10 Easy Tips for Making the Perfect Burger
Close your eyes for a minute and think about your perfect cookout burger — smell the smoke from the barbecue grill, listen to the chatter of your friends and family as they rave about how delicious the food is, and then taste a bite of the season’s first burger. What does it taste like? While many delicious burgers are made with lots of add-ins and toppers, the odds are good that the flavor you remember is beef with little else added to it. That’s no surprise, because the perfect burger is all about simplicity.
If you start with good-quality ingredients and apply proper cooking techniques, then you really don’t need to do much to turn ground beef into a juicy and delicious burger. Spring for high-quality ground meat (go for grass-fed beef if you can; it has more flavor) that has a decent fat content (which is needed to keep the burger moist and to enhance its flavor) and then handle and cook the burgers with care. Other types of ground meat, particularly lean meats like chicken or turkey, may need a few extra ingredients or a bit more attention to achieve the same results, but the principles that apply to beef will help.
In reality, the key to making a delicious burger is to keep things simple. Many failed burgers are the result of overthinking and overcomplicating the process. If you stick to good ingredients and the 10 easy tips that follow, you’re guaranteed to get a juicy and delicious burger every time — and the title of grillmaster!
Get the Right Ratio of Fat
Regardless of the type of meat you choose, shoot for about an 80 to 20 ratio of lean to fat. This gives you just the right amount of juiciness and flavor.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need to add much to good-quality ground meat for a flavorful burger. When you do add your flavorings, add them all at once and don’t overmix the ground meat — this will help keep the patty from becoming too dense.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.