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Keeping grilled hamburgers warm is a challenge in itself. If you like grilling hamburgers every now and then, there is a pretty strong chance that you will end up grilling more than the ones that will be eaten right away.
So, if you are expecting company, you would obviously want to make sure that the burgers remain warm.
Hamburgers just don’t taste the same when they are kept in the refrigerator and taken out and reheated. The juices from the meat are all expended and the taste changes slightly.
When you are cooking burgers for a large group of people, it’s often difficult to keep the first ones grilled warm. However, it’s not impossible.
If you allow the hamburgers to cool down, they are just going to become less appetizing, and ultimately, the chances of foodborne illnesses also increase dramatically.
Once you know the best ways to keep your burgers warm, you can try out the process with my favorite burger recipes:
Beer Can Burgers on the Big Green Egg
And don’t forget to try Chopped Cheeseburgers on a Hoagie Bun!
Before we talk about the many ways to keep hamburgers warm, it’s important to focus on the safety precautions that you need to consider when grilling the hamburger patties.
First and foremost, you need to understand that careful handling is of the utmost importance.
This is going to ensure that the burgers don’t just taste good, but they are also safe for consumption.
Ideally, you need to cook the hamburgers until the internal temperature of the burgers is high enough. This is going to destroy all of the harmful bacteria that is found within the meat.
In most cases, the temperature should reach at least 160°F. If you are going to use turkey as the main meat, the temperature should be 165°F. Perhaps the most important rule of the grill that you need to keep in mind is to never partially grill the meat.
Even if you are making chicken burgers, it would not be a wise idea to grill them partially.
Furthermore, you need to make sure that you take proper hygienic precautions when cooking hamburgers. While the process for making hamburgers is relatively simple, it can be difficult for most people to keep the hamburgers warm and moist. Even experienced cooks have difficulty.
One of the simplest things that you can do is make use of ground beef that contains slightly higher fat content. Even though most people prefer using lean ground beef, using beef that contains slightly higher fat content is ideal for hamburgers because it will bring out the flavor and the moisture.
How to Prepare the Meat Properly
When you have made the burger patties, you should keep them in the refrigerator for around 24 hours. Any longer and the juices are going to be secreted out; you also have to sprinkle the pepper and salt properly on either side of the patty before you decide to cook.
Remember, adding the salt and pepper earlier is a bad idea, as it’s only going to suck out the moisture from the patties.
Now, here are some important steps for keeping the hamburgers warm and moist.
1 – Aluminum Tray
One of the best ways to keep the hamburgers warm while you are making the rest is to keep an aluminum tray in your oven and then set it on the “Warm” setting.
Many ovens also come with a proper “keep warm” setting, so you can use that as well. The oven is going to adjust the temperature automatically and keep it around 125°F.
If your oven does not have a built-in setting for this, you can just keep it at the 125°F mark or set it to 150°F.
It is important to note that you can’t just leave the oven running on this setting for long periods of time. This is only suitable for keeping the hamburgers moist and warm for around three to four hours.
More importantly, you should remove the aluminum tray as soon as you have prepared the first batch of hamburgers.
Then, you can just place them on the warm tray. The heat radiated from the warm tray is going to keep the hamburgers moist and warm for a considerable amount of time.
However, if the external temperature is significantly cold, the burgers are going to get cold very quickly, so it’s best if you keep the tray in a warm room.
More importantly, you need to cover the tray with aluminum foil and form somewhat of a tent by folding the rest under the edges.
This is also going to increase the warmth and ensure that the hamburgers do not get cold anytime soon. One thing that you need to keep in mind is to quickly add each batch of the hamburgers of the aluminum tray as they are removed from the grill.
Don’t put them on a plate for a while and then move to the tray, bring them directly to the tray.
Always remember to cover the tray with the aluminum foil once you have cooked them.
2 – Using a Crock-Pot
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of using a tray to keep the hamburgers warm, you should know that a Crock-Pot is the next best option.
The first thing you need to do is transfer your grilled hamburgers directly to the Crock-Pot. Once you have kept them inside, put the glass cover on the cooker properly.
Then, you need to set the temperature. As mentioned, you can go for 125°F, or you can go for 150°F. Ideally, Crock-Pots work best when you keep the temperature at 140°F. This is also the “Warm” setting.
There’s no reason to use the “High” or “Low” settings on your Crock-Pot, as the excessive heat, or the low heat, are simply going to dry out the hamburgers.
There’s also a risk that the hamburgers will continue to cook until all of the juice has been released from the patty. Before you decide to keep them in, it’s also important to understand that the burgers are still going to dry out just a little bit when they are kept on the “Warm” setting.
For extremely picky eaters, replacing the taste of a hamburger fresh off the grill is virtually impossible. To keep the hamburgers fresh for more than an hour, it would be a wise idea to keep an oven-safe bowl at the bottom of the Crock-Pot.
It doesn’t always have to be a Crock-Pot either: any slow cooker will do the trick if you know how to regulate the temperature.
Cookers kept on an open flame are likely to get hotter because the heat is often distributed unevenly.
Therefore, you will have to keep rotating the burgers otherwise the ones at the bottom are going to sear and char. To ensure that the moisture in the burgers does not decrease significantly, it’s also a wise move to fill a small bowl with water and keep it in the pot.
The moisture will continue to evaporate, and this is going to retain the moisture in the hamburgers as well. However, it’s important that you do not use this method for extended periods of time, as your burgers will become soggy within a couple of hours.
If you are going to go out and wish to leave the Crock-Pot on, you can also program the appliance to cook while you have gone out.
Modern Crock-Pot versions come with a wide range of options built-in, even allowing you to cook while you are asleep. Slow-cooked meals also offer a plethora of additional benefits.
3 – Burger Bath
To keep your freshly grilled burgers warm, you can also try a burger bath. It’s a pretty easy and effective technique and it will add considerable flavor and moisture to your burgers.
To make this bath, you first need to fill a grill-safe pan with beer or beef broth.
Any flavorful liquid can be used, as long as you know how it’s going to affect the taste. Once you are done, just add the grilled meat into the burger bath and let the pan heat safely.
You can place the pan on the grill, but keep it at a distance from the direct heat.
This is going to keep the meat warm and moist, and you will notice that the liquid will also have some additional flavor, which can be used as a sauce later on as well.
Once you have made the hamburgers and put them in the buns, you should know that they can’t be kept moist and warm for a longer period of time. The buns are going to become soggy and the burgers will not taste the same.
You should only put the patties together on the buns to ensure that they remain as fresh as possible.
Even if the meat is excellent, nobody likes soggy buns. These are just a few simple ways that you can use to keep the hamburgers fresh when you are making them.
Once you are done with the grilling, you can just serve them fresh to all of your guests!
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