- Mix the beef, together with any optional ingredients, in a food processor for about 10-30 seconds. If your beef is not yet ground, you may have to mix for a minute or so.
- Remove the beef from the food processor and shape by hand into burgers. You should get between 4-6 burgers from 500g (1.1 lb) of beef.
- The burgers can be fried or grilled for about 5 mins on each side for burgers which aren't too thick.
- Ensure your burgers are fully cooked through before serving. If your burgers are quite thick or if you are unsure, you can cut one open to ensure the insides are browned. If the insides are red, there is a chance that the meat is not fully cooked. Alternately, you can insert a meat thermometer into the center of the burger, if the temperature reads less than 71°C (160°F), your burger is undercooked.
- Serve each burger on a bun (sesame seed usually), optionally with relish, sliced pickles, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, ranch dressing, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and/or onions.
Some suggestions of what to add to the meat include: garlic, onion flakes or a small onion, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, mustard, olive oil, cheese, butter and/or 2 tsp of your favorite hot sauce for some kick. The amounts of herbs and/or spices are up to your local taste and meat quality. Depending on the quality of your local beef, for example, you may wish to add some beef stock to improve the flavour. If you add any liquids, mix the ground beef well then squeeze out the extra juice when forming patties.
For further serving suggestions, see the Wikipedia article on hamburgers.
Notes, tips and variations
- You can use almost any type of minced (ground) meat to make hamburgers, including pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, bison, venison, ostrich, kangaroo, or even a meat substitute such as Quorn. Some variations of hamburgers call for mixing different types of meat (e.g. ground beef and ground pork).
- If your burgers fall apart, adding an egg yolk will help keep it together. Buying lean ground beef will also help, although if the meat is too lean the burger may be excessively dry.
- Try adding a pat of butter in the center of each burger for an excellent hamburger.
- You may wish to experiment with including cheese in the centre of your burger before cooking; burgers including cheese are called cheeseburgers.
- Spices which can work well in hamburgers include black pepper, chili (either fresh or powder), Worcestershire Sauce and soy sauce. Experiment to find good combinations.
- Almost any herb can work, including basil, oregano and parsley.
- Some other things which are also sometimes added to hamburgers include: diced onions, bread crumbs, crushed saltine crackers.
- Burgers can also be smoked on a grill. Smoked burgers will appear red and glazed on the outside, but browned on the inside. Smoking a burger before grilling it is an excellent way to seal in the flavorful juices.
- Adding meat and spices together in a bowl and mixing by hand until the spices are distributed may produce better results. This will also help to stop your burgers from falling apart.
- Some vegan patties make excellent meat substitutes, especially for Hamburgers, where strong spices make the difference close to indistinguishable.