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Grilling tips from Bucky’s Butchery

A hamburger cooks on the grill at the Memorial Union Terrace outdoor brat stand during summer. Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison.
A hamburger cooks on the grill at the Memorial Union Terrace outdoor brat stand during summer. Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison.

Don’t like how your hamburger patties shrink as they cook? Try this pro grilling tip from Bucky’s Butchery, campus’ meat shop: Form a dimple or hole in the center of the raw patty. This helps prevent hand-formed patties from shrinking, so they will better fit the bun after cooking.

Robby Weyker, manager of Bucky’s Butchery, kindly provided these additional grilling tips ahead of the 4th of July holiday weekend, when millions of American families fire up the grill for a meaty meal or two:

BEEF AND BURGERS

  • Grill steaks over direct heat (directly over hot coals or ignited burners) to your desired degree of doneness based on these internal temperatures: Rare = 125°F, Medium-rare = 135°F, Medium = 145°F, Medium-well 155°F, Well-done = ≥160°F. After removing from the grill, always rest your steaks for 3-5 minutes prior to serving.
  • Always cook raw ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F. Be sure to use a calibrated meat thermometer (digital instant read is preferred) to check internal temperatures.
  • Try forming your own burger patties and adding your favorite seasonings right in the ground meat (examples: season salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, pesto, Cajun seasoning).
  • Slow grill a beef brisket (8-10 hours) over low (130°F) indirect heat (place meat away from the hot coals or ignited burners). Use foil during part of the cooking time to prevent the meat from drying out. Add a smoky flavor by soaking wood chips, like hickory, mesquite, apple, etc., in water and adding them in with the charcoal.

BRATS

  • Always cook brats to an internal temperature of 160°F. Be sure to use a calibrated meat thermometer (digital instant read is preferred) to check internal temperatures.
  • If you are serving brats to a crowd and need to hold them for an extended period of time, try grilling the raw links before simmering in beer and onions. Be sure to cook to an internal temperature of 160°F, and have your roaster oven set to ≥140°F.

CHICKEN

  • Always cook raw poultry products to an internal temperature of 165°F. Be sure to use a calibrated meat thermometer (digital instant read is preferred) to check internal temperatures.
  • For a more tender and juicy grill chicken breast, place the chicken in a marinade containing salt, your favorite seasonings and an acid such as vinegar or citrus juice.

PORK

  • Grill chops over direct heat (directly over hot coals or ignited burners) to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. After removing from the grill, rest your chops for 3-5 minutes prior to serving.
  • Slow grill pork ribs (5 hours) over low (130°F) indirect heat (place meat away from the hot coals or ignited burners). Use foil during part of the cooking time to prevent the meat from drying out. Add a smoky flavor by soaking wood chips, like hickory, mesquite, apple, etc., in water and adding them in with the charcoal.

GENERAL

  • Always use dedicated cutting boards and utensils for handling raw meat and poultry products. Always maintain separation from fresh fruits and vegetables, and thoroughly wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat and poultry products.

Happy grilling from Bucky’s Butchery!

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