How to Make the Perfect Homemade Hamburger

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Start with the right lean-to-fat ratio for the perfect burger.
Start with the right lean-to-fat ratio for the perfect burger. (Image: Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The perfect hamburger will be juicy and flavorful. Rather than a specific recipe of “magic” seasonings, look to the meat you choose for the hamburger. You will not get a juicy hamburger from lean meat. Many chefs agree a good ratio is 70 percent lean to 30 percent fat. Other chefs swear by having the butcher grind brisket or a combination of chuck sirloin and brisket. Once you have the proper meat, you’re on your way to making the perfect hamburger.

Things You'll Need

  • Ground chuck or 70/30 ground beef
  • Scale
  • Lid
  • Seasonings
  • Skillet or grill
  • Spatula

Divide the ground beef into 6 ounce portions. Weigh them on a scale. Use a lid to form each portion into a patty.

Sprinkle the outsides of the patties with your favorite seasonings. Do not put salt on the hamburger; salt will make the meat tough.

Press your thumb into the center of each patty to make a well. This will help the burger cook evenly and it will not puff up when fried or grilled.

Heat the skillet or grill to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be very hot before your place the hamburgers on the surface.

Cook the hamburgers for 3 minutes or until they have a good sear on the bottom. Turn them over. Do not press them down with the spatula as this releases the juices. Cook for 4 additional minutes for rare burgers, or 7 minutes for well done. Let the burgers rest a few minutes. Serve with your favorite toppings.

Tips & Warnings

  • To spice up patties, you can add diced onions to the meat mixture to taste or add diced onions to the frying pan after the patties are cooked just as you are going to brown them.

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