The Perfect Burger

The Perfect Burger

How to Make the Perfect Burger:

Who doesn’t love a perfect burger that is juicy, flavorful, and perfectly cooked? It’s an art that, when done correctly, can be a real masterpiece. Here I have for you all of the tips and tricks you need to make the best burgers that everyone will love. 

Making the Patties:

  • Use 80% ground chuck: Perfect for the juiciest burgers. 
  • Don’t overwork the meat: When you handle ground beef you are altering the structure of the proteins. The protein chains become linked and as a result, the meat becomes tough. To avoid this, use your hands to gently shape the patties. 
  • Make the Beef the Star: Mix-ins such as egg, bread crumbs, onions, etc. are great if your making meatballs, but this is a burger. For one, adding all that stuff forces you to overwork the meat. And two, it takes away from the delicious flavor of the beef. Keep it simple with salt & pepper for a great, delicious burger. 
  • Form patties larger than the size of your bun: During cooking the patties shrink significantly. So shaping them larger results in a patty that is, or is close to, the same circumference of your bun.  
  • Make a divot in the center of the patties: The center of the patty will puff up during cooking, so making a divot keeps them nice and flat. 

How to Season Correctly:

  • Do not salt the beef too early: As soon as you add salt to beef it starts drawing out moisture and dissolving proteins. So if the salt is added too early you will be left with a dry, tough patty. The best time to season is right before you’re about to cook the patties.  
  • Season generously: Even the world’s finest Kobe beef would be bland without a generous addition of salt and pepper. Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt are best. 

Cooking the Patties:

  • Cook patties over high heat: Burgers cook quickly over high heat. The best way to cook burgers is by using a very hot cast-iron skillet or griddle with a neutral oil or rendered beef/pork fat. 
    • Making a bacon burger? Awesome, the rendered fat is perfect for cooking patties in. 
  • Use a meat thermometer: Unless you are very skilled at the poke test, it’s always best to use a meat thermometer. Cook to an internal temperature of 135° for medium-rare and 150° for medium-well. 
  • Let the burger rest: Let the burger rest for 5 minutes before serving so it has time to reabsorb its juices.   

Assembling the Burger: 

  • Use the right bun: The best buns for burgers are potato buns, brioche, or sesame. Butter the buns and toast on the inside for about 30 seconds before assembling the burger. 
  • Keep toppings to a minimum: If you go crazy with toppings the burger will be too big and end up falling apart. Choose 3-4 of your favorite toppings and a couple of condiments.  

Order of topping assembly can be a controversial topic- remember when everyone freaked out over Google’s hamburger emoji that had the cheese UNDER the patty? Anyways, this is my logic, try not to judge: Lettuce under the patty so that it catches the juices and keeps the bottom bun from getting soggy. Then, onion goes in between the lettuce and the patty, serving as a barrier that keeps the lettuce away from the heat. As for the tomato, I don’t really have a preference of under or over.

Have a different order you prefer? Let me know in the comments. Maybe you’ll sway me. 😉

The Perfect Burger

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The Perfect Burger
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

The Perfect Burger

The perfect burger, juicy and full of flavor.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: burger, cheeseburger
Servings: 4 burgers
Calories: 350kcal
Cost: $10

Equipment

  • Cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chuck, 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Classic Toppings:

  • sliced onion
  • 4 large slices Beefsteak or vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese, American cheese, or muenster
  • 4 slices Iceberg, romaine, or green-leaf lettuce
  • Ketchup
  • Mayonnaise

Instructions

  • Prepare your toppings and condiments.
  • Gently shape the ground beef into 4 equal patties that are about an inch larger in circumference than your bun, ¼ lb. each. Press a divot into the center of the patties.
  • Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet. Once the skillet is very hot, add the patties and season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste. Cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare (135° on a meat thermometer) or about 5 minutes per side for medium-well (150° on a meat thermometer).
  • Let the patties rest for 5 minutes before serving. Toast the buns with butter, if desired, and add the toppings of your choice. Be sure to read the post above for detailed instructions.

Nutrition

Calories: 350kcal
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1 Comment

  1. Okay! When I saw you had photo of lettuce on the underneath the burger, I thought… No!

    But now that I read why… it makes sense! I don’t like a soggy bun. Now lettuce goes on the bottom!

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