Grilling burger on charcoal grill

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Grilling burgers on a charcoal grill is a classic and delicious way to enjoy this American staple. Cooking over charcoal imparts a smoky flavor and creates a nice crust on the outside of the burger while keeping the inside juicy and flavorful. With the right technique and a few tips, you can grill the perfect burger on a charcoal grill for your next backyard barbecue or cookout.

Which kinds of burger can you smoke on a charcoal grill?

When it comes to grilling burgers on a charcoal grill, you can use any kind of burger you like. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Beef burgers: This is the classic burger option that most people are familiar with. You can use ground chuck, sirloin, or a blend of different beef cuts for your burger patties.
  2. Turkey burgers: For a healthier option, try using ground turkey to make your burger patties. You can add herbs and spices to the mixture for added flavor.
  3. Veggie burgers: If you’re vegetarian or looking for a plant-based option, veggie burgers made with ingredients like black beans, lentils, or mushrooms are a great option.
  4. Bison burgers: Bison meat is leaner than beef, but still has a rich flavor. Bison burgers can be a delicious and unique option for grilling on a charcoal grill.

Ultimately, the type of burger you choose to grill on a charcoal grill is up to your personal preference. Just make sure to choose high-quality ingredients and follow proper food safety guidelines when handling raw meat.

Why should you use a charcoal grill for grilling burger?

Charcoal grilling is a popular choice for grilling burgers for a number of reasons. Here are a few:

  1. Flavor: Grilling burgers over charcoal imparts a smoky, charred flavor that many people love. The high heat of the charcoal grill also creates a nice crust on the outside of the burger while keeping the inside juicy and flavorful.
  2. Versatility: Charcoal grills can be used for a wide variety of grilling techniques, including direct heat grilling, indirect heat grilling, and smoking. This makes them a versatile option for grilling burgers and other types of food.
  3. Portability: Charcoal grills are generally more portable and easier to move around than gas grills, which makes them a great option for outdoor cooking at picnics, camping trips, and other events.
  4. Cost: Charcoal grills are generally less expensive than gas grills, and the charcoal fuel can be less expensive than propane or other gas fuels.

Overall, using a charcoal grill for grilling burgers can result in delicious, flavorful burgers with a nice crust and juicy interior.

How to grill burger on charcoal grill

Grilling burgers on a charcoal grill is a classic and delicious way to enjoy this American staple. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:


  • Ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat is a good ratio)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Burger buns
  • Optional toppings (lettuce, tomato, cheese, onions, etc.)


  1. Preheat your charcoal grill to high heat. You want the grill to be very hot before you start grilling the burgers.
  2. Divide the ground beef into equal portions and form each portion into a patty. Make sure not to overwork the meat, as this can result in tough burgers.
  3. Use your thumb to make a small indentation in the center of each patty. This will help the burger cook more evenly and prevent it from puffing up too much on the grill.
  4. Season both sides of the burger patties with salt and pepper.
  5. Once the grill is hot, place the burger patties directly over the hot coals. Cook for about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer if you prefer your burgers more well-done.
  6. If you’re adding cheese, place a slice of cheese on top of each burger during the last minute of cooking.
  7. Toast the burger buns on the grill for a minute or two, until they are lightly charred and crispy.
  8. Remove the burgers from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before assembling the burgers with your desired toppings.
  9. Serve and enjoy your delicious grilled burgers!

Note: Make sure to follow proper food safety guidelines when handling raw meat, and always use a meat thermometer to ensure that your burgers are cooked to a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).

Types of wood for grilling burger on charcoal grill

There are several types of wood that are commonly used for grilling burgers on a charcoal grill. Here are a few options:

  1. Hickory: Hickory wood is known for its strong, smoky flavor, which makes it a popular choice for grilling burgers. It pairs particularly well with beef, giving the meat a rich, bold flavor.
  2. Mesquite: Mesquite wood is another strong, bold option for grilling burgers. It’s particularly popular in southwestern cuisine and can add a slightly sweet, almost fruity flavor to the meat.
  3. Oak: Oak wood is a milder option that still provides a nice smoky flavor. It’s a good choice if you want to add some flavor to your burgers without overpowering them.
  4. Apple: Apple wood is a sweeter option that’s particularly good with pork, but can also work well with beef burgers. It adds a subtle, fruity flavor to the meat.
  5. Cherry: Cherry wood is another sweet option that’s good with both pork and beef burgers. It has a mild, fruity flavor that won’t overpower the taste of the meat.

When using wood for grilling, it’s important to use only hardwoods that are safe for cooking, and to avoid softwoods like pine, which can produce harmful chemicals when burned. It’s also a good idea to soak the wood chips in water for at least 30 minutes before using them on the grill, as this will help them produce more smoke and flavor.

How long does it take to grill burger on charcoal grill?

The cooking time for burgers on a charcoal grill can vary depending on a few factors, such as the thickness of the patties, the temperature of the grill, and how well-done you like your burgers. As a general guideline, here are some estimated cooking times for 1-inch thick burger patties:

  • Medium-rare (pink in the middle): 3-4 minutes per side
  • Medium (some pink in the middle): 4-5 minutes per side
  • Medium-well (no pink in the middle): 5-6 minutes per side
  • Well-done (no pink at all): 6-7 minutes per side

It’s important to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the burgers and ensure that they are cooked to a safe temperature of 160°F (71°C). You can insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the burger patty to get an accurate reading.

Keep in mind that these are just rough estimates and the actual cooking time may vary based on the factors mentioned earlier. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the burgers while they cook and adjust the cooking time as needed.

Tips for grilling burger on charcoal grill

Here are some tips to help you grill the perfect burger on a charcoal grill:

  1. Choose the right meat: The best burgers are made with ground beef that has a higher fat content, such as 80/20 or 85/15. This will help the burgers stay juicy and flavorful during cooking.
  2. Season the meat: Before forming your burger patties, be sure to season the ground beef with salt and pepper, or any other seasonings you prefer.
  3. Use indirect heat: When grilling burgers on a charcoal grill, it’s best to use indirect heat. This means pushing the coals to one side of the grill and placing the burgers on the other side. This will help prevent flare-ups and ensure that the burgers cook evenly.
  4. Don’t press the burgers: Resist the urge to press down on the burgers with a spatula while they cook. This will only cause the juices to escape and make the burgers dry.
  5. Flip the burgers once: Flip the burgers only once during cooking. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from falling apart.
  6. Let the burgers rest: After cooking, let the burgers rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and ensure that the burgers are juicy and flavorful.
  7. Toast the buns: While the burgers rest, you can also toast the buns on the grill for a few seconds to add some extra flavor and texture.

By following these tips, you can grill delicious, juicy burgers on a charcoal grill that are sure to be a hit at your next barbecue.

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