The burger is a staple of meals, so delicious, messy, full of proteins and veggies (sometimes) and it hits the spots. And it is the all weather perfect meal. And certain places just nail the perfect burger. In-N-Out has a reputation for doing it right with onions, others go all out with truffle, exotic ingredients, or artisan buns. Restaurants have plenty of resources, but at home you can use a few hacks to make yours even better. Here are some simple ways to beef up your basic burger.
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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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.
So tonight may be the night you use these simples ways to beef up your basic burger and a. have tasty dinner!