delicious, juicy cheeseburgers on a propane grill.
Start by forming your hamburger patties ahead of time and letting them chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The fridge time will help the burger cook more evenly and trap the juices inside.
Before cooking, you should preheat the grill.
While that's happening, brush the burgers with a high-heat oil. Oils like grapeseed oil or vegetable oil can withstand higher temperatures before burning than butter or olive oil. After brushing oil on the burgers, you can add salt, pepper and whatever other spices you want.
After the grill and its grates are hot, turn a section off and put your burgers there, avoiding direct flame under the burger. When the burgers are on the hot grates away from the flames, you avoid flare-ups.
Then close the grill and let the burgers cook. The time it will take to cook the burgers varies by how hot the grill is, how big the burgers are and how you want them cooked. Usually, burgers take between two and five minutes per side to cook. The less time, the rarer the meat.
When they are about halfway done, flip them once, and close the lid again.
When the juices of the burger are running clear that's when you know they are done. If you're adding cheese, put it on when the burger's juices are almost, but not quite clear and have some red in it.
Once you pull the burgers off the grill, let them sit for about ten minutes. Then they are ready to eat. No burnt hockey puck burgers at this cookout!
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to grill burgers on a propane grill for summer barbecues