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The Step-By-Step Grilling Method - Brioche Burgers On Charcoal
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The Step-By-Step Grilling Method – Brioche Burgers On Charcoal

Prep: 30 Minutes Serves: 3

Cook the perfect charcoal burgers in The BBQ Buddha’s step-by-step recipe guide.

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This recipe has been created and written by Chris Sussman (aka “The BBQ Buddha“), author, award-winning pit master, content creator, recipe developer, and food blogger.

Grilling Burgers on Charcoal with St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns

Are you looking for a go-to cheeseburger recipe for your charcoal grill? Well, you have come to the right place as this delivers the perfect burger every time. Place the focus on the ingredients to make this delicious concoction shine. You do not need to overcomplicate things when making a great burger. Just a few simple steps will produce mouth-watering burgers every time. Now sit back, grab an ice-cold beer, and enjoy this post for grilling burgers on charcoal with St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns.

Why using charcoal to grill burgers?

Grilling over charcoal gives you a superior flavor profile as the rendered fat drips on the hot coals which in turn sends flavor compounds in the steam back up to the grilling meat above.

What are the benefits of using charcoal instead of gas?

The main benefits of using charcoal instead of gas is to  give an even and constant heat source from the burning coals below. This creates better crust for your burgers.

How much charcoal should I use to grill burgers?

To grill burhers, you need ¾ of a chimney full of burning charcoal to cook hamburgers over medium heat.

Grilling Burgers On Charcoal: Making the Patties

The optimal size for a burger patty is 5-6 oz so you want to divide the 1-pound package of meat in to three separate balls of 5.3 ounces.

NOTE: For this recipe I am using Snake River Farms American Wagyu Gourmet Burger Blend as it uses American Wagyu beef and is very high in fat content. If you do not have this hamburger meat available, please use 80/20 hamburger blend. You want lots of fat to get the boldest flavour possible for your grilled burgers.

Next, use a Weston Hamburger Press to make perfect burger patties. You do not have to use a burger press for this recipe and instead can use your hands to make evenly sized burger patties.

After making the burger patties add kosher salt to the tops of each patty.

NOTE: You do not want to add salt to the burger mix before shaping the patties, nor do you want to salt too soon as it will draw moisture out of the burgers impacting the juicy end result you are looking for.

Prepping the toppings

Next slice a red onion, tomato, and add to a garnish tray with pickle chips and pieces of lettuce.

NOTE: You can prepare the garnish tray with any additional toppings you want to garnish your burgers with. Some ideas for additional toppings are sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, fig jam, bacon, crumbled blue cheese, sliced jalapenos, onion straws and so on.

Select your buns carefully

Now take three St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns out of the package and schmear softened butter on the cut side of the top and bottom of each bun. Set these to the side.

NOTE: Bun selection is important to crafting the perfect burger grilled over charcoal. You want a bun that compliments the burger and does not distracts from it. I am a big fan of St Pierre brioche buns as they are perfectly sized to fit a burger without adding too much bread. In addition, this soft and lightly sweet bread is the perfect complement to the unctuous and savory burger.

This recipe specifically calls out using a charcoal grill and there is a good reason for that… flavor! When you grill meat over lit charcoal below, the fat renders slowly and drips down on the smoldering coals below. When the fat hits the coals, it vaporizes turning into little puffs of flavor that float back up to season your cooking meat.

Grilling Burgers On Charcoal: Preheat the Charcoal Grill

There is no substitute for the flavor a grilled hamburger releases while cooking over charcoal. Find yourself a great charcoal grill and light the coals early so they are ready for your grilling session. Preheat your charcoal grill to 375°F setup for direct grilling. Let the charcoal burn for at least 30 minutes before placing the burger patties on to the grill grate so you have the optimal environment for grilled meat.

When the grill is preheated and your charcoal is grey, place the burgers on the grill grate salt side down. Shake more kosher salt on top of the burger patties. Close the lid and let the burgers cook 5 minutes undisturbed.

NOTE: Closing the lid allows for the ambient temperature to help cook your burger patties through. In addition, it controls the oxygen flow to the lit charcoal below preventing flare ups which could burn the outside of your burger patties.

What is the ideal temperature to charcoal grill burgers?

You want medium heat between 350°-400°F to grill your burgers on charcoal and be on the sweet spot.

How to season a burger when charcoal grilling?

To season a burger when charcoal grilling, simply use kosher salt! Then you can add whatever spices you like if you want to but we’ll stick to the classic cheeseburger for this recipe.

Lid on or lid off when grilling charcoal burgers?

Having the lid closed works to create ambient temperature which in turn helps cook the burger through.

After 5 minutes of undisturbed cooking, flip the burger patties, close the lid and cook for another 5 minutes.

Use some cheddar

After 10 minutes of total cook time, place a slice of cheese on each patty. Close the lid and let cook 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted.

How often should you flip burgers on a charcoal grill?

Flip burgers every 4-5 minutes on a charcoal grill.

How long should you cook a burger for on a charcoal grill?

Cook your burgers for 10-12 minutes until you reach internal temperature of 135°F.

Direct or Indirect when charcoal grilling burgers?

Always direct over charcoal.

NOTE: You can use other cheese to adorn the top of your burger patties. American cheese is a classic option as it melts better than most other cheeses and the color contrast with the grilled burger patty is second to none.

When the cheese has melted, pull the burgers and let them rest to the side while you toast your buttered brioche buns.

The Step-By-Step Grilling Method - Brioche Burgers On Charcoal - Cheddar And Beef Burgers On A Tray

Grilling Burgers On Charcoal: Grill The Brioche Buns As Well

Place the buns on the grill grate buttered side down and cook 1-2 minutes until nicely toasted.

Aseemble Your Charcoal Grilled Masterpiece

Take the burgers and place between each toasted brioche bun. Garnish with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, mustard and ketchup.

Serve these perfect charcoal brioche burgers to your guests and admire their reaction!

grilling burgers on charcoal: the step-by-step recipe

  • 3 St Pierre Brioche Burger Buns
  • 1 pound ground beef 80/20 or Wagyu is best
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter softened
  • 3 slices tomato
  • 3 slices red onion
  • 3 slices lettuce romaine or iceberg
  • 6 piecespickle chips
  • 3 tsp ketchup
  • 3 tsp yellow mustard
  1. Setup your charcoal grill for direct grilling. Preheat to 375°F.
  2. Divide your ground beef into three equal portions of 5.3 oz each.
  3. Use a burger press to form three burger patties.
  4. Add kosher salt to the top of each burger patty.
  5. When the charcoal grill is preheated place the burger patties on the grill grate salt side down. Salt the top of each patty, close the lid and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Flip the burger patties, close the lid and cook another 5 minutes.
  7. Flip the burger patties one more time, add a slice of cheese to each patty, close the lid and cook 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted.
  8. Remove the patties from the charcoal grill and let rest while you toast your buns. Close the vents of your grill to let the grill cool down.
  9. Schmear the softened butter on the cut side of each bun (top and bottom). Place the buttered side down on the grill grate and cook 1-2 minute until the buns are toasted.
  10. Assemble the burgers by placing a patty on each toasted bun. Garnish with a piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, a slice or red onion, two pickles, mustard and ketchup. Enjoy!
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