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9 tips for making the best-ever homemade burger

From forming the perfect patty to our secret for maxing out on toppings, here’s how to make every burger you grill this summer your best ever.

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Fresh Italian homemade burger

Italian burger recipe. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

This weekend, your burgers will be perfectly cooked and packed with all the toppings they can handle thanks to these grilling and assembly tips, straight from our kitchen:

1. Start with medium ground beef.
It has a lot more flavour than lean or extra-lean beef, and most of the fat drips away while it’s cooking.

2. Mix the meat with your hands, not utensils.
This will ensure you don’t over-mix the meat, and it creates a nice texture.

3. Keep your patties thin.
Take a handful of ground beef and shape it into a ball, then flatten it out. Don’t make the patties too thick — half an inch to an inch thick is the perfect size.


Related: Our 26 best burger recipes


4. Indent your patties.
Use your thumb to make a little impression in the middle of each patty to prevent them from puffing up into balls as they cook.

5. The grill should be hot before you add the patties.
This will ensure they don’t stick, and they’ll achieve that caramelized exterior.

6. Don’t over-flip.
And never, ever press down on the patties with your spatula (that will make all the flavour escape).


Related: 5 condiments to keep in your fridge this summer


7. Use grated cheese.
It melts faster than sliced, while still giving your burger that extra oomph. (We like using smoked cheddar.)

8. Hollow out the lid of your bun.
It’s all about making room for more toppings. (Our fresh Italian burger has seven in total.)

9. Try different condiments and toppings.
Our favourite condiment is sriracha mayo — just stir some of the hot sauce into mayo and slather it on.

Vegetarian? See how easy it is to make our popular veggie-quinoa burger below:

Related:
Summer Grill Guide
How to get your barbecue ready for grill season
How to cook ribs on the grill