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Weeknight Cooking

How Can I Keep My Burgers from Turning Tough?

We have three key tips to getting tender, juicy burgers every time.
By Published Sept. 4, 2020

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It's a problem for burger-makers across the land: You create a perfect patty of ground meat, but shortly after it hits the heat it seizes up into a tough little meatball that’s all chewiness and no flavor.

It’s easy to avoid. Here are three ways to combat the meatball effect:

1. Don’t overwork the meat. Press it into a patty just firmly enough to form the shape without compacting it any more than you have to.

2. Create a small indentation in the center of the patty. This will help forestall the balling by keeping the patty from drawing in on itself as it cooks.

3. Don’t overcook. For this pork burger, aim for 160 degrees, at which point the burger will be done but not dried out. And be sure to let it rest for a few minutes; it will be much more tender if you do.


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