What Are the Best Tips for Making Ground Beef Burgers?

N. Madison
N. Madison

Often, the best tips for cooking ground beef burgers involve safe cooking practices, such as making sure the burger is cooked to 165°F (about 73.8°C) and keeping raw food and juices separate from cooked food. A person may also benefit from tips that involve choosing lean beef and taking steps to avoid bulging burgers. Likewise, good tips may recommended against using one's hands for prolonged mixing and pressing on a burger with a spatula.

A cheeseburger.
A cheeseburger.

One of the most important tips for cooking ground beef burgers is to put safety first. To avoid food poisoning, people are often advised against allowing already-cooked burgers to touch plates and utensils that have held raw meat. Likewise, it is important to make sure these burgers are fully cooked before eating them. Most health experts recommend cooking burgers to 165°F (about 73.8°C) for safety.

Another good tip for cooking ground beef burgers involves choosing the right type of meat from the start. If you choose beef that has a high fat content, you will likely experience more shrinkage than with lean ground beef. Additionally, lean beef is overall healthier than fatty selections. If you have to use more fatty beef for some reason, you should consider purchasing extra to account for the shrinkage you expect during cooking.

Beef burgers often develop unsightly bulges as they cook. A simple tip for cooking ground beef burgers can help a person avoid this. Using a thumb to press in the center of a formed beef burger prior to cooking usually helps. As the burger cooks, the meat will expand and the pressed-in center will appear normal, and no bulge should form in the top of the burger.

Some of the best tips for cooking ground beef burgers recommend against over mixing the meat. The heat from a cook's hands can actually make the meat mushy and interfere with the fat in the burger that contributes to juiciness. To avoid this problem, a person may do well to keep hand mixing to a minimum. He could also dip his hands in cold water before getting started. This might help prevent ground beef from sticking to his hands as he works with it as well.

Many people use a spatula to press down on ground beef patties while they cook. Often, however, tips for cooking ground beef burgers recommend against this practice. When a person does this, he squeeze juices out of the burger, and the same thing occurs when he pokes holes in one, such as when turning it. As an alternative, many cooking experts recommend the use of a spatula for turning.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments


I've started using a burger press and the results are fantastic. I used to make ground beef burgers of varying sizes and shapes because I was shaping them by hand. My kids started complaining about how the burger patties were uneven and how one was small and the other was large.

I finally purchased a burger press. I place the ground beef mixture on the press and press down. All of the patties are nice, thick and even now. I also place parchment paper on both sides of the press. This prevent the ground beef from sticking. It's also a great way to prepare burger patties to freeze.


@fify-- Your ground beef might be too lean. Lean ground beef is good but sometimes if it's too lean and if the burgers are being cooked without oil, such as on the grill, they can be too dry. So try making them with a ground beef containing a higher proportion of fat next time if you're grilling them.

It's not really possible to marinate beef burgers, but the ingredients can also affect their moisture level. For example, adding onion puree in the mixture can make the burgers more moist and soft. You could also try adding a sauce on the burgers as they cook on the grill, maybe something like barbecue sauce. But make sure that your guests like barbecue sauce first.


My ground beef burgers are always too dry. What do I need to do to make them soft and juicy?

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