We all want to try different things to make better food. How about starting with a few tools specifically designed for hamburgers. Popular burger establishments already use some of them.
These are the most interesting tools you can start using when grilling burgers.
- Burger Press
- Melting Dome
- Meat Grinder
- Butter Wheel
- Meat Thermometer
- Burger Smasher
Learn a bit more about how to use each tool to make your hamburgers even better. Most of these are under $20 and can last forever!
Grind Your Own Burger Meat
First, grinding your own beef and meat for burgers is going to be a lot better than store bought. This assures you are getting the freshest beef. You can ask your butcher for the cuts you want as well.
One huge benefit is that you will know exactly where the ground beef came from. Instead of relying on store bought prepackaged beef.
The beef markets are especially dodgy when it comes to finding the origin of the meat. Sometimes it could be coming from Australia, who knows. Locally sourced it always the better option.
Find a local farm or butcher you can trust to get reliable sources of beef. It will be hard to go back to mass retail product. Trust me!
When you grind your own beef, you can add different cuts. Try mixing in some sirloin with chuck. Using various cuts is one way to make up some unique burgers.
What it really comes down to is finding the right blend of fat with beef. This is where you are going to get the most flavors.
Grinding meat is really easy to do anyways. Grinders are affordable and super easy to use. Doesn’t take very long and you can experiment with different blends every time.
1. Burger Press
Burger presses are a great utensil to have ready for making burgers. A burger press is used to make the hamburger patties. They are like molds that you put the meat into the perfect shape.
Most burger presses can be used to make up to 1/2 pound burger patties. There are ones with different size rings. The design is a circular ring with a lid known as the press with a handle.
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They are usually small in size so they don’t take up a lot of counter or cupboard space. Also they are made to be dishwasher safe so cleaning them can be very easy.
The burg aser press tool is designed for forming patties much easier. Instead of doing it by hand and eyeballing the sizes. You will get exact size patties and not have to handle the raw meat.
A burger turner or “flipper” is a tool designed for grilling. Better than just a regular spatula because of the design.
Turners usually have purposeful flex in the handle. These flex points are chosen to allow ease of use but still have enough durability.
Some are thicker gauge steel and do not have any flex, it can be personal preference. The flex can allow for greater control when using to flip a burger patty.
Professional grade turners are perfectly balanced.
Since they are weighted evenly and lightweight, a person could use them to cook for a steady period of time.
Some features of a turner
- Heat resistant handles
- Hardened stainless steel
As any line cook would know, using the right tool for the job is essential. A good turner should feature a thin blade that can be used without damaging the food.
Having a professional cooking tool like a turner can help up your hamburger game. They can also be used for other foods, like pancakes.
Hamburger turners can come in different shapes. With different length blades and handle sizes.
3. Hamburger Chopper
This tool also called a meat chopper or food chopper is very versatile. You many be wondering how it can be used to make hamburgers?
Well I put it on this list because it can be a good replacement for a actual meat grinder. But it will only work with already grounded beef, instead of whole cuts.
After you thaw out your beef, you can use this bladed choppers to mix and further mince the meat.
A meat chopper is like a potato masher, but instead of a flat mashing end. They have five blades pointing down. Some are curved and made into scoops as well.
These come in handy when cooking ground beef in a pan. They allow you to chop the beef up consistently and stir it as the same time.
When it comes to making hamburgers, use the chopper to blend up the beef in a bowl. Works well if you are adding vegetables or just mixing in some spices.
Instead of using a spatula the meat chopper will mix the beef up better. The blades are not sharp, since they are made out of plastic.
So overall the meat chopper could get more use than you think. Find one that is dishwasher safe and heat resistant.
4. Cheese Melting Dome
The cheese melting dome, another tool that is commonly used by cooks in restaurants. Simply they look like stainless steel lids you see in hotel room service carts.
A cheese melting dome can be made with aluminum. The size is no larger than a large plate and they feature a heat resistant handle on the top.
Get the dome ready for when you are about to put the cheese on the burgers.
Add a slice of cheese (or two) to your burger patties first. Then put the dome over the burgers on the grill, when they are nearly cooked and done.
Melting domes can be large enough to cover up to four burgers at once. You can buy smaller ones though for single burgers. The dome will trap the heat around the burgers and melt the cheese faster.
They work great for colder weather as well, since the heat being trapped can help cook a burger faster.
The only downside may be storing the lids, since they are kind of bulky and oddly shaped.
These tools are also useful for cooking other foods as well. Since they can help retain moisture and lock in flavors. Melting domes are easy to use and can be used on any type of grill.
5. Meat Grinder
The old fashioned meat grinders you see in butcher shops. They are still used today and haven’t changed much. Of course they are modern electric grinders made but the hand cranked ones still work very well.
Meat grinders are machines that will take raw cuts of meat and turn them into grounded meat. Necessary for making hamburgers is ground beef. Which you can buy at any grocery store.
If you want to make your own ground beef, then a meat grinder is required. You can buy ones that attach to a counter or can be free standing.
Most will come with three cutting plate options. This is the part, similar to a faucet where the meat will come out. The different options allow for choosing how well ground the meat will come out.
Coarse, medium or fine are the different types. Coarse being the less grounded up to fine, which is very thinly chopped. Fine will make the beef look like strings of meat.
Medium is the best option to use when grinding beef for making hamburger patties.
6. Butter Wheel
A butter wheel is a neat tool to have when you want to make a lot of burgers quicker. Especially if you want to toast a lot of buns. The butter wheel is very simple to use.
Think of how much time it takes to butter hamburger buns. Its not terribly long but still a tedious task doing it by hand. A butter wheel speeds time up to seconds.
It works just as well as a knife but is a lot faster. Also has the benefit of melting the butter for you. So you can take cold butter out of the fridge and still use it within minutes.
They usually hold 2 – 3 sticks of butter.
Butter wheels are made of stainless steel, there is a metal tray where the sticks of butter go. Then a perforated wheel is placed inside partly suspended in butter.
When you rotate the wheel it becomes coated in butter. Rotate wheel as you hold bread or a bun on top of it. The butter will spread onto your bun evenly and quickly.
To melt the butter you can place the whole tool (tray with wheel) on a warm grill. Soon as the butter melts its ready to go.
7. Meat Thermometer
Another good tool that you should have for grilling meat anyways. Meat thermometers or cooking thermometers are a essential tool. They come in different types.
The kind you want to use for burgers is a instant thermometer. One where you can poke it into your meat and get a reading quickly.
What you want to measure is the middle of the burger patty. The part that takes the longest to cook. This will tell you if its cooked or still pink in the middle. Most will come with temperature chart to follow.
Mostly you are going to use it to make sure the burger is fully cooked through. Especially with thick patties, if you check it at the right time you can pull the burgers off before they get overcooked.
There are two types of instant thermometers. Dial and digital, both will give fast readings. The problem with dial is that it can’t read thinner meats as well. Since the measuring probe is bigger, it must go deeper into foods.
So for burgers you will want a digital instant thermometer. The probe is small and you can get a reading on a thin patty.
These thermometers are not meant to be placed and left in the food while cooking. Just have it readily available while grilling, make sure the batteries are still charged.
These thermometers are inexpensive and should last for a long time. You can use them for cooking other foods as well.
8. Burger Smasher
Not only is this a technique used by famous burger joints (Smashburger is the obvious one). They’re burger smashing tools you can buy. Called burger smashers or grill presses.
You may think, why not just use the spatula? Well you can and it works fine, but these tools will help lock in the juices. They also work to form a crust not only on the bottom but the sides of the patty.
These tools, not to be confused with burger presses. Look like a cookie cutter, but its only open on one side. A handle is on the top and they are meant to smash the beef down, instead of cutting or molding the patty.
To use a smasher, you are going to need a cast iron skillet. They also make griddle inserts to put on a grill. Because if you try to smash your burger on a regular grill grate, it will tear the patty and will likely fall through.
So you need a flat top grill, or use a cast iron insert or skillet. A smashed burger saves time because you will not have to form patties. Simply form the meat into balls and then put them on. Right away smash and hold the smasher onto the meat for about 10 seconds.
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A crust will form as the meat caramelizes. The juices will cook up into the meat. This is how they do it some of the more popular burger places.