How to Make the Perfect Burger

Expert chefs discuss everything from meat to fixings
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 1, 2009 12:44 PM CDT
Experts give the New York Times tips on how to craft a delicious burger.   (©pokpok313)

(Newser) – Ever since Daniel Boulud stuffed ground sirloin with truffles and foie gras, the hamburger has been elevated from guilty pleasure to true art. The New York Times got the experts’ advice for how to make a perfect burger:

  • The meat: Steer clear of preshaped burgers or even pre-packaged meat, and don’t fear a higher-fat ratio like 70-30. Your best bet? Ask your butcher to grind a piece of brisket or chuck—or grind it yourself.

  • The patty: Handle the meat as little as possible to keep it light, and chill it to 30 degrees before cooking. A Hellmann’s mayonnaise jar lid makes a good shaping tool.
  • The grill: “You have to be willing to cook over high heat” to get the proper seared crust, says one chef.
  • The bun: All the chefs agreed the bun should be warm and crispy. Beyond that, it’s up to you to find one that doesn’t overwhelm the burger—anything from a fancy brioche to the good old potato roll.
  • The fixings: Always use fresh vegetables. And when it comes to cheese, make sure you choose one that melts easily—or else grate it to speed the process.