How To Make Burger Patties
A cool technique to get perfect burger patties
I'm going to throw a general sweeping request out there: Don't buy pre-made burger patties. The state of ground beef is dire enough as it is; don't give those meat abusers the privilege of shaping the future of your barbecue. Instead, head to your local butcher up to two days before your burger conquest and request two (or more) pounds of coarsely ground chuck with an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. It may seem like a lot of fat, but plenty will cook off. What would you rather have: a somewhat delicious/somewhat like a hockey puck burger with slightly less fat, or a really awesome burger you get full credit for?
Feel free to season the beef with salt, pepper, onion powder, a little cayenne or anything else that comes to mind, just be sure not to overmix or you'll end up with tough patties.
Here's what you'll need:
- 2 pounds of freshly ground beef for 6-8 burgers, depending on thickness
- A shallow, round container the same diameter you want your patties
- Plastic wrap
- Clean, willing hands
Tear off two sheets of plastic wrap. Line the container with one, pushing down with your fingers to cover the whole bottom. Set the other aside.
Grab a handful of meat the size you'd want your burger to be, or if you want to be type-A about it, portion the meat into six to eight hunks. If you go free-form, you can make burgers of different thicknesses. Just keep in mind thicker burgers will take slightly longer to cook.
Using your fingers and knuckles, lightly press the meat down into the mold, making sure to push it against all the edges. Don't pack it down too hard or you'll have a rock-solid burger.
Lift the patty out of the container using the edges of the plastic wrap and set on a plate.
Cover with the second sheet of plastic wrap while you're making the other patties — ground beef dries out surprisingly quickly (even before it's cooked).