How to Make the Best Homemade Burgers

By: Toby Kuhnke, Editor,
How to Make the Best Homemade Burgers
How to Make the Best Homemade Burgers
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For all the meat lovers in the world, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good, thick, juicy burger on the grill. It’s classic American food, and it’s delicious. Many claim to have the recipe for the best burger, but these tips for How to Make the Best Homemade Burgers will ensure that your burgers stand out. Fast food burgers and sliders are fine, but there’s just something about making the burger yourself that makes homemade burgers taste so much better. Following these tips will help grill aficionados create the best, juiciest burgers while also avoiding the infamous burger shrinkage at your next summer cookout.

How to Make the Best Homemade Burgers

Choosing the Meat

  1. The number one thing to keep in mind when choosing meat is the fat content. Too much fat and your burgers will end up greasy -- and they might cause a fire. Too little fat and they’ll be crumbly and dry.

  2. Whatever you do, don’t press your burgers down with a spatula. This makes them lose their tasty juices, and the grease can start a fire.

  3. Alternate meat burgers, like turkey burgers, often have a bad reputation for being flavorless compared to their beefy counterparts, but with the right grilling technique and the proper toppings, turkey burgers can be just as tasty! Veggie burgers are also growing in popularity, and there are some very convincing alternatives out there, like these Mini Southern Black Bean Burgers, that are still packed with protein.

Side Note: the Magical Shrinking Burgers

Burger shrinkage is the bane of any grill master’s existence. Nothing is worse than a burger that turns out dense and half the size that it was when you shaped it. They’re dry, flavorless, and often don’t have the right texture. If this has ever happened to you, don’t worry! There are ways to prevent it.

The main causes of shrinking burgers are using meat that is too lean, using too much heat, and overcooking the burgers. The fat in the burgers will help them keep their shape, but you can also follow the dimple method. When shaping your patties, make them a little bit thinner in the middle than they are on the edges. This prevents them from shriveling up!

Choosing the Toppings

  1. The toppings are the fun part of making burgers. Get creative, like the toppings on this Frito Pie Burger! You can really do whatever you want when it comes to toppings, but make sure you don’t overdo it or you will end up with a mountain of toppings that make the burger difficult to eat.

  2. Cheese is so important when it comes to making the perfect burger. Add your cheese to the burger while it’s on the grill, after you flip it.

  3. If you're making your burgers on the grill, covering them can help the cheese melt, but if you do this, keep in mind that a covered grill could prevent the burger from cooking evenly.

Choosing the Buns

  1. There are so many great options for burger buns, but the star of the burger should be the meat and toppings. If you want your burgers to turn out like this recipe for The Very Best Burgers, the bread should complement the burger and the toppings, not overpower it.

  2. Ideally, the bun size would match the burger perfectly, but that doesn’t always work out. When it doubt, go smaller. It’s better to have a burger that spills out the sides than a sandwich that’s mostly bread.

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