Last Memorial Day, Red Robin launched the Yummm Hotline to help anyone and everyone with their burger-grilling needs. Between having family over for the holidays and stressing over the last-minute barbecue planning, sometimes you just need a little help remembering how to grill a burger.
As soon as we heard they were opening up the lines to burger cooks in need of advice, we had to ask them what some of the silliest questions they got were.
Check out the top questions and the burger experts’ answers to them. I definitely learned a few things about working the grill.
My uncle is hungry, how long does it take to cook a quarter-pound burger?
Cooking times vary depending on how you want your burger and the size of the burger, but whether third-pound, quarter-pound or half-pound burgers, we recommend cooking burgers until their internal temperature reaches 165°F for medium doneness.
My guests are vegetarians, can I grill veggie burgers on the same grill as beef burgers?
We let the concerned caller know that while it is okay for the veggie and beef burgers to be on the grill at the same time, they may want to use separate sides of the grill or cook the veggie burgers before the beef patties hit the grill.
I have a hard time telling the difference between sugar and salt and accidentally seasoned my burgers with the sweet stuff, what can I do to balance them out?
Everyone makes mistakes and we reassured the caller by suggesting toppings like grilled or caramelized onions, or spicy options such as jalapenos or a garlic-chili sauce instead of ketchup.
How do I prevent my burger buns from getting soggy?
Nobody likes soggy burger buns. To prevent this from happening, we recommend adding a barrier between the burger and bun – a leaf of iceberg lettuce or spinach, a slice of tomato or your favorite cheeses are all great options.
I don’t have a grill – Can I draw grill marks on my burgers with an edible marker instead?
While edible markers are safe for cookies and cakes, to get that hot off the grill look without an outdoor grill use a grill pan to achieve the same effect.
How many flips is too many?
Burgers are happiest when flipped only one time during the grilling process.
Can I still cook my burgers if they fell on the floor?
Food safety should always be a top priority, so we advise against following the unwritten five-second rule for food consumption.
Can you cook bacon on the grill? Mine keeps falling through the grates?
Everything tastes better with bacon and for a uniform crispness, we recommend that you bake the bacon in an oven instead of cooking on the grill.
The high fat content and potential for drippings can also cause the grill to flare up and create unwanted hotspots.
What temperature should I cook my burgers to?
To avoid serving a hockey puck, the internal temperature should reach 165°F for a medium burger. You can test for doneness by inserting a cooking thermometer into the center of the burger to make sure you achieve the desired result.
My propane ran out, can I finish cooking my burgers over a fire pit?
Everyone must have S’mores on their minds because more than one caller had this question for us. We recommend finishing the burgers in a grill pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. We also politely reminded callers to refill their propane tank in time for their next BBQ.
My dog licked my burgers, can I still cook them on the grill?
Accidents happen. Start with fresh burger meat and also keep an eye on their furry friend to make sure no ill-effects are felt from having a taste of uncooked burgers
I ran out of ground beef, can I use squirrel meat instead?
We understand that everyone has their preference and while squirrel may not be their preferred recommendation, as long as the meat is fresh and properly prepared, and cooked to a safe internal temperature, why not go for it?!
Just let their guests know what they are eating before they take a bite.
Wow, so that last one’s a little haunting. While the Yummm Hotline closed after Memorial Day, it will reopen on Father’s Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. Y’know, the biggest days for grilling meat.
You can reach them at 1-844-RR-YUMMM. No, really. It works.