Making perfect patties


From these plastic patty presses to fancier versions that cost over $20 at Crate and Barrel, there are all kinds of gadgets on the market to help people shape uniform burger patties. But, the truth is, these space-eating gadgets are a waste of money.

Here’s how I make perfect patties:

1. Line a baking sheet or tray with parchment or waxed paper.
2. Use a four-ounce ice cream scoop (or dry measure) to portion out meat mixture.
3. Place a 4-inch (10 cm) ring around each dollop of meat.
4. Press into an even layer using your hand or a rubber spatula.

It’s just that simple. Do you have any patty pressing tips to offer?


13 Responses to Making perfect patties

  1. Rosa says:

    Great tip!



  2. Markus Saers says:

    I find they tend to shrink and go more like meat balls if you don’t get them really flat, so I press them between to plates as hard as I can, and use baking sheets to prevent sticking. Gets you patties ½ cm thick, which ends up as quite nice burgers when fried or grilled. They usually aren’t perfectly circular though…

  3. Jeanne says:

    I think the vast shrinkage that occurred for Markus may be increased by cooking with too hot a grill. It is of course,necessary to sear, but then reduce the heat drastically and take a little longer to finish cooking the burger patties.

  4. Great tip, Dana. Andrew LOVES his burgers and I hate handling hamburger meat so this sounds like a super solution for both of us.

    And with it being grill season, your timing is perfect.

  5. LoveFeast says:

    I didn’t know such a thing as a patty press existed! What a great host/hostess gift for summer! -Chris Ann

  6. Hubby is the burger maker in our house. He would be aghast at anything but hand-forming his patties. Of course, patty isn’t the right word. His burgers are ridiculously thick, but still very big. It’s his thing, I’ve given up questioning it. And now that I am so used to it I am kind of disappointed by thin patties.

  7. cheryl says:

    So funny. My husband is the exact opposite of Cheryl A’s. He hates thick patties! We’ve never done anything but shmoosh the meat together with our hands. I feel so déclassé.

  8. Love it! What spices do you have in those burgers? They look delicious. My tip: try burgers made from dry-aged beef (from a really good farm & butcher). So flavorful you can eat with salt alone!

  9. danamccauley says:

    Interesting how personal burger patty thickness preferences can be!

    Carrie, the patties shown above are actually pork patties with ginger scallion. The recipe is here:

    I’m with you on the beef patty side though: keep ’em great quality and simple! Also, I never use lean or extra lean beef to make burgers and I even add some melted butter to the mixture if I think the meat is looking a little lean. After all, a burger should be juicy!

  10. When I was growing up my mom had a burger shaper that was a plastic cylinder the diameter of a burger, with plastic discs to separate the burgers and a pusher. Put in one disc, drop in meat (less for thinner burger, more for thicker), put in second disc, push down to flatten. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    When the cylinder was full you push them out, slide them in a bag and pop them into the freezer until ready to separate. (Or separate some for immediate use.)

  11. danamccauley says:

    Yes! Your mom had the Patty Stacker – I remember their infomercials. Too funny. What blast from the past.

  12. Puglette says:

    i just squish them with my hands. i decide on the shape by what kind of bread i am using, or if no bread at all i just make rectangles.
    but that patty stacker sounds like a fun toy.

  13. dinnerwithjulie says:

    Ooh I do! I make them a bit concave in the middle so that they don’t dome out as they cook – they stay flat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: