Can Flipping Burgers Too Often Actually Ruin Them?

To flip or not to flip — that's the question plaguing burger aficionados everywhere. Many believe that constant flipping can release juices, toughen meat, and is an overall waste of time. But could this all be one big burger myth?

Contrary to the popularly believed one-flip mantra, a case study done by Serious Eats proved that frequent flipping could promote better browning and more even internal cooking, resulting in a burger ready in a fraction of the time when compared to a burger that was flipped over once.

Unless you're cooking a thinner patty like a smash burger, flipping in increments of 15 seconds is perfectly fine and won't compromise the burger. However, it is wise to let the burger cook for three-to-four minutes before flipping to ensure that the patty stays together (via Country Living).

Just remember not to confuse flipping with pressing. Although pressing a burger down might appear to make better contact with the grill for even faster cooking, this isn't the case, according to The Kitchn. This will make burgers stick to the grill, lose their juices, and can result in patties that aren't tender. Essentially, it'll undo all the work you spent flipping.

Other ways to not ruin your burger

When it comes down to it, it's pretty hard to mess up a burger, but some things are non-negotiable even before the patty hits the grill.

Like most things, fresher is always better, which is why making patties with freshly ground beef is a must. Likewise, Serious Eats reports that handling the meat carefully in a cool environment can keep meat tender and prevent the displacement of fat, resulting in a tastier burger. Making sure to delicately and evenly shape burgers is also essential to avoid uneven cooking. Many burger bosses suggest making a slight dimple in the middle of your burgers so they don't shrink inwards (via Martha Stewart).

When it comes to grilling, you know it's safe to flip away. Just be careful not to overcook your patties. All that's left is choosing a good bun and the right toppings that'll complete your burger.