The Hack For Perfectly Moist Grilled Burgers Is Hidden In Your Freezer

It happens to the best of us: We get to yapping at the neighborhood barbecue and totally overcook the burgers. Everyone piles on the condiments — perhaps a little Heinz 57 sauce and some lettuce will do the trick — but you know you ruined the cookout.


You can help yourself avoid this fate with a hack straight from celebrity chef (and "MasterChef" judge) Graham Elliot. As he told Fox News, taking a small ice cube from your freezer and putting it in the center of the burgers before grilling them keeps the center moist and prevents them from drying out.

You can do it one of two ways: one method is to roll your ground beef into a ball, press a small ice cube in the middle, and then work the meat around the cube, gradually flattening the beef into a patty. In this instance, the ice cube is totally encased by the meat.

Or, before transporting the beef patties out to the grill, you can simply press cubes into the top of each burger and then let them melt into the meat as they cook. Note that this method isn't great for smash burgers; rather, use the ice cube hack with plump, thick burgers


One chef takes it a step further

In an interview with Reader's Digest, David Joachim, author of such books as "Mastering the Grill," takes the ice cube hack a step further. He advocates actually mixing ice water into the ground beef, and he has done so since the 2000s.


By adding roughly three tablespoons of ice water per each pound of ground beef, Joachim says it "better distributes the moisture throughout the entire burger," versus just putting an ice cube on top. After spooning in the ice water, add your seasonings of your choice and mix well — you don't want there to be any liquid left in the bowl. Once the water is incorporated, form the meat into burger patties like usual.

The ice water adds extra moisture, and because it's evenly distributed within the patties, there is less of a chance you'll end up with cool spots, especially if you prefer your burgers on the rarer side.

Try even more mix-ins for moist burgers

As it happens, you don't have to stop at ice water or ice cubes to infuse moisture into your burgers. You can actually play around with different liquids — many of which will impart all kinds of tasty flavors to your meat. Try chicken or beef broth, different soups (French onion would be awesome), or a savory vegetable beverage, like V8. If you've just done a roast in the oven or slow cooker, save some of the juices and use those.


Consider a blob or two of mayo or sour cream, which can add both flavor and moisture, or a dollop of — get ready for this — peanut butter. The natural oils in the creamy spread can actually help keep the meat super tender (though it will certainly change the flavor profile, so be ready for that).

Finally, because butter makes everything better, try encapsulating a pat (salted or unsalted) into your burger as you form the patties. It'll give you a burst of flavor when you get to the middle of the burger.