The 10-Step Path to a Better Burger

Nothing screams summertime like a good burger. Actually, any time of the year is the best time. While there are many ways to make one, firing up the grill offers a tantalizing option — but how you prepare the patty itself is just as important as how you cook it. 

Serious Eats has the scoop on how to sizzle your way to a scrumptious meal.

Here’s the down-low on great summer burgers:

  1. First, select the best cut of meat. This starts with fresh, not frozen, hamburger. An 80/20 ratio provides 80% fat and 20% lean. The high fat content provides a juicy, tasty burger.
  2. Be sure to keep the hamburger cold just before molding the patties, which will ensure the meat will be easier to form and pack. 
  3. Keep your hands off the meat as much as possible, and don’t fuss with it too much. The less you touch it, the easier it will ply together. 
  4. Press a thumbprint in the middle of each patty to keep them from swelling on the grill.
  5. Don’t salt too far ahead of time. It causes proteins to cross-link and gives the meat a sausage-like texture. 
  6. Just before grilling, season the patties liberally. 
  7. Make sure your grill is hot, and flip the patties as needed. Don’t worry about too much juice flowing out. 
  8. Use a thermometer to make sure the patties are at the right temperature: 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare and 145 for medium. 
  9. Pick a bun that’s about the same size as the burger and toast it lightly so it can hold juices in. 
  10. Now you’re ready to slather your favorite ingredients on that bun, along with some yummy cheese.

    It’s time to chill out with one of the best burgers around. Bon appetit!