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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
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
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 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.
Make hamburger into patties. Cook on a grill or in a skillet. Place burgers in a skillet and add soup. Simmer for 20 minutes.
By Rosie from Dunedin, FL
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cut the cooking time for hamburgers in half by making several holes in the center of each patty. The inside cooks more quickly.
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.
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.
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.
When making burgers, poke a hole straight through the middle with your finger after you have flattened them with your hands. This helps them cook faster, and stay flat. As the burger cooks, the holes fill in a bit, but it is also easier to check to see if they are done.
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.
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.
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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
I love just using "Jane's mixed up crazy salt" on my ground beef. It is a seasonal with different herbs and spices. I always use this on baked chicken too! YUM-O! You cant get it everywhere but I do find it in the larger supermarkets.
I use dry soup mixes to season beef patties. The onion is really good for hamburgers, and the garden vegetable is really good if you serve the patties as a meat dish with potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. Just mix them right in with your raw ground meat.
Try adding a package of powdered ranch dressing mix. It is wonderful!
I use a mix of paprika, ancho chile powder, garlic powder, salt and red pepper flakes. Look in a cookbook or on Google to see what other people do. I like mine. It took a while. I'd suggest start out with 1# beef, add spices (write down how much of each), fry it up and see how you like it. Next time or next #, change spices or amounts, fry it up and see how you like that, and so on. I don't include mustard powder because I'd rather add it myself, but that, rosemary, different spices can all be tried. I use a combination of dollar store and Penzey's spices (cause dollar store are cheaper but I like my single chili powders. If you live where you can, try the tortilla factories or Mexican food stores.
Montreal Steak Seasoning!
Lipton onion powder in the dry mix.
Sometimes I mix in some Cajun or Creole seasoning.
I didn't know there were so many things to add to hamburger! I've always used what my mother used: Lawery's Seasoned Salt. Now I chop up (very finely) an onion and cook it in the patty because even though I like onions I can't eat them raw. It's good!
I grew up an a cattle farm. We just used salt and pepper, but the meat was dry aged. It had a great flavor on its own. There are not many places that will kill and age meat any more. I use the dry onion mix with bland stuff I buy at the store today with a few dashes of steak sauce. 1 pact per 3 pounds of meat, mix the day before you need to make patties (the patties freeze well) (no salt needed but a little pepper is good).
In Florida we get a brand of seasoning mixes called "encore" that used to be 2 for $1.00 and recently went up to $1.00 each but still well worth the price. The best one for ALL meats and poultry is called "French Fry Seasoning" which is a blend. I always put it on my hamburger patties.
For 1.5 pounds ground beef:
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
Tracey in Jacksonville FL
Store-bought seasonings can have a lot of salt so I tend to avoid them. Oregano and thyme, mustard powder, and a dash of salt & pepper makes a fantastic blend for ground beef. For a meat loaf I use about 1/2 tsp each of the herbs and 1 tsp mustard. You can't really taste the mustard but it gives a bit of bite, and the herbs work great with beef.
I just use a little garlic (powder or fresh) with a little pepper. Could use "Italian seasonings" as well.
I use McCormick's Grill Mates. The one I like best is Roasted Garlic & Herb. I use it on any kind of meat except fish. I love it!
For my meatloaf and burgers I use a package of stove top stuffing mixed in with one egg. One pkg per pound of ground meat. It might not be thrifty but it's delicious.
5 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. each of:-
dried green & red peppers
thyme, Savory, onion salt, garlic salt,
crushed onion flakes, crushed garlic flakes [or granules]
1 Tbsp., crushed mustard seeds,
2 Tbsp. & 1 tsp. each of :-
celary seeds, oregano, dillweed, cilantro.
Mix well and keep in air tight container.
[add aprox' 2 Tbsp. to 1 pound of ground beef]
My own recipe.
Many years ago my mother-in-law turned me on to "Nature's Seasons" by Morton. It's very good and easy as you don't have to worry if you have used too much or too little. It's also "really good" on beef roast and steaks. Try it, I think you will like it a lot. Tip: The lid on Nature's Seasons spice container is a bright true blue. Nature's Seasoning is the most versatile spice I have ever used. I don't know what I would do without it, as I love the stuff. Enjoy!
I use the whole single pack of Lipton Onion Soup in 1) burgers; 2) meatloaf and 3) my version of pot roast, which I will now post on the recipe site. It's soooo easy and soooo yummy!
I use Mrs. Dash for almost everything. There is several different flavors, but we like the Garlic Herb the best. It will go with most meats & vegs.
Pat in GA
You could try adding a half of a 1 oz. packet of au jus seasoning to every pound of ground beef. We adore our burgers cooked this way and never have to use any other salt or condiments. I hope that you enjoy it!
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
What are the procedures for making a burger?
By Fritz from Davaoi
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
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)
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.
Tips and recipes for making great hamburgers. Post your ideas.
For extra juicy hamburgers, add 1/4 cup of evaporated milk per pound of meat before shaping.
I like to add Worcestershire sauce to mine! :) (01/20/2005)
I have added Lipton's dry onion soup mix along with a a little Worcestershire sauce. (01/20/2005)
Also great if you add dry ranch powder mix to it. (01/21/2005)
Some of the best hamburgers that I have ever had had Miracle Whip mixed into the hamburger (01/25/2005)
Add 1/3 cup each chopped onion and bell pepper with 1-2 T. whole milk to 1 lb ground meat. Shape into 4 patties and fry in iron skillet with 1 tablespoon bacon drippings.Salt and pepper to taste. Top with a thick slice of grilled onion, cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickles. Mustard and mayo if you want on the bun that has been buttered and toasted on both sides in a frying pan, like grilled cheese. (01/26/2005)
I use 1 lb ground hamburger, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, cracked blacked pepper to taste and either diced chives or onion powder. Take 3 Tbsp. butter and melt in microwave and add 1/4 tsp. minced garlic and parsley, mix well with hamburger mixture form patties and cook as you like on grill, stove top or broiler. Always get rave reviews on this one. Good luck, take care of you and those you love. (02/10/2005)
By Suzanne S.
I make the patties, then sprinkle garlic powder, seasoning salt, ground pepper, and chili powder on it (08/18/2005)
Worcestershire sauce and onion powder sprinkled on one side, grill, flip, sprinkle seasoned salt on the other. Mmmm! (08/22/2005)
I think, you should marinate the burger with seasoning.
Q: How many times should I flip the burger to make it the best tasting it can be? (08/08/2007)
How do you keep burgers from getting fatter in the middle while cooking? (11/03/2007)
Mushroom and Swiss burgers
Use Campbell's Golden Mushroom soup for the sauce, Swiss cheese. Add these after the burgers are cooked. We love them. You can add more mushrooms if you want. (11/13/2007)
Spices you like and we always add crushed crackers any kind to hamburger. (01/31/2008)
Dave, I just watched an Everday Foods episode that demonstrated pushing with your fingertips in the center of each hamburger patty before grilling. When it puffs it'll come level with the rest of the burger. Limit the handling of the meat for the juiciest of burgers. Apply pepper and plenty of salt just before placing on the grill. Turn only once, cook 5-6 minutes on each side. (07/14/2008)
I make mine with garlic salt, onion powder. Mix well with dales sauce and add little drips of Worcestershire sauce. Then while grilling, I add pepper to both sides. (08/18/2008)
Great tips people. Don't forget to not smush them down. That that takes the juices out. (12/10/2008)
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.
By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA
Also good if you add a package of instant onion soup mix to 1 pound of hamburger.(04/26/2006)
To be sure hamburgers are cooked through, I make a hole in the middle on both sides with my finger before cooking so the middle cooks along with the rest. (04/26/2006)
I also add some feta cheese to the patty, makes it even better (04/27/2006)
You can add many tasty things to home made hamburger patties. The other members' ideas are tasty. Salsa is good if you like that flavor, or BBQ sauce, ketchup/mustard or tomato sauce mixed in. All will help keep burgers moist. Try chopped canned mushrooms. Shredded cheeses. Or for something different, experiment. "Think outside the box". For example, finely chopped canned pineapple or something else that might be served with beef on kabobs will give a unique flavor. (04/27/2006)
Ok I know I am gonna spell this wrong, lol, but I'll try it like it sounds. I add a little Worcestershire sauce to mine. I also add fresh garlic and onions chopped up very fine. (04/27/2006)
We buy a product called "liquid smoke". Add it to your raw hamburger, mixing it in well and then cook. It gives it a good flavor. You can find it near the ketchup and stuff at the grocery store. (04/28/2006)
How do you get the patty to not fall apart during grilling? (07/20/2006)
I always add 1 egg for every pound of beef to keep the burgers from falling apart while grilling. (07/22/2007)
By Cindy J.
I like burgers! I add sauce to mine. (01/25/2008)
Also great if you take some well chopped up pepperon,i not too much, and throw it in with the hamburger. (04/18/2008)
I like doing hamburger patties just like I do meat loaf. I add the bread or crumbled crackers to the raw hamburger, with the spices I like, a lot of time I like garlic and chili powder. Put an egg in and some onion, and sauce. (sauce can be spaghetti sauce or any variety of tomato sauce). Make the "ball" so that it can pass from hand to hand when finished mixing. If it is too juicy add more crumbled crackers, if too dry, add a little more sauce. Then pat out patties. You can also throw in some steak sauce if you don't prefer the chili powder. I love spicy burgers! You can make meat balls in the oven also with this technique, with some sauce over them. So, the basic is for hamburger patties to fry or grill...and for meat loaf, and for meat balls. Yummy, serve with a nice variety of toppings. We love cheese, tomato, lettuce, and onions. (07/10/2008)
I like mixing my hamburger patty with a sauce called (I'm gonna spell it wrong but I think it is) yoshetes? it makes the hamburger more tastier lol
(b)Editor's Note: (/b) Is it Yoshida's? (07/15/2008)
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.