Making burgers at home shouldn’t be a stress-filled time where you’re constantly over-thinking about that goddamn miracle of a burger you had that one time that you could never, ever make in your own kitchen. And you’re probably right. Let’s face it: professional burgers have several x-factors going for them that are often difficult to replicate at home, such a seasoned grill, secret sauce, and meat source. But there are some tried and true ways of, at the very least, kicking your burgers up a notch. Or maybe even a few. Here are 9 easy ways to create a burger that is anything but basic.
1. Cold Hands
The heat of your hands “melts” the hamburger, creating a sticky mess that makes it super challenging to make a killer patty. Dip ’em in ice water first and watch your patties shine!
2. Grate Your Onions
Don’t bother slicing those suckers. Grate them directly into the hamburger. The onion juices will incorporate nicely into the raw meat.
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Cheater tip: instead of chopping onions to mix in with ground beef for burgers, grate the onions instead. Not only is it easier than chopping them, but [more importantly] all the juice from the onion gets right into your ground beef mixture, giving your burgers even more flavor. Works just as well for ground turkey or chicken, of course. This is totally not my idea, you can thank Rachel Ray for this clean eating cheater tip of the day. #whole30 #paleo #cleaneats #burgers #meat #cheatertip #foodhacks #burgerhacks #whole30hack
3. Put a Thumb on It
Place a thumb print in the center of the patty to allow it to fill up with flavorful juices while it’s cooking. It will stay moist by evaporating its own delicious meat nectar.
4. Put an Egg in It
So basic, but such a winning tip. Before cooking, cut out the middle of a patty (a cookie cutter, mason jar lid or cup works great) and crack an egg into the center, like a Toad In the Hole but with meat instead of bread.
4. Chill Out
Unlike a steak that cooks best at room temperature, you want your burger patties to be chilled before cooking to retain the firmness of the fat, like a stick of butter, so it won’t melt off when cooking.
5. Don’t Cook Frozen Meat
Thaw a patty in minutes, just like you would a steak, by placing the sealed bag it’s in between a pot of water and a sheet pan. After it’s thawed, stick it in the fridge to chill (see #4). It really is that easy.
6. Make a Cheese Dog
Who says your hamburger has to be in patty form? Press the meat into a rectangle, lay down some cheese strips, then roll that thing into a hot dog and serve it in a bun.
7. Get Fat
Skip the lean meats for fattier ones (looks for a ratio of about 80/20 — lean vs fat) to make sure your burgers have flavor. If you’re that worried about calories (for one, you should’t be eating hamburgers), just make smaller patties. You’ll ultimately feel more satisfied anyway.
8. Don’t Flip Out
Patience, young Grasshopper. The burgers will lose their juices if you keep flipping them. Try to limit yourself to just a single flip. Otherwise, you risk having a dry burger.
9. Spice Is Nice
Add some jalapeños, red peppers, hot peppers or any kind of pepper to your raw burger mixture to add a little extra heat to your hot grill.