Five Steps for Cooking the Perfect Burger, According to Experts

National Hamburger Day was on Friday AND it’s Memorial Day weekend!  If you’re planning on having a burger to celebrate, here are five tips from chefs and other experts on how to cook the PERFECT burger.

1.  Aim for an 80-20 meat-to-fat ratio.  An 80-20 ratio gives a good balance of moisture and flavor.

2.  Base your patty size on what cooking surface you use.  A good rule of thumb is when you’re cooking on a griddle, use around four ounces of beef . . . on the grill, aim for a 6 to 8 ounce patty . . . and when pan searing, a 7-ounce patty holds up to the higher heat and won’t overcook because of the thickness.

3.  Use chilled meat and don’t overwork it.  Chilled meat will help keep you from overworking it.  One chef recommended grabbing a ball of meat about the size of a pool ball and gently flattening it out.

4.  Season the beef AFTER you form the patties.  Mixing salt or seasonings into the middle of the patty can draw out moisture and make it dense like a hockey puck.

5.  Flip once, and only when the burger is ready to be flipped.  A big mistake people make is pushing the burger around and trying to flip it before it’s ready.  If you’re scraping at it trying to flip it, it’s not ready.  A good indicator is when you see the edges of the patty just starting to shrink in a little bit.