Ina Garten's Secret Method For Perfect Hamburgers

The hamburger's roots trace back to ancient times, but it became iconic right here in the United States. According to History, the historical foundations for the hamburger began about 10,000 years ago when cattle were domesticated in Mesopotamia and then progressed in the 12th century when Hamburg, Germany found its footing as an independent trading city where beef was popular. Then, in 1848, when the country experienced a political revolution, many nationals found themselves heading to the United States, and with German immigrants came German food (via U.S. History).

The Hamburg-style chopped steak was the first popular distant cousin of the burger we know today. And while there was some drama over the cooked vs. uncooked meat argument and questions surrounding the meatpacking industry, the hamburger's reputation as an American classic was fully cemented by 1921 when Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson opened the first White Castle in Kansas (per History).

Today, hamburgers are known as a quintessential American food, and they are so popular that even non-meat eaters have been enjoying all kinds of meatless versions for years. But, when making them at home, there's the question of how to get that perfect seer on the outside while also getting a tender, juicy texture on the inside. Ina Garten has the answer.

Fresh and frozen?

According to Ina Garten, the trick for getting the perfect juicy hamburger is two-fold (via Food Network). First, it's all about choosing the right meat. Garten suggests that you use an 80:20 mix for your ground beef. The fat content is important because it keeps the burgers juicy. Not only does she suggest an 80:20 ratio, but she also recommends that you get the beef freshly ground if possible. Where the seasoning is concerned, Garten likes to let the beef speak for itself. She uses limited seasonings (salt, pepper, and dried mustard) and no egg or breadcrumbs.

Her second trick is that once the beef patties are formed, she freezes them for exactly 15 minutes. This way, the meat will get a great seer but will remain tender and juice while cooking. Her tactics work whether you're grilling your burgers or doing them in a pan indoors. So arm yourself with these other tips, and the next time you make America's favorite hot sandwich, you'll be sure to nail it.