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Grilling Lid up or down

#1 User is offline   Briant73 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:05 AM

Coming from a Weber background I got very conditioned to grill with the lid closed but am wondering if for my CB Commercial grill I should modify my approach when grilling meats especially burgers/steaks. The reason I'm asking is I been having problems with burgers on it that are going from nice patties to almost meatball like in shape if I grill them with the cover down. The other night I cooked them with the cover open for awhile and then closed the cover the last few minutes. This seemed to keep them more in round/flatter shape. I felt with the thickness of the burgers I still needed to close the grill for awhile to cook them through. Any suggestions how I should modify my approach to lid open/closed.
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#2 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:20 AM

View PostBriant73, on May 6 2010, 09:05 AM, said:

Coming from a Weber background I got very conditioned to grill with the lid closed but am wondering if for my CB Commercial grill I should modify my approach when grilling meats especially burgers/steaks. The reason I'm asking is I been having problems with burgers on it that are going from nice patties to almost meatball like in shape if I grill them with the cover down. The other night I cooked them with the cover open for awhile and then closed the cover the last few minutes. This seemed to keep them more in round/flatter shape. I felt with the thickness of the burgers I still needed to close the grill for awhile to cook them through. Any suggestions how I should modify my approach to lid open/closed.

when you form your pattie you should push the meat down some in the middle so when it plumps a little it will be flat, not sure how your getting meat balls out of a flat pattie I cook burgers all the time with the hood up sear them on one side to my liking and only flip them once if I want them more well done I will put them over a lower burner and close the lid for a few minutes


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#3 User is offline   richlife 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:20 AM

View PostBriant73, on May 6 2010, 12:05 PM, said:

Coming from a Weber background I got very conditioned to grill with the lid closed but am wondering if for my CB Commercial grill I should modify my approach when grilling meats especially burgers/steaks. The reason I'm asking is I been having problems with burgers on it that are going from nice patties to almost meatball like in shape if I grill them with the cover down. The other night I cooked them with the cover open for awhile and then closed the cover the last few minutes. This seemed to keep them more in round/flatter shape. I felt with the thickness of the burgers I still needed to close the grill for awhile to cook them through. Any suggestions how I should modify my approach to lid open/closed.


My experience with burgers is that if they're thick they almost inevitably shrink into a ball. I'm not saying that you may not have been successful with thick burgers for years, just that I haven't. I think it may well have a lot to do with the burger content (just meat, added bread crumbs, onions, etc.), but most of what I did in the past was just meat (my wife doesn't like anything added).

In general, I tend to prefer grilling with the lid closed (more heat, better control, lower cost because half your fuel isn't going into the ether). But if it works for you to start with the grill open on burgers, why not? But why extend that to all meats -- I would still assume hood down is best.

What I do to prevent getting meatballs (and to get burgers wide enough to fill most buns or extra wide buns) is to flatten the meat (typically 1/4 pound per burger) as much as I can and still retain its integrity. Mostly I still end up with burgers much smaller in diameter and thicker than I can really open my mouth to accomodate (and no one ever accused me of not being a big mouth! ;) ) -- especially with lettuce, tomato, etc.).

But I'd still say, whatever works. Rich
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#4 User is offline   Briant73 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:26 AM

View Postrichlife, on May 6 2010, 12:20 PM, said:

My experience with burgers is that if they're thick they almost inevitably shrink into a ball. I'm not saying that you may not have been successful with thick burgers for years, just that I haven't. I think it may well have a lot to do with the burger content (just meat, added bread crumbs, onions, etc.), but most of what I did in the past was just meat (my wife doesn't like anything added).

In general, I tend to prefer grilling with the lid closed (more heat, better control, lower cost because half your fuel isn't going into the ether). But if it works for you to start with the grill open on burgers, why not? But why extend that to all meats -- I would still assume hood down is best.

What I do to prevent getting meatballs (and to get burgers wide enough to fill most buns or extra wide buns) is to flatten the meat (typically 1/4 pound per burger) as much as I can and still retain its integrity. Mostly I still end up with burgers much smaller in diameter and thicker than I can really open my mouth to accomodate (and no one ever accused me of not being a big mouth! ;) ) -- especially with lettuce, tomato, etc.).

But I'd still say, whatever works. Rich


You're describing exactly the issue I am having. The burgers I cook are formed using a burger press so they are pretty much uniform in flatness and roundness, may try the idea of pushing the middle down a bit more before grilling and see what happens.
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#5 User is offline   Ronald 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:27 AM

View PostBriant73, on May 6 2010, 12:05 PM, said:

Coming from a Weber background I got very conditioned to grill with the lid closed but am wondering if for my CB Commercial grill I should modify my approach when grilling meats especially burgers/steaks. The reason I'm asking is I been having problems with burgers on it that are going from nice patties to almost meatball like in shape if I grill them with the cover down. The other night I cooked them with the cover open for awhile and then closed the cover the last few minutes. This seemed to keep them more in round/flatter shape. I felt with the thickness of the burgers I still needed to close the grill for awhile to cook them through. Any suggestions how I should modify my approach to lid open/closed.

Just curios, how and why did you go from a weber to a charbroil commercial
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#6 User is offline   Tubby's Smokehouse 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 11:37 AM

I always try and add 20-25% to the diameter of bun size for 80/20 ground beef, for shrinkage unless I'm grinding sirloin myself, I tend to make about 1/3 to 1/2 pound patties and like I mentioned I do the bobby flay trick and depress the center with my thumb

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#7 User is offline   Briant73 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:49 PM

View PostRonald, on May 6 2010, 12:27 PM, said:

Just curios, how and why did you go from a weber to a charbroil commercial


I had a Weber Spirit 500 that was around 15-18 years old and I was outgrowing it size wise so it was time to get a new grill. I made up a list of preference/criteria for my new grill. At the time I was starting the process of home shopping so wanted I wanted to save as much as I could for that purchase.

So I made a list of criteria and decided on a grill that was larger, could handle either propane or NG easily, side burner, front to back burner configuration, decent support and not break the bank. The fuel thing was because my current house had NG hookup and I like the convenience of not having to refill bottles every so often or hook them up. Also no guarantee if I did find a house I had no idea if it would have a NG hookup or if one could be added for a reasonable cost. Weber at the time lacked a supported gas conversion, though you could always do it and hope you don't void the warranty. The Weber Genesis was a bit more than I wanted to spend and the Spirit line just seemed like even the three burner would be too small and had recently been moved to China for production so wasn't sure about quality. My dad several years before I looked had purchased a five burner CharBroil commercial grill from lowes and had nothing but good things to say about it and not one problem other than finding a cover that would fit. The Charbroil 4 burner commercial fit my price/size range, had a side burner, was easily converted from one fuel source to another, CR rated it well for grilling performance (though I know CR has no clue about durability) and if I could get at least 5-7 years out of it, it would be OK by me.

Going on grilling season 3 and it's done very well definitely no signs of it falling apart. I have talked to CB customer support and they always spoke English and were very friendly.
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#8 User is offline   Ronald 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 01:55 PM

View PostBriant73, on May 6 2010, 02:49 PM, said:

I had a Weber Spirit 500 that was around 15-18 years old and I was outgrowing it size wise so it was time to get a new grill. I made up a list of preference/criteria for my new grill. At the time I was starting the process of home shopping so wanted I wanted to save as much as I could for that purchase.

So I made a list of criteria and decided on a grill that was larger, could handle either propane or NG easily, side burner, front to back burner configuration, decent support and not break the bank. The fuel thing was because my current house had NG hookup and I like the convenience of not having to refill bottles every so often or hook them up. Also no guarantee if I did find a house I had no idea if it would have a NG hookup or if one could be added for a reasonable cost. Weber at the time lacked a supported gas conversion, though you could always do it and hope you don't void the warranty. The Weber Genesis was a bit more than I wanted to spend and the Spirit line just seemed like even the three burner would be too small and had recently been moved to China for production so wasn't sure about quality. My dad several years before I looked had purchased a five burner CharBroil commercial grill from lowes and had nothing but good things to say about it and not one problem other than finding a cover that would fit. The Charbroil 4 burner commercial fit my price/size range, had a side burner, was easily converted from one fuel source to another, CR rated it well for grilling performance (though I know CR has no clue about durability) and if I could get at least 5-7 years out of it, it would be OK by me.

Going on grilling season 3 and it's done very well definitely no signs of it falling apart. I have talked to CB customer support and they always spoke English and were very friendly.

Wow 15 to 18 years.
I would say you got your monies worth out of that grill.
Your commercial is a pre 2008 grill so it was made with real SS
That all makes sense.
So have you used propane and natural gas?
Have you seen the char-broil cookbook that gives directions for ways to cook with the commercial series?
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#9 User is offline   Briant73 

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Posted 06 May 2010 - 02:05 PM

View PostRonald, on May 6 2010, 02:55 PM, said:

Wow 15 to 18 years.
I would say you got your monies worth out of that grill.
Your commercial is a pre 2008 grill so it was made with real SS
That all makes sense.
So have you used propane and natural gas?
Have you seen the char-broil cookbook that gives directions for ways to cook with the commercial series?


Yeah that Weber 500 was one tough grill, for the first 4-5 years it was just used and moderately cleaned before I really paid attention to it on maintenance. The grill got blown over more than a couple times and still worked well.

I used NG at my old house of course (left the Weber with the house btw). When I finally found a new house and moved into it I found no gas line running outside but on the inside the gas line was right next to the wall it would need to come out through. So I had it run outside for a very reasonable expense and used that ever since. It's decent grill so far, maybe not as robust as my Father's grill or a Weber model in the build quality but I feel it's going to last at least 2-3 more grilling seasons after this one is over. I have looked over the CB recipe's online but sometimes it's easier to just ask people what they do when cooking.

Steaks usually I sear them and then grill them with the lid closed on medium turning them over only once.
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