Grilled hamburgers turn out better when they're shaped by hand, but it's no small feat to turn pounds of ground meat into semi-consistent patties. Slashfood recommends reaching for a few of these common items to help with your shaping.
Photo by VirtualErn.
If you've got big glasses that are as wide as hamburgers at the rim, or cookies cutters that make big, round shapes, those are the most obvious picks, if only for getting the horizontal size right. For more exact shaping, Slashfood also recommends:
- Jar Lids — They might be a bit thin for a huge meat fiend's patty, but will work for a respectably sized portion.
- Wax Paper — Cut a shape out of wax paper and use it to trace your knife around the flattened mass of meat.
- Shallow Plastic Containers — Line the container with plastic wrap, press the meat into the container, then wrap for a good to go patty.
From one humbling experience pressing patties for more than 50 guests the next day, and a little research, I've found that the most common mistake when shaping patties is to press too hard in a quest to get discs as consistent as you'd get at a drive-thru window. Put only some light compression on your patty, salt it on both sides right before it hits the heat, and you'll almost always get a tasty result.
You can go ahead and disagree with our burger methodolgy or shaping tips, and offer up your own household burger hacks, all in the comments.
Shaping Those Patties [Slashfood]