Best Homemade Burger Patties & How to Cook
How to Make Burger Patties for the Perfect Burger
Learning how to make burger patties at home is key for whipping up the perfect burger! The process is simple, and doing less with the meat is actually better than more. I’ll show you my method for making homemade burger patties and how to cook them for best results.
In most grocery stores, you’ll find premade patties available in the meat section. And while convenient, these can often contain unnecessary additives, binders, and fillers meant to hold the meat together. Even if you find clean patties, they’ll often cost more just because the meat’s been shaped into discs!
Instead, you can make your own clean, homemade burger patties just using ground beef (or turkey!) and your hands. This puts YOU in control of the quality of the meat, as well as any additional ingredients. In reality, you can make a good burger patty with NO binders or additional ingredients at all—just meat!
I’ll show you how to make burger patties at home in just a few simple steps, plus how to cook the perfect burger. And, I’ve shared a fun sriracha mayo burger recipe below to give you some flavor inspiration!
How to Make Burger Patties at Home
Making homemade burger patties is simple, there are just a few basic tips to keep in mind. You can use this method with any ground meat that you like—beef, bison, turkey, chicken, even ground pork. I personally use Butcher Box's organic ground beef because I love the taste and high quality! Once you’ve got your ground meat of choice, here’s what to do:
Divide meat into desired portions
Think about what size burger patty that you want, whether it’s quarter pound (4oz), third pound (5.3oz), or even half pound (8oz) patties. Then, divide your ground meat into the appropriate number of pieces. (No need to season the ground meat first—you’ll season the patties once they’re shaped.)
For example, a standard package of ground meat is 1 pound. If you wanted quarter-pound patties, simply split 1lb of meat into 4 even pieces. For slightly larger, third-pound patties, split 1lb of meat into 3 even pieces, etc. You’re welcome to use a kitchen scale for precision if you prefer, but I just eyeball it!
Shape into patties
Next, shape each piece of ground meat into a round disc shape with your hands. I prefer to make my homemade burger patties around ¾-inch thick and 4-5 inches in diameter, but you can shape them into whatever size that you prefer. Thicker patties will take longer to cook through, and thinner patties will cook more quickly.
Also, keep in mind that the meat will shrink a bit in diameter as it cooks, so pay attention to the size of your bun if you’re using one! It’s okay if your patties look a bit wider than your buns when you shape them since they’re likely to shrink.
Mold gently, and add a dimple in the center
Now, the most important thing I’ve learned about how to make burger patties is don’t overwork the meat. You don’t need to mess with it for too long, it doesn’t need to be a perfect circle, and you don’t need to press the meat very tightly together. Just gently shape and flatten each piece of meat into your desired patty shape and size.
Once formed, add a shallow dimple into the center of each patty by pressing down with your fingers. It doesn’t need to be too big or noticeable! Adding just a small dimple will help to reduce shrinkage and doming as the patty cooks.
Season to taste
Last but not least, be sure to season your homemade burger patties before cooking them. I just sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on each side to bring out the natural flavors in the beef, and that’s it! You’re welcome to use any seasonings that you like, or switch up the seasonings every once in a while to bring some variety to your burger experience.
Cooking Homemade Burger Patties
Now that you know how to make burger patties at home, let’s talk about how to cook ’em! Of course, burgers can be cooked on the grill, or even baked in the oven if you like. Personally, I just cook mine in a pan (sometimes a grill pan) heated over the stove.
First, heat your pan over medium-high heat until it’s nice and hot. You want your homemade burger patties to sizzle as soon as they hit the pan! You don’t even need to add any cooking fat since the burger will render out plenty of fat as it cooks. Or, if you plan to add bacon to your homemade burgers, cook the bacon first and then cook your patties in the bacon fat!
Once on the pan, they’ll need to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, anywhere from 6-9 minutes total—depending on how thick they are and how you like them cooked. And, if you want a cheeseburger, be sure to add your favorite sliced cheese right after flipping each patty!
Here’s a breakdown of my recommended cook times:
- medium-rare: 6 minutes total (3 minutes on each side)
- medium: 7 to 8 minutes total (3½ to 4 minutes on each side)
- medium-well: 9 minutes total (4½ minutes on each side)
Serve with Favorite Toppings & Sides
With your homemade burger patties cooked, it’s time to assemble and serve. The beautiful thing about burgers is you’ve got lots of options: on a lettuce wrap, over a bed of greens, with eggs, or even just on its own with a side of roasted veggies. Lately, I’ve been all about the classic BUN!
This time, I went with a toasted bun: just spread a little butter on the insides of the bun, then place it onto a heated pan for about a minute until it’s golden and lightly browned. Once it’s ready, load on the toppings! Instead of the classic ketchup and mustard, I went with a DIY sriracha mayo (just mayo and sriracha, mixed together). On top of that, a juicy tomato slice, crisp lettuce, and a crunchy ring of red onion.