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Burgers 101: The Ultimate Hamburger Handbook
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Burgers 101: The Ultimate Hamburger Handbook

  • Are you intimidated by grilling? We’re here to help. It takes just a few simple steps to make the best burgers ever. Check out our top 10 tips for making the ultimate burgers, then fire up your barbecue and get ready to grill like a pro.


  • 1

    Keep it Clean:
    A good way to keep your hands mess-free when shaping or stuffing burger patties is to wear latex or other food-safe disposable gloves. Better yet, go eco-friendly: Simply wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water and skip the drying. Damp hands prevent sticking, so they’re perfect for forming patties. If the meat mixture starts to stick, just give your hands another quick rinse under water.

  • 2

    Easy Does It:
    Over-handling burger patties can make them dry and tough. Start by mixing your burger ingredients gently, just enough to combine them. Use the same gentle touch to form the meat mixture into patties. When grilling, resist the urge to press on the patties with a spatula. Keep all of the flavourful juices in the burgers so they come oozing out when you take your first bite.

  • 3

    Chill Out: 
    Patties that have been refrigerated for 20 to 30 minutes hold together much better on the barbecue. This holds true for beef burgers and pork burgers, but even more so for delicate burgers made from ground poultry, fish, or veggies, grains and beans. Make the most of that chilling time by getting your condiments, sides, buns and beverages ready

  • 4

    Fire it Up: 
    Starting with a barbecue that’s already at the proper temperature means the food will be less likely to stick… plus you’ll get a good sear and clean grill marks, adding to the flavour of your burgers. No matter what temperature your recipe calls for, be sure to preheat the barbecue, with the lid down, for at least 15 minutes before grilling.

  • 5

    Check the Temp: 
    It’s especially important to cook ground meat thoroughly in order to prevent foodborne illness. When meat is ground, the surface bacteria on the outside of the meat gets mixed into the ground product, so it’s more likely to make you sick if it’s undercooked. An instant-read thermometer is the perfect tool for checking the internal temperature of burgers, steaks, small roasts and chicken pieces. Be sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat, as close to the centre as possible. For burgers, insert the thermometer horizontally through the patties and cook to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) for beef and pork, and 165°F (74°C) for poultry.

  • 6

    Be Adventurous: 
    Want to try something new, rather than your run-of-the-mill burger? Take a cue from world flavours by trying a Korean Barbecue Burger, infused with a garlicky sweetness; “Chorizo” Cheeseburgers made from flavourful ground pork; or exotic and juicy Thai Chicken Burgers. For another fun idea, start your day with these Deluxe Breakfast Burgers.

  • 7

    Veg Out: 
    Think beef is the only way to go? Think again. Try going plant-based with your burgers, and you’ll be surprised by how many recipes you find. Short on time? Just pick up some frozen Boca Burgers, protein-rich patties made of soy that have about 87% less fat than lean ground beef.

  • 8

    Dress them up: 
    The simplest burger in the world can become a gourmet experience with the right condiments. Be sure to have Heinz Tomato Ketchup; Heinz Yellow and Dijon Mustards; Heinz Sweet Relish; Heinz [Seriously] Good Mayonnaise; sliced pickles; pickled hot banana peppers or pickled jalapenos; Kraft Singles, Kraft Extra Cheddar Process Cheese Product Slices, or other sliced, shredded and crumbled cheeses; Sriracha sauce (or Heinz Mayoracha Sauce, for a twist!); sliced red onions; grilled onions and mushrooms; sliced tomatoes; a variety of lettuces (try baby arugula or spinach for a change of pace); sliced avocado or guacamole; sprouts; sliced radishes; tomato or corn salsa; chutneys… the list is endless!

  • 9

    Nice Buns: 
    Try switching up your bun options. Instead of traditional hamburger buns, grill up some small Kaisers, brioche buns, Hawaiian sweet buns, milk buns, chewy Calabrese buns, mini naan, small pita rounds, tortilla wraps or even lettuce wraps for your burgers. Or, make them mini and sandwich your burgers in slider buns!

  • 10

    Find a Sidekick: 
    A burger is only as good as its sides. At your barbecue, be sure to have a couple of classic salads you can make ahead, like potato salad, macaroni or other pasta salad or a grain and bean salad. Include a fresh leafy salad or an heirloom tomato salad, too, for variety. You may also want to throw in some grilled vegetables. No matter what… don’t forget the fries! Whether regular potato fries, sweet potato fries, zucchini fries, eggplant fries, or root vegetable fries, you don’t want to miss out on everyone’s favourite side dish!

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