The Chopstick Hack For Perfectly Portioned Burger Patties

There's nothing quite as satisfying as a charred burger on a soft bun adorned with lettuce, tomato, and all the fixings. However, the process of portioning the meat can be challenging, especially when you're trying to keep your hands clean, as achieving the perfect patty-making magic usually requires getting a bit messy. But fear not — there's a technique gaining popularity on social media that will keep your hands clean and result in perfectly portioned burgers. All you need to try this hack is a plastic storage bag and a chopstick.

Instead of mixing the meat and seasonings by hand and then forming each burger individually, you'll use a plastic resealable bag to mix the ingredients thoroughly and store them. At the same time, a standard take-out-sized chopstick will become your trusty portioning tool. First, prepare your favorite burger blend and add any desired seasonings. The beauty of this trick is that it works with any burger recipe you love, so feel free to experiment beyond just ground beef — try ground chicken, turkey, or even your favorite veggie burger mixture for a delightful twist.

How to portion meat quickly

Place the ground meat into the bag, along with your seasonings, and seal it tightly. Massage and squish everything around until the ingredients are evenly mixed. Flatten the mixture inside the bag. Use a ruler to divide the bag into thirds, or if you prefer, you can eyeball it into approximately equal, square portions. Gently push the chopstick into the plastic wrap until you meet the countertop, two times lengthwise and two times widthwise, to create evenly sized portions. The rounded edge of the chopstick will prevent puncturing the bag, making it a safer tool compared to a spatula.

You can cook the burgers immediately, breaking off the portioned pieces as needed, or freeze the entire bag flat for later use. A standard gallon-size zip-top bag should yield approximately nine smaller-sized burgers, each about a quarter pound before cooking, assuming you have two pounds of meat mixture in the bag. If you're dividing just a pound of meat, a quart-size bag will suffice, and you will end up with six burgers.

The benefits and drawbacks of pre-made burgers

One evident advantage of this method is the convenience of perfectly sized burgers and clean hands. When you bring frozen meat to a barbecue, you can easily break off portions without the need to thaw them or get your hands messy. Additionally, you'll be able to bypass the expense of buying pre-made patties from the grocery store. With this technique, you have the freedom to select your desired seasonings and avoid any unhealthy ingredients or excessive sodium that store-bought products might contain. Moreover, you can have pre-seasoned and divided burgers ready to cook instantly.

However, the main drawback of this hack is that if you have a strong preference for round-shaped burgers, you'll need to get your hands dirty to shape the patties into pleasing disks manually. Furthermore, the use of plastic bags in this method might be considered unnecessary or wasteful. Still, if you need a bunch of burgers, this trick might be worth trying.