There is simply nothing else in the world like the perfect juicy, flavorful hamburger slathered in your favorite sauces. It is one of my favorite foods of all time.
We all like different fixings but the methods for a perfect patty are pretty standard. Try these easy tips and you will be a master of the burger like never before!
Make the Patty With Tools Already In Your Kitchen: Take the lid to a gallon jar or use mason jar ring. Line it with plastic wrap so it overhangs the edges. Place this on a kitchen scale and zero it. Then add the amount of meat you want to use gently press the meat flat. Press an indentation into the middle of the patty. This will help your burger cook out flat. Set the burger / plastic wrap aside and keep using the lid and new wrap until you have the number of burgers you want.
Get The Serving Size Right: I use a pound of meat and divide it in quarters (about 4 1/2oz after it is mixed). Hungry man size is two patties. If you are serving a side dish, one patty per person is fine. For smaller children try using about 2 1/4oz of burger to make a patty.
Add Salt At The Right Time: Adding salt to the burger mix draws water out of the meat which reduces the tender, juicy flavor. Salt the patties one side and grill salt side down. Just before you flip the burgers salt the other (top) side. We like a seasoning salt such as Johnny’s. You can go uptown if you like and use kosher salt.
Water Makes ‘Em Moist: I’m seeing a lot of chef burger recipes that suggest adding 2-3 Tablespoons of ice water to every pound of hamburger meat. This literally replaces the water that is cooking out of the meat and helps protect the juicy factor. Give it a try!
Start With a Clean Grill: Not rocket science here people. A clean, oiled grill prevents sticking and hamburger destruction.
Keep the Grill Lid Open: This prevents smoking the burgers in a bad way and helps them cook evenly (or so the gurus say).
Don’t Push It: Thou shalt not press the patties flat with the spatula as they cook. This pushes the yummy juice out of it and your patty will be dry and sad.
What About the Cheese?: Use one you love (I’m a Tillamook cheddar and sharp cheddar girl all the way!) and add it about two minutes before the 2nd side is done.
Pineapple is King: I know we all love bacon but my favorite burger addition is pineapple and a bit of teriyaki sauce. If you want to impress your burger crew grill a few rings from a fresh or canned pineapple. Just grill both sides until you have grill marks and the fruit is hot through. Plan on 1-2 rings / burger. Drizzle cooked burgers with a sauce such as General Yoshida’s Original Gourmet Sauce. It is knock your socks off, major food coma good!
Jonathan is developing a really amazing french fry recipe that we will share at some point. Until then, this coleslaw goes great with burgers. It is the most popular recipe at Mirlandra’s Kitchen.
You don’t need every kitchen gadget under the sun, but a slicer like this is a workhorse you will use all week long. It is my tool for nice thin slices of tomatoes and onions for hamburgers:
The Best Hamburger Recipe & Burger Tips
- 1 pound hamburger 20% fat (this is the perfect fat content so no substitutions!)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs or gluten free Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1/2. tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 2-3 Tbsp. ice water optional
- Seasoning salt or kosher salt for grilling
- Cheese pineapple and assorted hamburger condiments
- Gently combine all ingredients with your fingers just until they are mixed. Over mixing will destroy the tenderness.
- To form the patties, take the lid to a gallon jar or use mason jar ring. Line it with plastic wrap so it overhangs the edges. Place this on a kitchen scale and zero it. Then add the amount of meat you want to use gently press the meat flat. Press an indentation into the middle of the patty. This will help your burger cook out flat. Set the burger / plastic wrap aside and keep using the lid and new wrap until you have the number of burgers you want.
- Start with a clean, oiled grill and grill several minutes on the first side before flipping for about two additional minutes. Salt patties as you go with seasoning salt or kosher salt. Add cheese about two minutes before the burgers are done on the second side.
- Note: All grilling times depend on the heat and even cooking of your grill.