How to Make the Perfect Patty - the Secret to the Perfect Burger

perfect burger pattyPerfect Burger Patties

When we think of barbecue hamburger recipes and the perfect patty, we (well, me anyway) usually think of beef.

While this is a good place to start, many people also use ground chicken, turkey, pork or lamb for great results. A mixture will produce excellent results - and as a matter of fact, we have some pretty good burger recipes for those cuts on the site as well.

To get back on track, the patty is the heart of the burger, which in turn is often the heart of the barbecue. When you select your meat, remember that lean meat will usually make dry burgers, as the grilling process tends to drain the fat.

Another fact you should take into account, is the more fat in the burger, the more it will shrink while grilling, for the same reason – so even if you start off with 30% fat beef, you can loose as much as 20% or even more – leaving you with a very small patty.

How To Make The Perfect Patty

For the perfect patty, the beef should be coarsely ground. Finely ground beef tends to fall apart on the grill. Additions to the patty, such as whole cloves of garlic, large pieces of onion will also make the burger unstable. For this reason, you should chop these ingredients as finely as possible, and the cloves should be minced.

I have found that ground turkey can be difficult to work with, so I often add breadcrumbs to strengthen the patties. This works well if you’re mixing sauces into the meat.

Another good trick I’ve picked up is to mix different meats with the turkey for excellent results. Try mixing equal parts of turkey and beef, for instance, or beef and lamb, my personal favorite. Remember though, that the meat-mixing process will likely make it softer – so mix as gently and as little as possible.

Once I have my ground meat mixture ready, I form the perfect patty (patties) and refrigerate them for a couple of hours. This allows them to set so they have less of a tendency to break on the grill.

When You're Ready To Grill

You’re ready to grill when the grill is very hot. (If you're looking for a new grill, you can do it the easy way and save a lot of time, hassle and money. Shop around, but I find that by the way, I've found that Barbecue.com is the ultimate website to buy grills.

From a $30 portable to a $10,400 luxury grill - Barbecues.com has it all).

At this point, I like to stick half an onion on a barbecue fork, dip it in olive oil and wipe down the grill. This serves the dual purpose of cleaning the grill and lightly coating it with oil. Now, place the patties on the grill. When you do this, the raw meat will take a grip on the grill and hold on for all it’s worth.

Your job is to flip them the second the burger releases from the grill. This happens because the fat from the burger drains onto the grill forms a non-stick surface, allowing you to flip with no fear.

Do it too early, however, and you risk breaking the burger. The first flip should be around a minute from start, and you should repeat the process with the second side as well. Total grill time depends on the size of the burger and the degree you like it done. Usually, 2-3 minutes on the second side will be fine. When you’re done, remove the burger patty, and leave to sit for a couple of minutes before serving.