HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 23, 2007 12:37 PM

Making burgers in advance..need help!

I'm entertaining a large group for a cookout and don't want to slave over the grill for hours. Does anyone have advice for making burgers in advance and keep them hot and juicy?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. when I make homemade meatballs, I keep them warm by placing them in a slow cooker on the warm setting, so perhaps it will work with burgers? I don't cook them in the slow cooker, I just use it as a warming dish.

    1. I would not do this: If you keep them hot enough to be safe, they'll dry out. I would just form them ahead, refrigerate, and enlist a few friends to take turns at the grill.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        I have to agree. Burgers need to be grilled, let rest, then eaten immediately. Now, I've had leftover burgers which I've re-heated at a later time. But, I fully expect them to be well done and dry after. Personally, I would change my menu before serving pre-cooked burgers.
        Along with enlisting help (which most folks are happy to do), make your burgers on the thin side, about 6 oz. each. This is a perfect portion, and they will all cook a bit quicker. And, never press on them to expedite the cooking as it squeezes the precious juices out.

        As long as your organize your prep, you'll do fine! You can do this!
        btw......let your burgers rest for about 20 minutes at room temp prior, to help cook them evenly, and a bit quicker.
        Best of luck, and remember to enjoy yourself!

        1. re: monavano

          oh well- it was just a thought. I've always prepared the burgers ahead of time, put them in the fridge & cooked them at the last minute, so I was just guessing. But the meatballs don't dry out...hhmmmm

      2. hmmmn...you can keep brats warm in a beer and onion bath, I wonder if you took a deep pan, threw in a sliced onion and a can or two of consomme, and let it simmer on the grill on low heat, how that would work??? it's either be burger bliss or you'd end up serving burger soup.

        3 Replies
        1. re: wabbitslayer

          Without the casings, the fat in the burgers would leech out and you'd end up with hockey pucks, I fear. I don't think there's a way to make tasty, juicy burgers in advance...they just don't hold well.

          Maybe, if your priority is to keep from having to grill while you have guests there, shift to chicken or some such thing that you could reasonably hold in an oven or in the grill at a low temp for a fair bit of time without doing any harm, and perhaps doing some good.

          Or go to brats, which would keep very nicely in beer and onions!

          1. re: ccbweb

            Thanks to everyone that weighed in on the topic. I think I'm going to slightly revise the menu and have Brats, Sloppy Joes and Chicken. Thank goodness that none of my guests are vegetarian!

            1. re: nakiska

              Sounds like a good menu to me. I've been craving sloppy joes for a while now, I think I'll make some tonight.