A Peanut Butter Jar Is The Key To Perfectly Shaped Burger Patties

While cooking up burgers at home can seem a lot more daunting than going through a drive-up, the perks of being able to cook it exactly to your liking, whether you prefer medium-rare or medium-well, and making your patties as big or as small as you want, makes it well worth it. 

However, the biggest challenge when it comes to portioning your meat is making the burgers all the same size. With all the different shapes and sizes of patties, it can throw off your timing for which ones are done and which need more time, resulting in some burgers under-done, and some straight-up burnt.

If you're wondering why burgers at restaurants always turn out perfect, professional chefs actually have a trick up their sleeve as to how they portion their mass amounts of burger meat in time for service in order to yield the most consistent results — they use a lid. That's right, it all started with utilizing old tubs of sour cream and yogurt, and they would simply press the meat into the lids to act as a mold. And, it seems that a large jar of peanut butter has the perfect lid for an ideal size patty. This technique allows you to shape every patty the exact same size, and much quicker than forming them by hand.

The lid acts as a mold

If you're ever in a pinch while portioning burger patties, that empty jar of peanut butter comes to the rescue! The magic is in the lid. Simply take the lid, wrap it in plastic wrap, and use this as a mold for making the most uniform burger patties yet. Not only does this speed up the portioning process, but it also prevents you from overworking the meat, which can lend a tough texture when the beef is cooked.

The plastic wrap is an important step you don't want to miss, as it acts as a nonstick barrier. Without it, your meat is likely to stick to the jar, which will slow down the process. Additionally, it's likely that there are remnants of peanut butter on the lid. The plastic wrap prevents any peanut butter from getting into your meat.

If you're portioning quite a few patties and need to stack them, it's best to place wax paper in between them. This will act as an even more nonstick surface compared to plastic wrap, allowing you to grab a patty from the top and go as you please. This is also a wonderful method to use if you're planning on freezing the pre-portioned patties, as dealing with rock-hard meat that has frozen together takes tremendous muscle to break them apart.