10 Tips to Make Your Own Burger

  1. Fat is flavor. The more lean the beef, the more dry the burger and less flavorful it will be.
  2. Grind your own meat. Play around with combinations for your own unique blend: chuck, sirloin, brisket, skirt steak or short ribs all make great choices.
  3. Don’t overwork the patties. The more you handle them before cooking, the tougher they will be.
  4. When in doubt, add more salt. A great general rule when cooking anything, salt brings out the flavor in foods, so don’t be shy.
  5. Never press down the burgers with a spatula; you’re just releasing all the juices and making a drier burger in the process.
  6. Make a few small indents in the patty; this will help prevent uneven cooking and softball-shaped burgers.
  7. Don’t over-flip. Flipping your burgers a hundred times during cooking is not a good idea. Flipping them only once will ensure a juicier burger.
  8. Choose the right equipment. While grilling is great during the warm months, cooking in a cast-iron griddle is the best way to go. It provides a hotter, more even surface that gives you a better crust and a good sear.
  9. Choose the right bun. Potato rolls are a great choice for thinner, griddled burgers, but won’t hold up to thicker patties. For bigger burgers, go with a Kaiser or any soft roll.
  10. Choose your own toppings. Don’t let anyone tell you what to put on your burgers, be it mustard, ketchup, pickles, onions or bacon, the choice is yours.

Tip from the cuisine editor: If you are using lean meat, add a bit of olive oil to the mix. You can even experiment with flavored olive oils.

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