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)
By Laura Meller
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)
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