5 Tips For Making Homemade Burgers That Rival Your Favorite Fast Food Joint

by Daniel Seidman
Ellie Baygulov

I like to enjoy a good burger from time to time, and over the years, I've gotten pretty good at making them. (Or at least, I think I have.)

Everybody always asks me how I make them, so I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips on how to make an amazing burger every time. Follow these tips to learn how to make the best homemade burgers:

1. Keep it simple.

As with many things, simplicity is key. This is especially true when it comes to burgers.

A lot of people mess burgers up by adding things to the meat. I've seen people add breadcrumbs, eggs, garlic, onions, you name it. But the truth is, all you need is the meat. Anything else is going to mess it up.

It's true that an egg will help bind a burger and hold the meat together, but you don't want your burger to be tight and packed. A good burger should easily crumble when you bite into it.

2. Buy good meat.

Easy enough, right? When possible, always use freshly ground meat for your burgers. You don't need to own a meat grinder, either. Just ask your butcher to grind it for you.

When it comes to meat, there are several options you can choose from. I think the big three are chuck, short rib and brisket. My personal preference is to use 100 percent chuck, but it's totally acceptable to switch things up and combine them.

Adding short rib to the mix is great if you want to add richness and a savory flavor to the burger. It would work great for a Korean-barbecue themed one.

3. Be gentle.

I often see that when people make homemade burgers, they use ring molds and really pack the meat in. This is a big mistake, and it will result in a tough burger. Instead, gently form the burgers with your hands.

First, divide the meat up and form it into balls. Then, gently press down with your hands to form the patties. It's OK if they're not perfectly round.

You do need to handle them with care while cooking them, though. Since there is nothing holding the meat together, the burgers can fall apart if you aren't careful.

4. Choose your toppings carefully.

There is no guide to choosing the right toppings. It just comes down to personal preference.

But one thing I will say is, you don't want to put on too many toppings. I usually like to stick to a classic cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and pickle. Onion is also a good option.

Jalapeño is nice if you're craving something spicy. Whatever you choose, just remember the meat is the star of the show. You don't want to get too off track.

5. Don't overcook it.

You've put in all the work to create the perfect burger. Now, all that's left to do is cook it properly.

A dry, overcooked burger is never fun. After all, one of the most important parts of a burger is its juiciness. An overcooked burger will definitely kill that.

I usually like to make my burgers pretty thin. As a result, I only cook them for a minute and a half per side. This gives me a perfectly pink interior. If you prefer a thicker burger, adjust the cooking time as necessary.

Now that you know my tips, you're ready to make amazing homemade burgers that will beat takeout any day. Take your time and be patient. If you don't get it right the first time, don't worry. It just means you get to eat more burgers. Eating more burgers is always a good thing.

This post was originally published on the author's personal blog.