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How to Make a Burger Patty

Learn how to make and shape a burger patty in this video from EVERY DAY WITH RACHAEL RAY magazine, plus get tricks and tips on the best way to season a burger. From our collection of Step by Step cooking videos.

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Hi, I'm Teri Tsang Barrett, the Food Editor here at Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine. And today, I'm going to show you how to make a burger or beef patty. And I'm sure bunch of you at home have made this a million times, but they're actually are a few tips and tricks you can follow to produce the juiciest burger instead of some of those dense hockey pucks, I'm sure we've all seen before at backyard barbecues. We like to use ground beef chuck here which has about 15 to 20% fat, and the more fat you've got in your beef, the more flavor, the juicier it'll be. And-- but if you do feel like using a lean cut of meat, you'll definitely need to add some kind of flavor or some liquid actually, to the ingredients to keep it from drying out and becoming too dense of a burger patty. Some things that we liked to add to things like a leaner cut of beef or some chicken patties are some sautéed onions, or sautéed mushrooms, some canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which actually adds a nice bit of heat to the meat as well. If you're working with softer meats, like turkey, you'll want to add some bread crumbs to help give it some heft and hold its shape while it's being grilled. But with all-beef burger patties, we also like adding other mix-ins. And here we've got some seasonings; I think this is actually Paul Prudhomme Magic Meat Blend. We also got some chopped chives, some chopped parsley and there's also things like hot sauce, Worcestershire Sauce which I'm sure a lot of you have tried, and some soy sauce. And again, all those things will add flavor and so eventually if you play around with things, you should be able to come up with your own personal signature burger. There are three steps to making burgers. So first step, is selecting your meat, and we like using ground beef chuck here. You can also use the combination of meats like pork, or chicken. Some people actually like using Italian sausage, remove the casing and squeeze out the meat and just mix it in for a nice spicy burger. But we're just sticking with the classic all-beef burger patty today. The second thing is just adding in mix-ins, in our case we're just gonna be using salt and pepper. And the third step is to shape the burger. So, what we're going to do is crumble the beef into the bowl, just break it up a little bit. You don't wanna handle the meat too much because the heat from your hands can melt the fat which will also result in a denser burger patty. We're gonna seasoned this with salt and pepper. I actually like being generous with my salt, it really brings up the flavor of the beef. And here we're just gonna gently toss until it's just combined. In this case, we're gonna be making four beef patties, and that's about a pound and a quarter for four people. You're gonna use about quarter of a pound to third of a pound of beef for each burger patty, which is about 4 to 6 ounces, we've got a pound and a quarter here. And once we've got it all mixed in, again not handling it too much. And at this point if you were using mix-ins, you wanna add it with the salt, pepper and toss it all together. And so from here, we're just gonna shape the burger patties. It's gonna take about a quarter of the beef, and just sort of gently mold it into a ball, flatten it into a patty. And you want it to be about three-quarter of an inch thick and try to flatten it as evenly as possible, so that way when it's cooking, it'll cook evenly. And once you got in a shape that you like, you can just set it in your platter. Another trick that I've learn is that, if you have your buns on hand, if you have the diameter of the patty, actually extend pass the bun by quarter of an inch. By the time it's done grilling, it should actually fit the bun size perfectly. So you repeat the same stuffs with the remaining beef. And there you go. The last trick that I am to show you is that once you've got the patty shaped, you wanna take your thumb and gently press it into the center and kind of form a little indentation at the top of the patty and fill the up-- the edges of those little part. What this does is it prevents the burger patty from doming, when it gets a little round-shape on top. That just-- two things, one it helps the burger cooked evenly, and two it prevents the condiments from sliding off the burger once you've topped it, and just preserves little nice burger patty-shape that I think we're all looking for. And again, pinch the sides together when you see it starts to split. And that's not a bad thing when it starts to split, just means you haven't sort of compacted it too densely and so. All right, and from here we're all set and ready to grill these burgers. If you'd like, you can also make this up to a day in advance. You can stack them between sheets of wax paper, and just keep them refrigerated until you're ready to grill then. And there you have it, three-steps to an easy burger.