My Dad's Hamburgers

I think I make Pretty Good Hamburgers. My ‘recipe’ is something my dad taught me. It’s simple but effective – there are definitely more-refined burgers out there, but this is the Keep It Simple way to make a good burger. Follow these instructions:

  1. Obtain fresh 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef.
    • 450 grams (1 pound) makes 4 patties.
    • 900 grams (2 pounds) makes 7 patties.
    • The math doesn’t make sense, it just is.
  2. Separate beef into patties equal sizes according to the guidance above.
    • You don’t have to measure this, eyeballing it is fine.
    • Don’t over-smush the meat. If you can preserve the grain from how the beef was ground it gives the hamburger a nice texture and, when cooked, it stays together better.
    • Form patties into either a round disc or a square disc.
    • Patties may look a bit large. They shrink when cooked.
    • Use you thumbs to put a noticeable divot in the center of each patty. It helps the patty stay flat as it contracts.
  3. Season with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a thin amount over the entire surface area of both sides.
    • This is the most-noticeable way to affect the flavor of the burger. Too much salt and it’s a salty burger. Too little and your burger is bland. You’ll want to experiment to find your right amount.
  4. Sprinkle about 5 milliliters (1 teaspoon) of Worcestershire sauce on each patty. A couple of good dashes if you’re using a sauce dispenser like Lea & Perrins’. This boosts the burger’s umami flavor.
    • Some sauce brands have MSG added.
  5. Cook it. There’s a million different ways out there to cook things; you do you.
    • I like my burgers done medium-rare, which is 60º Celsius or 135º Fahrenheit internal temperature.
  6. You need a bun, find your favorite kind. Place cooked patty in bun.

All other accoutrements such as cheese, ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, etcetera… are like pizza toppings: choose your own flavor adventure.

If you’ve followed all these steps, you’ve made a Pretty Good Burger. Congratulations, and enjoy what you’ve created!