Avoid These 6 Missteps for a Better Burger
A burger that’s dryer than the Sahara Desert and has the flavor complexity of cardboard...
...this is the stuff of nightmares. Hopefully, your recipe never goes that wrong, but most of us could still use a few tips to achieve that burger-restaurant-level of deliciousness.
Today, let’s tackle the six biggest blunders in burger-making and turn you into a grill maestro who would make Guy Fieri proud. Whether you're a seasoned burger veteran or just starting your journey, this guide is your toolkit for making juicy burgers every time.
6 Burger Blunders to Avoid
1. Choosing low-quality meat:
The quality of the meat you choose will affect the taste and texture of your burger, so don’t settle for any ol’ beef. When picking ground beef, the most important thing to keep in mind is the fat content. Go for a high fat content, around 80/20, to give the patty more flavor and keep it moist during cooking. Also, keep an eye on the color of the beef– if it's fresh it’ll have a bright, reddish tinge.
If you want to make halal burgers, look for the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of Canada sticker (IFANCC) on the packaging or head to a halal butcher shop.
2. Over-handling the patty:
When it comes to forming the patty, the golden rule is: handle with care. Think of it like a delicate flower, not a stress ball. Aim for a thickness of about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and ensure it's consistent for even cooking. To make this task easier, consider using a burger press or measuring cup. Another pro tip: using gloves while making patties will keep the fat from escaping the patty and clinging to your skin. The heat and oils from your hands will create a mess and will cause the fat to heat up and render faster leaving you with a dry and flavorless patty.
3. Skipping the seasoning
Seasoning is to burgers as dip is to fries. Burgers are still tasty without it, but a little extra flavor takes the meal from good to mouth-wateringly wonderful. Salt and pepper are go-tos but why stop there? Get creative and add some herbs, spices, or grated onion to the mix. You can even try different blends of seasonings to create your custom burger seasoning. Just be careful not to overdo it-- the flavor of the beef should still be the star of the show.
4. Cooking at low heat
Cooking up a delicious burger is an art form, and the key to its success lies in the Maillard reaction. Put on your lab coat and goggles, and listen up: this chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars creates that beautiful golden-brown crust and delicious flavor when cooking at high heat. At around 400°F, the exterior of the burger patty begins to caramelize, resulting in a crispy exterior with a juicy, tender interior. Press down your patty, cook for 2-3 minutes (depending on thickness) on each side, and you’ve made a smash burger.
5. Overloading on toppings
Some people prefer to keep burger toppings simple and let the juicy patty shine, while others love to pile on everything but the kitchen sink for a rich experience. Maybe, you fall somewhere in the middle. There is no right or wrong answer here, it all comes down to personal preference. Us? We love it all. An over-the-top burger can give your tastebuds the surprise they didn’t know they needed.
If you're a minimalist, stick to the classic toppings like cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sauce. But if you love a good flavor explosion, go ahead and add grilled mushrooms, crispy bacon, jalapeños– whatever you’re craving.
If you want to prevent your burger from giving off Sahara desert vibes, don’t overcook it. This is where a trusty meat thermometer comes in handy. And if you don’t have one, well, you need to up your kitchen-nerd game. Put the thermometer into the thickest part of the patty, and once it reaches 160°F, you're good to gobble. At this temperature, the burger will be safe to eat and burst with flavor.
And remember, the internal temperature will continue to rise even after you take it off the heat, so get it off there quickly or you'll be left with a dry, rubbery patty.
From using high heat to choosing the right toppings, making a great burger at home is all about the details. With these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to creating the burger of your dreams - juicy, flavorful, and
Don’t Feel Like Cooking? Visit Your BFF
If it’s one of those days where you’re sitting on the sofa googling “burgers near me”, then we’re the place for you. Burgers n’ Fries Forever is not your typical burger joint: Our food helps to remove barriers and unite people from different backgrounds over memorable and nostalgic flavors. With quality ingredients and creative combos, we aim to be your BFF. Stop by one of our locations in Ottawa or Toronto.
Order takeout or delivery directly through our website, and tag us in pics of your fave BFF foods @burgersnfriesforever.