Burger Made Better Trick | Barbecue Tricks

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Burger Made Better Trick

I saw one of those Food Network stars making burgers last week and I saw one tip you have to try. The chef claimed that when you make your own hamburger patties of ground beef for grilling you could use his trick to keep the thick – disk shaped – patty from turning into a fat – ball shaped – patty.

The advice is to make your patty with an indentation in the center (see photo). That way when the center of the beef patty swells or plumps when you grill it, the burger will revert back to a normal / flatter patty shape that will nicely accommodate a soft bun. Simple enough.

We tried the technique in the BBQ test kitchen and must say were surprised at how well the “indentations” on the test patties disappeared. We probably could have made the dent evendeeper (or on both sides). The control patty (“test” or “not concave” is on the left in the photos) indeed DID expand in the middle… But honestly not enough to bother me.

Another recommendation would be to control yourself and keep from pressing the burger down on the grill with the spatula. I don’t know why guys do this but I see it done all the time.

All-in-all the tip is worth while and is good general practice for the next time you’re pressing patties.

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About Bill West

Bill West a BBQ enthusiast, Author, and Country Music aficionado in Charleston, SC. Get his BBQ Blueprint Book on Amazon: http://amzn.to/29xGMzD Follow him: http://twitter.com/BarbecueTricks http://www.youtube.com/user/BarbecueTricks http://Facebook.com/BarbecueTricks http://Facebook.com/BillWestBS

6 Responses to “Burger Made Better Trick”

  1. Thom says:

    Hi! Nice trick with the burgers to keep them from rising in the center. I stopped using packaged hamburger a long time ago and grind my own. The only thing I add, spice-wise, is cracked pepper and kosher salt. Regular salt dries out the meat! Best to you and your blog!

  2. Anonymous says:

    wow this is genious.

  3. Editor@BBQTricks.com says:

    Thanks Thom!

    One of these days I need to grind beef… daily grind is enough for me! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Mike M. says:

    I’ve tried that, and yup it works. Another thing I do is before grilling the burgers, I press them out to about 1/4 inch thickness and about 6 inches in diameter between two sheets of waxed paper. When grilled they plump back up and shrink to the size of the hard rolls I like to serve them on. They grill quickly without drying out, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.


  1. […] Dent.  You can help keep the patty from balling up by starting with a little dent in the center of the burger.   When the meat cooks the dent will diminish and you’ll have a flatter […]

  2. […] Dent.  You can help keep the patty from balling up by starting with a little dent in the center of the burger.   When the meat cooks the dent will diminish and you’ll have a flatter […]

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