10 Tips to Cook Perfect Burgers Every Time
Making the perfect burger every time is easy if you know the secrets of the pros. Check out these 10 tips to take your burger recipe to the next level.
Burgers are the ultimate comfort food, but although they’re all delicious, some are heavenly. The perfect burger is easier to put together if you know what you’re doing, so here are 10 tips for cooking and assembling the perfect burger. Try them out and master the art of flipping patties!
1. Homemade Beats Everything Else.
Let’s start with the basics. Although there are many tasty burgers in fast-food chains and burger joints, nothing beats a homemade burger. So, if you’re looking for the perfect one, know that it will come from your kitchen and not any restaurant.
Homemade burgers are special for many reasons. For starters, you use finer ingredients, and you take your time cooking them. Restaurants are always in a rush! The first tip to make the perfect burger is: make your own!
2. Using the Right Patties.
Although all burgers are different, there’s no doubt the most essential ingredient is the meat. The proper patties make the difference! Now, you can just buy frozen patties (some of them are pretty tasty!), or you can make your own burger patties — the second option is always better. Why? You can choose your meat!
The lean-to-fat ratio is what matters here. Try using ground meat with a ratio between 80-20 and 75-25. Leaner than that, and the burgers will be too dry. Don’t be afraid of fat; it’s what gives burger patties their flavor!
3. Brioche Buns, All the Way.
Once you have the right meat, it’s time to choose the bun. And okay, all burger buns are kind of the same, but you want to stay clear from the most common ones — look for an artisan kind instead!
The best buns for any burger are made with brioche dough; they are buttery and have a glossy finish. The bun’s sweetness contrasts with the beef’s flavor nicely for one heavenly bite after another. Sesame buns are a more traditional alternative but do try the brioche buns! You’ll love them.
4. Butter or Mayo?
Burger buns are not complete until you spread them with something creamy. And here comes the real question, should you spread mayo on your burger buns or butter? Actually, this is a personal choice. Although butter is much more compatible with brioche buns, some people love their mayo. Mayonnaise is savory and adds a palate-coating feeling that you might or might not love.
5. Say Cheese!
What’s a burger without cheese? Sure, you can make one sans-cheese, but what’s the point then? If you’re on the quest for the perfect burger, you’ve gotta have cheese and lots of it.
The most common cheese for a burger is American cheese, but not the best. You can replace it with Cheddar or Monterey Jack. You can also use blue cheese, gruyere or something exciting like that. Don't skip the cheese! And if you want to melt it over the patties while grilling, don't add it later. Fry together.
6. Eat Your Veggies!
Burgers might not be the healthiest food in the world, but they don’t have to be unhealthy either. In fact, adding some veggies can make your burger more nutritious while improving its taste and texture.
A thick tomato slice is a no-brainer, and a lettuce leaf adds a nice crunch. Sautéed mushrooms are earthy and nicely compatible with cheese, and then there’s the onion. Do you like your onion raw or caramelized? Why not add both? Try adding some hot peppers as well! Spice up your life!
7. It’s All About the Quality of the Ingredients.
Burgers can look very different from each other, but the very best are made with the finest ingredients. When it comes to burgers, you can’t cut any corners.
The meat, the bun, even the veggies have to be top notch. That’s what makes a burger great — and that goes for all food. This means your burger will be a bit more expensive, but that’s precisely why yours will end up better than anything you can buy. Restaurants use cheap ingredients, not the good stuff.
8. Flip Once, and Don’t Overcook the Patties!
Now, when it comes to grilling burger patties, there’s a common rule — you want to flip them only once, and you want to make sure they’re cooked through. Burgers are not meant to be served medium or medium-well; ground meat doesn’t work like that.
You still want your patties nice and juicy, but don’t under-cook them, and flipping them just once will help with that. By the way, grilled patties are way better than those cooked in a pan.
9. Don’t Forget the Sides!
You’ll be surprised how the right side dishes can make a burger much more enjoyable. Fries are a safe bet, but there are many ways of making those too! Potato wedges, sweet potato fries and loaded potatoes are nice sides as well — what they all have in common is that they’re starchy.
Corn on the cob, slaw, zucchini chips or a tossed salad are excellent too. Make sure you offer a well-rounded experience. The burgers will still be the stars of the show, but they need the right supporting actors.
10. Leave The Burgers.
One of the most common mistakes when making burgers is pressing on the meat. When we press the burger patties with a spatula, it becomes difficult to get juicy and moist patties. Allow your hamburger patties to cook on their own to avoid leaving their juices on the grill. Otherwise, dry or even dispersed meatballs may disappoint you.
It’s never about the burger!
Do you want to make the perfect burger? The answer might not be in the food, but the entire experience. More often than not, it’s the setting, ambiance and sides that make burger night special.
In fact, the most important thing is the people you share the meal with. Put on some music and let everyone make their own perfect burger. Cooking is a team effort, and burgers are proof of it. Don’t worry too much about making the one burger to rule them all; make them perfect for you and your guests. That’s what matters!
The Perfect Burger, does it Really Exist?
The truth is, there’s no such thing as the perfect burger. Better said, there’s a perfect burger for you, but it’s different for everyone. The perfect burger is made with care and intention, and it’s always shared with friends and family. Now, let’s fire up the grill and start flippin’ some burgers!
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