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#TipTuesday: How To Make Better Burgers


Here are 10 ways to up your burger making game...

1. Start with a good blend
Burgers need fat in order to taste good. We like to mix our base meat with pure pork fat to make an 80/20 blend. Another popular blend is achieved by mixing in bacon. You could also simply start with a nice, fatty (not sinew-y) piece of meat.

Weston Realtree Camo Meat Grinder

2. Go beyond the beef
Sure, a good, All-American patty is beef. We're not saying don't make beef burgers. Just don't be afraid to make burgers from whatever's readily available. Harvesting Nature has a nice trio of non-beef burgers over on their site: Black Bear, Salmon, and Venison. And even some of the most notorious meateaters we know have enjoyed our meatless QuinoaBeet Burgers.



Harvesting Nature shows you how to make a trio of wild, non-beef burgers

3. Grind it yourself
Naturally, our golden rule is to grind it yourself, whatever 'it' is. Fresher is better. It's also true that while we can give you endless tips on the 'best' burger, it's all going to depend on your own tastes and preferences. We like a nice, loosely packed burger that's half coarse grind and half medium grind. Many traditionalists would have you use the "hamburger" or ultra-fine plate. Grinding it yourself will of course allow you to get the texture that works best for you.You can also control exactly what goes into the blend (and what doesn't).

Weston #8 Pro 350 Meat Grinder


4. Keep it cold right up until the grill
Deja vu. We feel like we say this a lot, but, hey it applies to burgers too. Keep that meat cold! Heat denatures proteins, making for a, well, gross meat texture. Heat melts fats into an unpleasant goo. If you grind your own meat, keep the metal components of the grinder in the freezer. Keep the meat in the fridge until just before you make patties. If incorporating your own fat, keep that in the freezer. 

5. Keep your grubby paws off!
This is just an extension of our heeding above. Your hands are warm, The more you handle the meat, the warmer it will get. The weirder it will get.

6. Surprise: Use a Burger Press
In case you didn't know, we make Burger Presses. We elaborate upon why you need one in our 'Why You Should Use a Burger Press' post.

Weston Burger Press with Patty Ejector

7. Hold off on the salt
Hey, salt the heck out of them if that's how you like them. Rather: Don't salt burgers until you're pulling them off the grill. Remember our above rant about heat denaturing proteins? Salt does the same, making for an icky texture. Trust us.

This Lamb BLT Burger shows off the kind of perfect texture you're aiming for


8. Stuff them
There's nothing like biting into a burger only to find it gushing with some amazing condiment, not only on top, but from inside. We mean, you like jelly donuts, right? Burger Presses make this a lot easier. We put a ball of meat on the press, press it thin, slather the middle with our filling, then cover that with more meat and press. What to stuff them with? How about Peanut Butter. Or cream cheese, cheddar and jalapenos?

Burgers stuffed with jalapenos, cheddar, and cream cheese. And deep fried. Yes, deep fried.

9. Smoke them
You smoke brisket and sausage and ribs. Why not burgers? Giving your patties a really rich, wood smoked flavor will undoubtedly add another layer of taste that put them above your basic burger. We've been known to smoke a burger or two:

Smoked Jalapeno Cheddar Chicken Burgers

10. Add surprisingly good toppings
We made you a list of our favorite Unusual Burger Toppings. Don't be afraid to experiment!

Peanut Butter kicks off our list of Surprisingly Good Toppings



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