Secrets to making the perfect burger

Burgers are an all-time favourite for many people, with good reason. Here are some things to keep in mind when making a burger at home and some tips that separate a good burger from a great one.

The meat

The meat is the most important part of your burger, so it’s important to get it right. We recommend making patties that are 80% beef with 20% fat and seasoning with salt and pepper only.

After forming your patties, don’t overwork them – just press down on each patty once or twice before cooking so they stay together when you flip them over later in the process. When you’re ready to cook them, make sure you press your thumb into the center of each one before putting them on the grill; this will help keep their shape as they cook evenly throughout their whole surface area.

Lastly, sprinkle salt and pepper over your patties generously.

The bun

The bun is the foundation of your burger. You can’t have a great burger without a great bun, so it’s important to pay attention to this part of the process. It all depends on what kind of patty your making. If you’re making a bigger burger, for instance, you’ll want a sturdier bun that is not so soft.

Don’t forget to toast your buns in the oven until they’re golden brown and crispy on all sides–this will help them hold up better and prevent them from becoming soggy.

Use a thermometer

Using a thermometer when grilling your patty can be a great help to make sure you achieve a perfectly cooked burger. Here’s a temperature guide, according to Food Scientist J.Kenji Lopez-Alt:

  • 49°C for rare
  • 54° for medium-rare (and a perfectly cooked and juicy burger)
  • 60° for medium
  • 66° for medium-well
  • 71°C and above for well-done


When it comes to toppings, the possibilities are endless. Some people might prefer a simple burger with very few toppings – some cheese, maybe a condiment. Other might want to go all out and add onions (caramelized or raw), pickles, lettuce, tomato and a special burger sauce.

The truth is, the sky is the limit and there are no real rules here.

Extra tips

If cooking the burger in a pan, cook it in high heat with a couple tablespoons of a neutral vegetable oil, such as canola oil.

When you add the cheese, a useful trick is to add a little water to the pan and cover it with a lid – the steam will help melt the cheese quickly and completely.