How to Make the Best Burgers and Meatballs

If your burgers and meatballs aren't coming out like those of the pros, take a look at these tips to shape ground beef perfectly, add flavor to your meat, and more. 

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin,


Sticky Solution

Here’s a simple tip: If you wet your hands with cold water before shaping hamburger patties or meatballs, the mixture won’t stick to your fingers.

Restaurant-Style Burger Patties

Ever notice the perfectly round hamburger patties sold at the supermarket? Your homemade burgers can look restaurant-ready too, no fancy “hamburger press” necessary! Just use the lid from a jar as a mold for your ground beef—large lids for Whopper-sized burgers and small lids for sliders. Find a lid that’s a bit larger than your buns, cover the underside in a stretch of plastic wrap, and fill it with beef. The plastic wrap makes patty-removal super easy, and you’ll have a flawless and completely uniform batch of burgers in no time!

A Cottage Cheese Shortcut

When making meatballs, meatloaf, or hamburger patties, try adding a half cup of cottage cheese for every pound of ground meat. Not only does it add flavor and protein, but it will stretch your recipe to serve a few more people.

Food Safety First

When you’re making hamburgers, place a sheet of plastic wrap down on your platter before adding the raw patties. Once you’ve added them to the pan or the grill, you can toss the plastic, and the platter underneath will still be clean for the cooked burgers. That way you don’t have to wash two dishes, and you protect your family from potentially harmful bacteria.

Quick Cooking

Want the fastest way to make meatballs? Well, here it is! Shape the meat mixture into a log and then cut off slices, which then roll easily into balls.

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