How To Make the Perfect Hamburger

Hamburgers are pretty easy to make, but it's also very easy to make a bad hamburger. The elusive perfect hamburger is difficult to get exactly right, but it can be done.

Step 1

Ingredients and supplies:

  • Ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, etc.)
  • Barbecue

Step 2

Choose the meat. Make sure that the beef is ice cold before you begin. Choose the best beef you can find; for making hamburgers, lean meat will not be as flavorful. Either grind it yourself, or have the butcher do it for you. Do not start with frozen meat if you want to make the perfect hamburger.

Step 3

Mix the seasonings. For the perfect hamburger, add a tablespoon of water to the meat. This will keep it juicy on the inside. This should be mixed in with the meat when you form patties. You can also add chopped onion at the same time. You'll also need a seasoning mixture for the outside of the burger patties. You can use any seasonings that you like, including salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion salt, or your favorite seasoning mixes.

Step 4

Prepare the patties. Do not compress the meat, squishing it into patties. Avoid touching the meat more than is absolutely necessary. The perfect hamburger patty should not be very dense; squishing the meat into a patty shape will make the meat dense and tough. Remember that the patties will shrink about 20 percent as they cook, so make sure that you start with large enough patties. Once the meat has been formed into patties, coat both sides in the seasoning mixture.

Step 5

Grill. The perfect hamburger must be made on a grill, not on an oven or stovetop. There is just no way to replicate the flavor of a perfectly grilled hamburger. Grill on high heat, and flip every 15 seconds to evenly brown the outside. Never press down on the patty with your grilling utensils, because this will dry it out. Keep an eye on them, and remove as soon as they have reached the desired doneness. It is very easy to overcook hamburgers. When done, they should be firm but still slightly springy when you press down in the center of each patty.

Step 6

Serve. Toast the hamburger buns for 30 seconds. Serve your perfect hamburgers with lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, mustard, ketchup, and onion.

The perfect hamburger is browned on the outside and juicy on the inside. This method will keep the meat moist and tender while allowing the outside to brown.


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