How to Grill a Grassfed Beef Burger

It’s grilling season in the North!

I thought I’d share Bill‘s special burger grilling process for anyone who’s making a transition–or considering a switch–to grassfed beef. (Why might you want to eat meat from grassfed animals? Check out this primer on grassfed beef. And, if you’re not in the mood for burgers, try this recipe for Grilled Grassfed Ribeye Steaks.)

When you switch from fatty feedlot meat to leaner grassfed meat, it’s important to watch your cooking time and temperature.

Of course, you could cook your burgers in a pan, but they are really good on the grill. We just got a new Weber Q last year.

Here’s the way Bill grills our grassfed beef burgers:

Grassfed Beef Burgers

Our ground beef from Creswick Farms comes in one-pound packages.

To make burgers, Bill weighs the ground beef, then forms it into 5-ounce patties. It’s important to have a good kitchen scale if you want to make burgers of adequate size.

First, he sprinkles the patties with salt and pepper.

Then he lightly coats each one with olive oil to keep them from sticking to the grill.

Finally, he places them on a very hot (500-degree) Weber grill.

If you want to make it a cheeseburger, cut a couple slices of your favorite cheese (for us it’s Greek cheese from Mediterranean Island in Grand Rapids–a sheep’s cheese that Bill can eat since he’s allergic to cow products) and have it ready near the grill.

Meanwhile, we usually soak a couple of slices of onion (either red or yellow) in some water prior to grilling and set them by the grill along with the cheese.

That way, everything is ready to go since the process is pretty quick.

The important step is to sear the burgers one minute per side at a very high heat.

Once you’ve seared them, turn down the heat on both burners to low immediately and continue to cook the burgers for 2-3 minutes. You may even want to turn the center burner completely off–a lot depends on your grill and your preference in temperature. The process Bill follows results in medium-well hamburgers–pink but not overcooked.

If you want grilled onions, put them on the grill at this point.

Add the cheese in the last two minutes so it melts on top of the burgers.


Where’s the bun?

The beauty of burgers, of course, is that you can totally customize them. Because of his wheat allergies, Bill avoids bread products whenever possible. The Bill Holm Burger of Choice is eaten on a Van’s wheat-free waffle.

He spreads mayonnaise on the waffles, and adds organic ketchup and mustard on top of the burger, plus the grilled onions.

I opt for no bread; instead my burger, grilled onion and cheese sit atop a pile of mixed greens from our CSAMud Lake Farm. When they’re in season I add tomatoes, too.

For both of us, though, our favorite burger accompaniment is a bag of Good Health Natural Foods Avocado Oil Potato Chips.

11 responses to “How to Grill a Grassfed Beef Burger

  1. Andrew H. Cirner

    OMG…I just read this which had me all over the site and loving…LOVING everything I read everything I saw and it all seems 1) easy, and 2) delicious!
    I think the process of converting is necessary. At 43 it is not a choice to shove anything and everything into my mouth without thought. I gave that up a few years ago with a mild heart attack but this bumps it up a notch. I want to learn more. This is a GREAT blog!!!

  2. Love burgers made with beef from grass-fed cattle. What’s weird is I’ve yet to find a need to cook my grass-fed burgers (or steaks) differently than grain-fed – and I taste beef from different farms all the time! I suspect that what’s most important with burgers is the % fat content rather than whether it’s grass-fed or grain-fed. Sounds like it’s time for an experiment or two 🙂

    • Interesting perspective, Carrie! You might be right on….perhaps the meat we get locally is much leaner than what I used to buy. Thanks for your comment; I’d be interested to know the results of your experiment!

  3. Oh my…. (img_9894_burgers8-2) the picture when you add the cheese makes me want to eat my monitor…

  4. I can’t wait to get my first order in a couple of weeks and try out this recipe. I’m so looking forward to eating healthier.

  5. Thanks for the tips! You have my mouth watering and tummy rumbling! Where do you buy the chips that you mentioned?

    • Linda, we usually buy them at Harvest Health Foods in Hudsonville, Michigan. I just had some for lunch today!

  6. You said:

    Once you’ve seared them, turn down the heat on both burners to low immediately and continue to cook the burgers for 2-3 minutes.

    2-3 minutes a side?

    • Hi Kent,

      Thanks for asking for clarification about cooking the burgers. It’s 2-3 minutes total after you sear them one minute on each side. It doesn’t sound like a lot of time but, because grassfed meat is leaner than feedlot meat, this timing is adequate for medium-well burgers. You could also let them sit under foil on a plate for a couple minutes more and they will continue to cook, if you like them a little more done.

  7. Extremely well executed blog..

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