Everyone makes it sound and look so easy. Let's throw a couple of burgers on the grill is a suggestion all well and good, but heck, it also suggests there's already grill ready to have burgers thrown onto it—and burgers to grill, and that you're feeling confident enough to be throwing them around. But there's room for all in the burger-grilling game, which is why we rounded up all our very best tips for burger-making in one easy, read-it-as-you're-standing-by-the-grill place. Whether you're a newbie or an old hand looking for a new trick—or a special sauce of your own, or a homemade bun—you'll find something here. And you'll be throwing burgers (your best yet!) onto the grill with grace in no time.
Burger Basics (Start Here!)
Form your own burgers. Form your own burgers! (And more tips for beginners.)
Next, befriend your butcher and ask for custom blends (the higher the fat content, the more flavorful the burger).
And beware the puffy burger.
A few tricks for shaping, seasoning, and grilling burger patties, from a our friendly butcher-friend Cara Nicoletti to you.
The Meat of the Matter
For a burger impressively layered with flavor (and very moist), lard it with bacon and chorizo. (You read that right.)
Or add cold butter right to the meat blend, as in this burger.
Your blend need not be beef and beef alone! Try salmon, tuna, chicken, lamb...
Add other things—like pickles!—right to your blend, too.
"Perilously juicy"—and crispy from being smashed (!), and layered with a slice of cheese. Genius!
Sometimes you want a meat burger. Sometimes you want a vegetarian one. Here are 12 reeeeally good ones.
Or learn to make an essential tofu burger (and then riff on it).
Or go rogue entirely, starting with a can of beans and dream.
Gilding the Lily
Ketchup and mustard and pickles are all fine, but every burger-flipper needs their own special sauce.
But don't just leave it at the special sauce. Pimento cheese, potato chips, fried eggs—all fair game.
Is the bun just as important as the patty? You know it.
But it doesn't always have to be a bun. Here are 10 ways to sandwich 'em otherwise.
And now you're ready to test your burger IQ:
What are your best tips, tricks, and cautionary tales for burger-makers? Tell us in the comments.