Grilled chicken burger on bun

How to Grill Chicken Burgers: Master the Flip

Grilled chicken burgers make for a delicious meal when you crave charred meat on a bun but don’t want to eat a traditional hamburger again. There are a bunch of techniques you can follow to create supreme grilled chicken burgers, like using a panade to keep the patties moist. But when it comes time to grill them, there’s one very important rule regarding how often you flip the patties while the meat cooks — and it’s a one-and-done situation.

One flip is all you need, done half way through the grilling time, for a perfectly-cooked chicken burger. You’ll know the patty is ready for the single flip when it’s easy to remove from the grill grate with a spatula. Is the bottom of the patty stuck to the bottom? Stop, because that means it’s not yet time to flip. The cooking time will vary depending on how thick the patty is and the grill’s temperature. After you flip, continue to cook the chicken burger until its juices run clear and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, then remove it from the grill. What happens if you keep flipping? Believe it or not, you risk ruining your burger in more ways than one.

Overflip and risk a dry chicken burger

Spatula flipping patties on grill

There are a few downsides to flipping a chicken burger too often. The biggest mishap is that it will dry out the patties and make the meat tough, similar to what happens with beef burgers that are flipped too often. Generally, chicken is leaner than beef so it’s even more important to keep the juices inside the patties for both texture and flavor. If the burgers aren’t ready and you force the spatula underneath anyway, you risk tearing your handmade patty apart when it sticks to the grill. This leads to the flavorful juices escaping from the patty, potentially crumbling it and requiring more grill clean up after your final bite. (If that happens to you, use these essential tips for cleaning a grill as guidance.)

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Try this single flip tip with Look’s garlic chicken burgers; the recipes calls for cooking them in a pan on the stovetop but they would certainly benefit from time on the grill instead. Use your best spatula to flip the burger — and refrain from smashing it with the tool or the juices will escape and turn the burgers dry just like frequent flipping does. And if you need to brush up on your grilling game, here are our grilling tips and tricks to help you make the best burgers ever.

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