Burgers are a simple pleasure, but sometimes making them can feel complicated. Even though they don’t have many steps or ingredients, a little technique will go a long way in helping you prepare a delicious burger.

French Onion Soup Burger

Tips for Cooking Burgers

Tip 1: Dimple the patty. When you begin to cooking a burgers, either on the grill or on a stovetop, the high heat causes the strands of protein to contract. This makes the patty itself shrink and plump up. This is a normal part of the cooking process, but if you’re not careful, it can result in globe-shaped burgers. To prevent your patties from getting too round, just press down lightly in the middle. The goal is to make a dimple in the center of the meat that will fill out when cooked. This way, it’s easier to build a stable burger in the end. 

Preparing the Burger for Cooking - Dimple Process

Tip 2: Mix gently and season well. For the most flavorful burger, season the meat twice. First, season the meat mixture and stir gently to combine. Be sure to not to over-mix; working the meat too much can lead to a tough burger. Just a few stirs to incorporate the seasoning will do the trick. Second, season the outside of the patties after you form them. By seasoning both the outside and inside of the patty you’ll get a burger with a flavorful crust and a tender bite. 

Adding Salt & Pepper to the Burger Patty

Tip 3: Keep the bun handy. Nothing is more disappointing than taking a burger off of the grill and realizing it’s smaller than the buns. To prevent this tragedy, keep the buns nearby while you’re shaping burger patties. Use the shape of the bun as a size-guide, but remember: proteins contract. Make the patties a little bigger than the buns and they’ll shrink down to size. 

Shaping the Burger Patty for Cooking

Ready to try out these techniques? Check out Amanda Freitag’s recipe for a rich and savory french onion soup burger.