How to make the Best Burgers
How do you make the best burger patty? Everyone likes their burger their way, which means it is hard to find the perfect burger to suit everyone. We believe that what makes the best burger is the combination of a good patty and the toppings you choose.
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The way we make our patties is a method I learned from my uncle when I was young. He owned a chip truck and taught me to make patties when I was about 12 years old. I loved helping prep the food for the day with him and my aunt in the mornings. This became my summer job for years to come.
Our patties are very simple: meat and SPG (salt, pepper, and garlic). We don’t add eggs or breadcrumbs. There are no fillers or binders in our burger patties.
So how do we keep the patties from falling apart?
The answer to this question is simple. We use a medium (77/23) ground beef, which is the closest to an 80/20 blend. The fat (the second number) is what helps hold patties together. When a medium isn’t available, lean (83/17) is the next best thing.
We also make our patties fresh and place them in the freezer for one hour before cooking. This helps keep the patties together when cooking. They don’t become frozen in that time, but they do become very cold and easier to handle.
Tools needed to make the perfect patty
When making burger patties, there are a few tools we use that help make the patties. These three items make it easier to get evenly-sized burgers.
A food scale: weigh the meat before forming the patties. We like 4-ounce burgers (113 grams) before cooking. Sometimes we make the patties 5 or 6 ounces (140 or 170 grams), depending on the size of the buns we use. I use a simple scale I purchased on Amazon.
Wax paper squares: we use 6″ x 6″ (15 cm x 15 cm) squares which we find at our local dollar store. Each patty needs two sheets, which are used to form the patties.
A small plate with a flat bottom: the plate is used to flatten the meat into a patty. If you don’t have a flat bottom plate, you can use the plate upside down, as I do.
How we make our burger patties: Step by Step
- Start with medium(80/20) ground beef
- Lay out enough wax paper squares for the number of patties you are planning on making
- Place a wax paper sheet on a food scale
- Weigh out the desired amount of ground beef (4-5 ounces is a good amount)
- Form the ground beef portion into a ball and place it on one of the wax paper squares
- Continue with the remaining ground beef
- Place a second square of wax paper over the ground beef balls
- Using a small plate, press down firmly on each ball to flatten to ½ inch thickness (1.25 cm)
- Place patties on a tray or baking sheet and freeze for one hour before grilling or frying
Cooking the patties
Remove the patties from the freezer 5 minutes before cooking for the best results.
The best way to cook these patties is on the grill. Preheat your grill to medium-high, 350°F to 375°F. Place patties on the hot grill, (don’t forget to remove the wax paper first) sprinkle with SPG and cook for 4-5 minutes before flipping. Continue cooking on the second side for 4-5 before removing and allowing to rest for 2 minutes before serving.
Another way to cook burgers is in a cast iron frying pan. Make sure your pan is very hot before cooking the burgers. Add patties to the hot pan and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes before flipping. Cook on the second side for additional 4-5 minutes before removing the patties from the pan.
Do not overcook the patties. They should be just done. A little pink in the centre is OK as the meat will continue to cook slightly as it rests. The internal temperature should be 165°F if testing with a meat thermometer.
SPG- Salt Pepper and Garlic Seasoning
SPG is always available in our house. We use it on a variety of meats.
Making it is easy. It is a ratio of 4 salt, 2 pepper, and 1 garlic. At least that is how it is supposed to be. We make our a little different. I am not a fan of too much salt so I make it at a ratio of 2 salt, 2 pepper, and 1 garlic.
Tips for making burgers
Always preheat your pan or grill before cooking.
Flip burger patties once.
Do not press down on a burger while it is cooking. Doing so will result in a dry burger.
Do not overcook. An internal temperature of 165°F is best.
If you are adding cheese to your burgers, a good time to top the patty with cheese is as soon as you remove them from the grill. The cheese will melt while the burger is resting. You can also add the cheese to the patty in the last minute of cooking.
How you top your burger is what makes it perfect. There are so many ways to make a burger.
We enjoy toasted buns and melted cheese on our burgers. The type of bun and cheese changes depending on our mood or what we have on hand at the time.
Other great toppings include lettuce, tomato, mayo, pickles, pickled jalapenos, mustard, and onions. Ketchup is only used by a few of our teens, but it makes a great topping for those who like it. We have also added homemade chili to our burgers for a different taste.
No matter how you top your burger, these patties are the perfect way to start your burgers and make them your way.
Storing leftover burgers
If you have any patties left over after cooking, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in the microwave or the oven.