Friday, February 21, 2014

Five Tips to Make Gourmet Burgers at Home in Under 20 Minutes

1. Start with good ground meat

Usually I use an 80:20 ground beef from the supermarket. If I'm cooking for my mom, I will use a 90:10 ground sirloin. If you have an option to buy ground beef from the butcher's counter, do it. Or you can be really fancy and grind your own (if only I had the grinder attachment for my KitchenAid, sigh...). Don't think you have to be limited to beef either. You can mix ground sausage with your beef, or use lamb, pork, turkey, or even chicken, depending on the flavor profile you are looking for.

2. Add interesting mix-ins

Salt, pepper, and Worcester sauce are my seasonings when making my basic burger patties, but why stop there? Try adding minced garlic, herbs, bacon, or cheese directly into the meat. Or add some zing by adding salsa or diced chili peppers.

3. Give your patties dimples, then don't overcook

Nobody wants a hamburger ball on a bun. When you form your patties, indent the centers a bit. This will prevent them from getting rounded when they cook. I like to cook my patties in a dry (no oil) cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. It gives them nice color on the outside while keeping the center juicy.

4. Add interesting toppings

Just because your having burgers doesn't mean your toppings need to be standard. Experiment with flavor profiles. Try caramellized onions with balsamic vinegar, salsa or pico de gallo, spinach, horseradish mayonnaise or fancy mustards. This is true for cheeses, too. How about using goat cheese, Gouda, or smoked Mozzarella? The combinations are endless.

5. Toast your buns, and then waterproof

Nothing ruins a good burger than a soggy bun. Pop the buns in the oven or under the broiler for a minute. I put my spread and lettuce (or other greens) on the bottom bun to prevent the meat juices from dripping into my bun, making it soggy.

What is your favorite way to eat a burger at home? I'd love to read your comments, and if you have an important tip I missed I would love to here it!


  1. I love these tips, especially the indent tip! I hate when my burgers curl...we had them two weeks ago and I was so annoyed with the curling! Ugh! Thanks!

    1. I learned that trick watching cooking shows, but I've also found that if you overcook your meat the curling/burger ball gets worse.


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