Look no further for tips for making and seasoning your own homemade hamburger patties. This is a guide about making hamburgers.
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My son showed me how to keep my ground beef patties from swelling up like pillows. I am really old and didn't know this. I hope I am not the only one. When he cooks hamburgers he puts a thumb hole in the patty and it won't swell up. You don't have to keep smushing it down when it puffs up and this preserves the nice juices and you won't have dry burgers. It closes as it cooks so your burgers don't look like donuts when they are done.
When forming burgers, I use a hamburger press. I would then flatten the burgers with my hands to make them thinner. This way when cooked on the grill, they don't get too thick. If the burgers are formed thin, they will be almost like the fast food restaurant burgers, depending on the type of ground beef that is used. If someone likes a thicker burger, they can put two burgers on their bun.
Using my hands to flatten the burgers took a lot of time and a bit messy. I now put the formed burgers on a wax paper lined jelly-roll pan, leaving space between each one. I cover the burgers with wax paper and take another jelly-roll pan and press all the burgers at once. This is so much faster than pressing them out individually. I use a wide pancake turner to move them. Any leftover burger patties, I cover the burgers with plastic wrap or foil and leave in the freezer for a few hours until they harden. If they don't all fit in one layer, use wax paper or plastic wrap in between the burgers to form layers. I remove them and place in a freezer bag.
Another idea that I haven't tried is to put separate mounds of ground beef on the pans and then press. This would eliminate the need to using the burger press altogether.
By mkymlp from PA
I raised four children, along with lots of friends and cousins, nieces and nephews. We always ate plenty of ground beef, and they all loved hamburgers and cheeseburgers.
To fix a lot in the quickest time (when not using our grill), I shape my burgers, place on aluminum lined jelly roll pan, add Worcestershire sauce, and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes. Do not need to turn. Remove from oven and add cheese. Delicious and easy, but most of all QUICK!
By HAPPYINHARNED from Harned, KY
Almost every kitchen has one of those "old timey" potato mashers which Gramma used in the days before instant mashed or electric mixers. I still have mine and a few years ago, I broke the handle off yet another hamburger flipper. It was beginning to happen with alarming regularity.
I got out the potato masher and smushed my hamburgers down and used the edge to flip them over. There is no pressure on the handle since you are pushing straight down. They are just about the right size for a burger.
I use mine for this all the time, and haven't broken a spatula since I started using the potato masher for this purpose.
By MartyD from Houston, TX
When making meatloaf or hamburger patties, add chopped vegetables and oatmeal or bran for fiber! If you make your own veggie juices at home as I do, use the leftover pulp. Otherwise chop your favorite veggies, coarse or fine. Also add a PINCH of sugar to bring out the flavor and add a beautiful brown crust. Nothing else needed. Great way to get kids to eat their veggies!
By Ivy from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
When I freeze my own hamburger patties, I cut pieces of freezer paper into squares a little bit bigger than the patties. I put two pieces of the paper between each patty, slick side towards the patties. When I go to use the frozen patties, they don't stick together because of the freezer paper.
If you need to make a good burger in a hurry, mix the meat with a bit of mild salsa. The onions, peppers, and tomatoes will add a bit of zest.
By Jodi from Aurora, CO
When forming hamburger patties, leave the middle thinner or even put a hole in the middle (like a donut). When they cook, the middle will fill in and the thickness will be the same all around.
Adding a tablespoon of mayonnaise to your ground beef before patting out hamburgers keeps them juicy on the grill. This prevents them from drying out. I'm always complimented on how the burgers are from family and friends. You can't taste the mayonnaise after burger is cooked.
By kkharp from Pitts, Georgia
Cut the cooking time for hamburgers in half by making several holes in the center of each patty. The inside cooks more quickly.
By Sandy from Graettinger, IA
I just didn't have time to fry hamburgers one day. I decided to make hamburgers in a hurry. I mixed ground beef, chopped onions, some seasonings, yellow mustard and ketchup. I put in a chicken roaster making sure it was flat and the thickness of a hamburger patty. I baked it at 325 degree F for 30 minutes. When it was done I simply cut it into squares to fit the buns and added the mayonnaise. Voila, instant hamburgers.
Since we like our hamburgers greasy, we used the cheap ground meat, letting it drain for a bit on the pancake turner before we put it on the bun. If you prefer, you could use leaner meat or buffalo.
Source: A rushed day
By Frazzled Leslie from New Orleans, LA
Cheeseburger and onion lovers: If you are tired of your onions falling in your lap, this is how you hold them down. Place a piece of cheese on the hamburger, then onions, then another piece of cheese and let it melt. Now the cheese will be holding your onions in place.
By Tracey from Thomasville, GA
First, cut small squares out of wax paper to set you hamburger patties on. Then form patties, no more than one inch thick and set them on a piece of wax paper and place them on a cookie sheet. Next, put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour or until the patties have set. Then stack up the patties, making there is a piece of wax paper between each one, and store in an air tight container or freezer bag.
Ever try a cheeseburger from the Fatted Calf? This will duplicate it and make it even better! Make sure you use a fresh egg bun and here is the secret: Use Wispride Port Wine cheese as the cheese for it. Heavenly!
If you cook them partially frozen, they come moist and juicy inside. I just did this and made 2 hamburgers for my sister and me. She said it was the best hamburger she ever had. Thanks, Billy
Use the thin plastic that bacon comes on, wash it with hot soapy water to clean it up good. Cut it in half and use to pat hamburger patties on and then freeze. Your patties will be easy to separate and the plastic can be used and washed over and over again.
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Here are questions related to Making Hamburgers.
Does anybody know of a good hamburger seasoning? I raise beef cattle for a living and haven't found a good seasoning to mix in when I make my ground beef patties. Help is really appreciated! Thanks.
By Miah from Minooka, IL
Worcestershire sauce (just a few shakes from the bottle makes all the difference in the world too), along with garlic powder/onion/salt&pepper.
In Cricket's recipe hint she mentioned making hamburgers in a press; what is this like? I do enjoy Thrifty fun. It helps to show that we sometimes do things differently, but basically we are the same the world over.
By Jean from Maffra Gippsland, Australia
There is a picture of one for sale at this link: http://www.amazon.com/Tupperware-67174-Large-Hamburger-Press/dp/B00006WS6J
What are the procedures for making a burger?
By Fritz from Davaoi
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
Instead of buying the ready made hamburger patties at the store which are more expensive than bulk ground beef and have no seasonings, I have started making my own. I buy the bulk ground beef, season* it the way I like it. I take a large cookie sheet (the kind that is not completely flat, but has a 1/2 - 1 inch rim around it) and press the seasoned meat into it. I then take a large plastic tumbler or a small plastic container of some sort and then press the glass into the sheet of meat (like you would with a cookie cutter when making rolled cookies).
If I'm not going to grill them immediately, I take the perfectly shaped patties and cover them with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for a few hours and then store in a zip lock freezer bag. They are frozen individually, so I can take out as many as I want. It works out GREAT and all the burgers are the same size and cook evenly.
* To test the seasoning, take a small piece of the ground beef and cook in a small fry pan. Add more if needed at this time.
By JK from Phoenix
I really like your idea. Why not save a step and cut them square, with a butter knife. Wendy's does it all the time and you would not have to re-shape the odd and end stuff. When I make mine, I use the cheap baggies, that has the flap. 100 for a dollar. The cookie sheet is a good idea. (01/30/2009)
I love the ingenuity behind this idea with the cookie cutter uniformity, especially with kids who might argue over who gets the largest! I like the square idea, as well, although by making them round you do get a few more patties out of your batch of meat.
Could you put a piece of waxed paper down on the cookie sheet first, then spread the burger and cut the circles, pull away the extra meat, cover the circles with plastic, and just leave them on the cookie sheet for the initial freezing to peel off later and bag up?
Separate cookie sheets could be stacked in the freezer using mugs or cups in between. Possibility? Thanks for the main idea! (01/30/2009)
By Cathy S
Here's another tip I've used for so long, it didn't occur to me to mention it. :P
The way I used to do it was, I'd use my hamburger patty press... just a simple plastic device with the "press" part to fit right inside the patty mold. I would lay wax paper (if I had any) on that cookie sheet, then take a ball of burger meat (about the size of a snowball.) I'd plop it into the mold, and press it into shape with the press. I usually didn't cover the burgers, and it only took 30-60 minutes to "flash freeze" them.
Last but not least, I'd gather the pressed burgers into an empty bread bag. It was the perfect size. I never thought to put any wax paper between the burgers, but I probably could've. Ditto with the seasonings. (01/30/2009)
Some good ideas here! Every time someone pre-mixes, pre- shapes or pre-seasons something, the price goes up, and every dollar saved is worth more than an extra dollar earned which will be taxed. I have done something similar by pressing the seasoned beef into a moistened plastic lid from sour cream or yogurt containers. Freeze on a lined cookie sheet then store well-wrapped.
The bags that cereal comes in are great to recycle and have many uses. They can be used as-is or to line a cookie sheet as above. They can be opened flat then layered with strips of bacon and rolled up before freezing. A few strips can be easily removed and quickly thawed anytime. The bags can also be cut into circles and placed between meat patties for quick removal. I also use larger circles between layers of Christmas cookies. (02/01/2009)
When making hamburger patties at home, try adding some chopped bell pepper and onion with a tablespoon or two of milk. Mix altogether and fry or BBQ. Makes a tasty juicy burger.
Tips and recipes for making great hamburgers. Post your ideas.
When cooking hamburgers, whether on the grill or frying, never 'smash' the hamburger. Most people believe that removes grease from the hamburger, but that is not so. The grease melts and cooks out of the burgers with the heat from cooking, so what you are actually 'smashing out' is the natural juices, which makes for a dry hamburger.
When making meatloaf, I always add fresh cut up vegetables; spinach, broccoli, peas, onions. This makes for a special treat!
By Marilyn Wons from Destin, Fl
I use to add a raw carrot to my meatloaf mix. When you are serving it, each slice has an orange circle in it. This worked well when I was trying to get my kids to eat meatloaf! (03/16/2006)