Hamburgers cooking on the grill with one being pick up by a spatula
The Reason Looser Patties Work Best When Grilling Burgers
Getting the right consistency for the perfect burger takes practice and experience. One of the most common mistakes people make is forming their patties too tightly.
When you press the meat too firmly, it can push out the precious juices. This results in a drier, less flavorful patty and can even cause a grill flare-up on a coal-fired grill.
It’s best to use as little force as possible when shaping the burgers. You shouldn’t squeeze and press the beef excessively or pack it tightly to try and make it the perfect shape.
Start by taking fist-sized portions of ground beef and then gently shape the portions into patties with the palm of your hand. They should be about an inch thick.
Make a dent in the middle of each patty with your thumb. This prevents the meat from shrinking, curling up, and turning into a rounded dome as it cooks.
Just use your fingertip to gently press down on the patty's center, slowly working your way near the edges of the patty. A quarter to a half inch deep is perfect.