Let me start by saying, I am not a grill master, by any stretch of the imagination. We bought a Traeger grill two summers ago, and I’m still learning. I want to be good at it, but it takes a lot of practice. That being said, I think I have got the burgers down, and after several different “seasonings” I think I found the winning combination. These burgers are simple, tasty, and quick to throw together.
I went through a period where I thought my burgers had to be mini-meatloaves. I was including almond flour, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, etc. Through trial and error I have learned that a burger should be just that – a burger! Leave the meatloaf for a loaf pan. If you’re making burgers, let them be.
Simple Teriyaki Burgers
2 lb ground beef (or elk – that’s what I use!)
4 T coconut aminos teriyaki sauce
1 T seasoning salt (I use Real Salt organic seasoning salt for everything and love it)
**makes 8 burgers
Preheat your grill – I put my traeger on high heat (about 425)
Combine ingredients in a bowl until incorporated. Don’t be afraid, use your hands and squish squish squish. That’s the best way to get it done!
Divide meat into 8 equal portions (about a tennis ball size). I split mine in half, then quarters, then eighths.
Take each ball of meat and flatten gently with your hands until it forms a patty. Don’t overwork it, just gently press down.
Now here is a secret: take your thumb or two of your fingers and gently make an indentation on the top of each patty. This will ensure a flat patty while it cooks, instead of puffing up into a ball on the grill.
Place burgers on the grill, INDENTATION side DOWN.
Cook times will vary, depending on your grill. Traeger grills typically take a little bit longer, and elk cooks a lot more quickly than beef because it’s so lean. For my elk burgers, I cook them 5-6 minutes on the first side, then flip for another 3-4 minutes. Beef would probably take 8-10 minutes on the first side. The thing to look for is liquid pooling on top of your burger – then you know the juices are working their way through and it’s time to flip! If you use a meat thermometer, beef should reach 160 degrees (elk is 145 degrees).
Remove from the grill and eat as desired! For these bunless burgers, I used butter lettuce for wrapping. I overlap two pieces and place my burger right in the middle. Then I top it with guacamole and dump ranch, wrap it up good and devour. I have tried romaine lettuce with burgers, but don’t like it as much. Butter lettuce is really nice because it’s strong and folds really well without tearing. Romaine is too crisp.
Other topping ideas:
- grilled mushrooms
- grilled onions
There you have it! Burgers are so quick, and I love that they are easy to customize. Everyone gets something they like in a meal like this. For a family of 6, that’s a huge bonus! Just a note: if you don’t have or don’t want to buy the coconut aminos teriyaki sauce, you could replace it with Worcestershire sauce, liquid aminos, or something similar. I don’t recommend soy sauce.