How to Make Fantastic Hamburger Patties

Hamburger patties

There’s nothing like juicy and flavoursome homemade burger patties. Once you’ve mastered the basics below, you’ll be able to create homemade, customised burgers to your heart’s (or is that your stomach’s?) content.

Choosing the Mince

If you want juicy and flavour-packed burgers, avoid mince that is too lean. We recommend that you choose a standard mince with around 15% fat. If you prefer lean burgers, opt for 10% fat. Any lower than this and you risk dry or flavourless patties.

Basic Beef Patty Recipe

Here is a basic beef patty recipe from All Recipes that you can alter to suit your needs:

  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 500 grams mince
  • ½ cup fine dry bread crumbs

This recipe is just a base, so feel free to add extra flavours like herbs, onion, crushed garlic, spices, herbs, mustard, soy sauce – whatever you’re feeling. All you need to do is combine the ingredients (with clean hands or a fork) until it is well blended but not overworked. Make sure that you clean your utensils and cooking surfaces as soon as you are finished with them, as you don’t want to spread bacteria.

Dividing the Meat

The size of your patties should be determined according to the size of the bread you’ll  be serving them on. If you have chosen meat with high fat content, the patties will shrink as they cook, so make them a little larger than the buns. Make sure that your patties are all the same size, so that they cook at the same rate. If you don’t do this, you risk ending up with small undercooked burgers and larger overcooked burgers.

Shaping the Patties

Your burger patties should be solid and tightly-compacted discs of meat. To achieve this, place a ball of the patty mince in your hand and turn the burger around in your hands until it is even and uniform. If you simply press the meat into patty shape, it will likely crack and break at the edges.

Depressing the Centre

When patties cook, they shrink. As they shrink, the edges tend to break apart, which causes deep cracks to form in the patty. To combat this, make the burgers thinner in the centre than they are around the edges. All you need to do is slightly depress the centre of the patty and the meat will be pushed towards the edges. Doing this will make sure that your patty is even when it is cooked.

Cooking & Storing the Patties

If you’re not going to cook your patties right away, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and put them in the fridge. Otherwise, you should grill them straight away. To wrap up your leftover cooked patties, stack them up (with pieces of wax paper between each patty), wrap them tightly in foil and refrigerate.

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This information is adapted from The Spruce. Want more information? See tips for buying, storing and cooking beef mince.