Most of us have dealt with the swollen, puffy burger off the grill. This happens when the burger swells while cooking. But, your burgers don’t need to look like an over-inflated tire. There is a little trick that most restaurant chefs use when making burgers that will ensure flat burger patties and avoid the dreaded convex patty.
This particular technique does not require great skill nor does it require in-depth knowledge of ancient practices. Remember, I’m a home-trained (untrained) chef and I can do this. The key to great burgers does go beyond this technique, but using this trick will certainly help. Aside from keeping your patties from swelling, always start with quality ground beef and work to keep your burgers from drying out. You’ll be sure to have great burgers consistently.
Steps to Perfectly Flat Burgers:
- Purchase good quality ground beef. Make sure your beef is not too fatty or your patties will shrink considerably while cooking.
- Make sure your burger is completely thawed. I put mine in the fridge overnight and then pull it out about 30 minutes to an hour before I make the patties.
- Season your patties to your liking. Avoid over-mixing your beef, though. Too much handling can cause it to dry out.
- Form your patties however you prefer. I use a small ice cream dish that makes the perfect size patty. You want your patties about 3/4 of an inch to 1 inch thick and 4 to 5 inches across or more. Again, remember to avoid too much handling.
- Place your formed patties on a flat surface. I use a baking sheet.
- Depress the center of the patties a bit. This is what keeps them from swelling up. If you need to, press the outer edges of the patty inward to avoid causing the patty to come apart when doing this step.
- Grill the patties to your liking. Avoid flipping your patties too much. This can also cause them to dry out.
- Bun it, top it and serve!