Top 10 Tips for Making the Best Burger – Ever!

We are a nation of burger lovers. Some of us are traditionalists and prefer a classic burger that stands the test of time – one with American cheese, lettuce, tomato and onion on a sesame seed bun. Others look to the wild side with more unconventional ingredients such as braised pork belly or spicy kimchi. Some like them small, others like them big. There’s no doubt about it, burgers have earned their place at the table. So, here are 10 ways to make sure you get the best burger ever – no matter how you choose to eat it.

  1. Cook outdoors. Most food tastes better when cooked outside and burgers are no exception. Flipping a burger on a hot grill is one of life’s little pleasures.
  2. A little fat is good. Don’t be afraid of some fat – especially when it comes to grilling a burger. It’s best to use chopped meat that has about an 80/20 beef to fat ratio. Less fat means a drier burger. Let’s face it, if you’re going to do it, do it with some fat – results will be juicier. 
  3.  Add a little flavor. Salt and pepper are a given, but think about other ways to spice up your burger. Try mixing in a little Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, chopped garlic, blue cheese or onion. An egg or some milk-soaked breadcrumbs will make them even moister. Experiment- the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can do.
  4. Don’t overwork it. Handling the meat too much will make it tougher because the heat from your hands and the friction of mixing causes the fat to break down. Just mix and pat.
  5. Make your mark. Many grillers suggest making a fingerprint on the top of the burger to keep them nice and flat and to prevent them from getting too bloated. Just press down lightly with your thumb for a small indentation in the middle.  
  6.  Start with a clean grate. Make sure your grill grate is clean and there are no unwanted items stuck to its surface. A dirty grate will add unwanted flavors to your burger.
  7. Heat it up. Start with a hot grill. Burgers are best when you sear the outside and keep the juice on the inside. High even heat will accomplish this – infrared grills are a great option and have been said to deliver some amazing burgers.
  8. Don’t squish. Many grillers tend to squish their burgers down with a spatula when grilling – avoid this action. It’s like squeezing the juice right out of them. Try to only flip once and don’t squish!
  9. Let them rest. Before placing the burger on the bun, let them rest a couple of minutes. This will allow the juice to settle to ensure your first bite is a juicy one.
  10. Don’t skimp on the bun. Now, that you’ve got the perfect burger, it would be a shame to put it on a bun that falls apart. Choose your bun carefully. Try a brioche or pretzel bun and enjoy!