The Chopstick Hack That Makes For Perfectly Portioned Burgers

Homemade burgers make for delicious dinners on the fly if you plan ahead. Buying ground meat in bulk is a budget–friendly idea, and with proper storage, you can have burger patties on hand when the urge for a smash burger strikes. We have a great hack for repackaging ground meat into patties that makes storage easier and portioning a (literal) snap with just a few common items you likely already have on hand. 

Simply place the meat in zip–top bags and press it into an even layer, being sure to distribute it all the way to the edges of the bag and leaving enough space to zip the bag shut. Now, use a chopstick or the back of a dinner knife to score lines in the flattened meat to create equal sections. Be careful not to break the bag, but press hard enough to get a deep impression. A 2 to 3-pound casing can be perfectly portioned into nine patties by pressing a tic-tac-toe grid into the ground chuck, and even a single pound can fit nicely in a quart-size bag for future quarter pounders. Be sure to label the bag with the contents and date so you can properly rotate your meat stores. 

Freeze flat, save storage space

Unlike the bulky tubular casings and plastic containers ground beef comes in, this method for repacking meat saves precious space in the freezer and can be stored in stacks or vertically, depending on your freezer style. And rather than having several random containers, you've got all the meat in one place, labeled and ready to use.

Better still, the chopstick lines allow you to break off patties as you need them once they are frozen. We've all kicked ourselves for freezing bulk meat in a hurry only to struggle with the hard block later. However, you'll never skip this step again when you see how easy it is to snap off what you need, toss it back in the freezer, and easily defrost what you plan to use. It's a true win-win that minimizes storage space and streamlines prep work.

And if it's not already obvious, don't limit this trick to just plain ground beef. You can prepare our seasoned Bahn-mi patty recipe ahead to make day-of cooking easier, and turkey or salmon burgers can all be ready in a snap when you use this handy chopstick hack.