Last Updated on October 25, 2022 by Share My Kitchen
Wonder how those commercially sold burger patties got all perfectly round and flat? Well, the secret is out – it is essentially because of the magic tool called burger press. Yup, this simple kitchen gadget is all you need to keep your homemade burger patties evenly circled with just the right thickness and diameter according to your own preference.
This article is more than just a showcase of burger press product reviews. We will also give plenty of tips and tricks on how to make the best patties too. So, in the end, your homemade burger is not just perfectly shaped. But, most importantly, create a dish that is all but to die for.
What kind of meat to use?
Of course, everything starts with the right kind of meat. When making burger patties, ground beef is the most popular choice. But, you can absolutely use pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, or vegan varieties as well. Just know that different meats will impart distinct flavors.
No matter what kind of meat you choose, there are two things to keep in mind – the fat percentage and the coarseness of the grind. Fat is fundamental in retaining the moisture and the flavor of the patty. The ideal fat percentage is around 15 to 20 percent. You can often see these kinds of meat labeled as 80% or 85% lean. The best example of this is the beef chuck.
On the other hand, it is best to steer clear from too lean meats or 90% lean. Their minimal fat percentage is just not enough to maintain the moisture within. As a result, your burger patty will tend to lose its natural meat flavor, dry out, and the texture will be crumbly. In this regard, the round and sirloin meats are not quite a great choice to make as patties.
The coarseness of the grind is another factor to consider. We want to keep our meat grounded coarsely. So, you have to use a grinding plate with larger holes to create the desired texture. Don’t worry about buying pre-grounded meat since most meat shops usually ground coarsely.
What you should avoid is using finely grounded meat. The fineness means it will lose its shape and texture. Thus, leaving your mixture mushy and less palatable.
What other ingredients should you add to your burger patties?
Now you’ve got the meat, what other ingredients should you add to the mix to make it taste like a legit burger patty? Different recipes will call for various kinds of vegetables, herbs, spices, and seasonings. But almost always, here are the basic ingredients you need to make a classic burger patty:
Salt & Pepper
I cannot think of any meat-based dish without salt and pepper in the ingredients list. It is basic! No explanation is needed, I must say.
Onion & Garlic
Some people may or may not like to add minced onion to their patties since onion rings are usually already added as toppings in the burger. Nevertheless, adding mince onion to the mix would still be a good idea if you wish to intensify the flavor.
As for the garlic, you can use fresh or powdered garlic. Just note that real garlic tends to have a more subtle and fresher taste. On the other hand, garlic powders are more concentrated. Hence, make sure to add little by little to prevent overdoing it.
Okay, this may not be included in the ingredients list in traditional burgers. But trust me, adding them to your recipe can make a lot of difference, especially in terms of moisture.
The main purpose of breadcrumbs is to act as a binder. It basically absorbs the excess juice from the meat. As a result, it prevents it from becoming too soggy while maintaining a good moisture level within the patty.
Breadcrumbs can also serve as a meat extender. Sometimes, when you are on a tight budget, stretching the meat a bit will do the trick. Instead of going 100% beef, you can replace some portion of it with breadcrumbs. This will make the patty seem bigger without altering the natural meat flavor.
This is quite a debate as well. Legit classic burgers should be 100% meat and spices only. This may be true for beef and pork with enough fat content to hold moisture and flavor. But, adding eggs to the mixture can do great wonders in the case of leaner meats like chicken and turkey.
Same with breadcrumbs, the egg can function as a binding agent. It amps up the meat’s moisture and increases its protein density. Thus, preventing the patty from drying out too quickly when cooked. Moreover, it helps to improve the taste of the meat. As we know, poultry meat has a lighter flavor profile, so adding egg can help to make it taste even better.
Aside from poultry, the egg can also be an excellent food binder for vegetarian burger patties. But as always, it will depend on the balance of ingredients in your recipe.
How to cook burger patties?
There are different methods to cook burger patties. Nevertheless, the most classic and popular way is through grilling. Cooking in gas or electric grillers is a very convenient and accessible option.
However, many still prefer to use wood or charcoal for cooking burgers. It is more natural and imparts a different kind of smokiness. The charring complements the meat well, thus further enhancing its flavor profile.
There are a few important things to remember, though, when cooking your burger patties:
- Thoroughly clean your griller. You must scrape off the debris to prevent food contamination and alter the taste of your burger.
- Create “zones” in your griller. Half the side for high or direct heat and the other for low or indirect heat.
- Oil the grill with a neutral-tasting oil to prevent the food from sticking.
- Warm the grill first. Wait for the temperature to reach 450F to 500F before placing the burger patties and start cooking.
- The cooking time will always depend on the size of your patties and the griller’s temperature level.
- Resist the urge to flip prematurely. Wait until the burger patties develop crusts and are no longer sticking. This usually indicates that it is already cooked halfway through.
- Flare-ups won’t make your burgers any good. The dripping fat from the burger can sometimes cause flare-ups. Though it may seem impressive to watch, it actually tends to leave an unpleasant burnt taste on your food.
- Serve immediately. Burger patties are made from ground meat rather than intact muscle. Thus, it is likely to dry up more quickly as soon as it rests from cooking.
What are the cooking temperatures according to doneness?
As mentioned, the cooking duration will greatly differ depending on how thick or big the patties are. At the same time, the temperature setting of the griller also plays a significant role in the cooking process. Too hot, and the outer layer will cook quickly, but it will leave the inner meat still uncooked.
Meanwhile, too low heat will least likely burn your food, but it will obviously take much longer to get cooked. Moreover, it also increases its chances of losing more moisture.
To help you out, here are some estimations you can follow when grilling burger patties at your preferred level of doneness:
|Total Cooking Time
|6 to 7 minutes
|130°F to 135°F
|7 to 8 minutes
|135°F to 150°F
|8 to 9 minutes
|150°F to 165°F
|9 to 10 minutes
|165°F or greater
Our Top 10 Best Picks for Burger Presses
CUISINART CAST IRON SMASHED BURGER PRESS
This best-selling smashed burger press from Cuisinart is made from heavy-duty solid cast iron metal. With a hefty weight of around two pounds, this tool can easily compress and even out burger patties without a fail. For every quarter of a pound of meat, you can uniformly shape it into 6-inch circles with a thickness of about one centimeter each.
The raised ridges allow you to keep the fats locked in. Hence, retaining all the good flavor and moisture within the meat. At the same time, it aids in creating that perfect crunch along the edges while still maintaining a juicy center.
BELLEMAIN CAST IRON GRILL PRESS
The Bellemain cast iron grill press is originally marketed as a bacon press. Nevertheless, it can work extremely well for pressing patties too. All too well that I liked it even better than other burger presses.
This cast iron press heavily weighs three pounds to ensure all the meat is smashed down to your preferred thinness. But what I like the most is its size. This grill press has a diameter of 8.75 inches which is bigger and can even accommodate two patties at once. Total time saver, right?
WESTON HAMBURGER PRESS
This hamburger press from Weston is made with heavy-duty cast aluminum metal. It features a spring plunger button that allows you to control the amount of compression. As the plunger retracts, it also aids the patty in popping back up easily. To further add, the non-stick coating makes food release and clean-ups pretty hassle-free.
The presser shapes the patties into a 4.5-inch diameter. You can use 1/4 to 3/4 pounds of the burger mixture to create a thickness between 1/4 inch to 1 1/2 inches. Whether you like it thin or thick, this burger press can do you best.
LODGE SEASONED CAST IRON BURGER PRESS
This 2-pound burger press from Lodge is perfect for making rather thin smashed burger patties. Its substantial weight is designed to flatten the meat and create evenly seared sides. At the same time, maintain the flavor and juiciness of the patty.
The cast iron material is made to last you a longgg time. It actually gets better with age. So long as you season it regularly with vegetable oil, every burger cookout will always be tastier than before.
CUISINART 3-IN-1 STUFFED BURGER PRESS
The 3-in-1 stuffed burger press is another well-loved product from Cuisinart. This multi-purpose presser is designed to make a regular burger, stuffed burger, and sliders all in one product. Yup, this multi-functionality allows you to be versatile and get more options from your presser.
This Cuisinart burger press model is all about convenience. The non-stick coating makes food release no biggie.Not to forget, it is dishwasher safe so clean-ups will be pretty much a breeze.
NORPRO CAST IRON BACON PRESS
As mentioned, I love using a bacon press to flatten my burger patties, and this Norpro product is no exemption. The 8.75 diameter is wide enough to take to two patties at once. Awesome for saving time, effort, and energy. The 2-pound weight of this press, along with the grill lines, makes a perfectly browned surface.
Unlike other cast iron grill presses, this one came with a wooden handle. It looks more rustic, and it stays cool to touch. With such a heavy press, a safe and secure handle to grip on is very important.
GRILLAHOLICS STUFFED BURGER PRESS
If a stuffed burger is your thing, then the Grillaholics burger press is the right choice for you. This tool essentially shapes up your patty and allows you to incorporate your favorite stuffing in between presses. Be it gooey cheese, mushroom and onions, or bacon bits, it is definitely a fun and surprising way to make your burger extra special.
What I appreciate most about this product is that it already comes with a recipe book. So, you don’t have to be a master chef to enjoy great stuffed burgers with this Grillaholics press.
HULISEN STAINLESS STEEL BURGER PRESS
This burger press from Hulisen is made with high-quality stainless steel material. Unlike cast iron, this does not need to be seasoned. Stainless steel is absolutely easier to maintain and highly resistant to staining, rusting, and corrosion. They are also great heat conductors, so cooking time can be fairly reduced when using this kind of burger press.
The brushed stainless steel also gives it a non-stick surface. It is totally flat and does not have grill lines. So, you can expect more uniform searing and browning.
OVOS ALUMINUM NON-STICK HAMBURGER PRESS
The OVOS hamburger press is made with food-grade aluminum alloy material. I like that both top and bottom surfaces are designed with grooves to simulate the natural grill lines. It is also non-stick. However, it would be much better to line it with parchment paper to ensure the quick and mess-free release of the patties.
This 4.5-inch press comes with a solid wood handle. It provides good insulation to give you a better and more secure grip. You can also adjust how thin or thick you want your patties to be. The maximum thickness it can create is about 15mm.
THE SASQUASH EXTRA WIDE FLAT HANDLE SMASHED BURGER PRESS
This burger press is constructed with commercial-grade stainless steel material. It offers superior durability without breakpoints and risk of corrosion. In other words, this device is made to last you a long while.
Another highlight of this press is its extra wide flat handles. The additional thickness makes it easier and more comfortable to grip. This is especially true when you are smashing patties to thin out.
The burger press is essentially a very simple kitchen tool. And yet, it is one of the best methods to achieve an awesome kind of homemade burger. It gives your patties a uniform shape and size, helps to even out the cooking time, and, lastly, it makes your burger look and feel premium.