Burgers may seem like an easy meal option, but there’s a lot that goes into making the perfect burger. Factors such as when you choose to season your patties, the size and shape of your burgers and, of course, how you choose to cook your creations are key to perfecting the art of burger making.
Below are six top tips on how to make a 5-star burger at home.
1. Grind Your Own Burger Meat
The best burgers start with the best beef, so if you’re aiming to up your burger game store-bought beef mince just isn’t going to cut it. The truth is that you just can’t be sure of what is it you’re buying when you purchase minced beef from most supermarkets and whatever it is the quality isn’t going to be great. Instead, buy good quality cuts from your local butcher and grind your meat at home. Don’t have a meat grinder? You can use any good quality food processor. Simply dice your meat into small chunks, firm them up in the freezer for approximately ten minutes then blend to your desired consistency.
2. Don’t Over Work Your Patties
Once you’ve ground your mince try not to handle it any more than what’s required to form the perfect patties. Handling the mixture too much can cause your burger to become dense and therefore tough once cooked. For a mouthwatering, tender burger, handle the ground meat a little as possible and when you are forming your patties try to be as gentle as you can.
Even if you’re using the highest quality beef you could get your hands on your burger patties will still need lots of seasoning. Don’t be shy when adding salt and pepper. Freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt are so much tastier than your regular table salt and pepper.
When you choose to season your patties is also important. The best time to season your burgers is directly before cooking. Adding salt any earlier in the process will affect the proteins in the meat, change the texture and reduce the moisture in your mixture and will result in dry and chewy burgers.
4. Size & Shape Matters
Creating burger patties that are uniform in shape and size not only makes them look more professional, it also ensures they’ll cook at the same rate. When dividing your mixture into patties use your kitchen scales to accurately weigh each patty and you can even use a ruler to measure the size and thickness if you so wish.
Remember that thinner burgers require less cooking time and fatter patties tend to be juicer! If you’re a fan of bigger, fatter burgers then pressing a dip into the middle of the burger before cooking should help them retain their circular shape whilst cooking.
5. Flipping Your Burgers
Contrary to popular belief, it’s better to flip your burgers frequently whilst cooking in order to achieve an evenly cooked burger. Flipping more frequently could also help your burgers cook faster. Whilst flipping your burgers more frequently won’t affect the taste too much it’s just one small way that you could make your burgers stand out from the rest.
6. Use A Thermometer Whilst Cooking
The secret to becoming a better grill master is investing in the right tools that take the guesswork out of cooking. There is a range of food thermometers on the market and these are the only way to accurately measure the internal temperature of your burgers. When cooking your burgers remember that the meat will continue to cook from the residual heat shortly after they have been removed from the grill so you may want to remove them just before they reach the temperature you’re aiming for.
So the next time you choose to rustle up a batch of burgers, follow these six tips that are sure to make your patties stand out from the crowd.