How to Use a Hamburger Press? (3 Guidelines & Tips)

Devon Ferguson
Published by Devon Ferguson
Last Updated On: October 23, 2023

As a carnivore lifestyle devotee and a perfectionist, I love my hamburger patties delicious and perfectly shaped.

I experimented with different burger-shaping options until I settled on the hamburger press as the best one.

I’ve been using a burger press for the last year, and I can finally share a step-by-step guide on how to use a burger press, including all my tips and tricks for the best results.

Quick Summary

  • A hamburger press is the best way to get perfectly shaped patties.
  • Line the press with wax paper or greaseproof paper so the meat doesn’t stick to the press.
  • Use meat with higher fat content for the most delicious burgers.

3 Step-by-Step Guide on Using a Hamburger Press

A person using a hamburger press in shaping his hamburger patties

Here’s how to use a burger press step-by-step:

  1. Prep the meat — Put the raw meat in a bowl and add your preferred seasonings.
  2. Measure the balls — Put wax paper on your kitchen scale and turn it to zero. Divide the ground beef into balls of approximately equal sizes. Most burger presses have a label that lets you know how large your balls should be.
  3. Use the press — Put parchment paper in the press and place one ball. Press down until the press stops. Pull out the base to remove the burger patty and repeat. Leave the parchment paper in the press, as it helps move the burger patties more easily.

Pro tip: You can use a non-stick hamburger press to prevent patties from sticking to it and transfer the burger patty in one piece. Choose a press with a lightly textured surface so the raw meat doesn’t cling to it. You can also use water and wet the sides of the press.

You can also use your hamburger press on a grill or a stovetop to save time. Once again, prepare the raw meat and measure it into balls.

Dip the balls into the press and quickly press down for about a minute. Then remove the press and flip the burger.

Why Use a Hamburger Press?

A close up shot of perfectly shaped hamburger patties

These are all the reasons why you should use a hamburger press:

  • Less touching the meat with your bare hands - The longer you touch the burger patties with your hands, the hotter they get. The warmth from your hands can cause the proteins to denature, which results in a mushy meat texture [1].
  • Keep cold - Burger presses, especially metal ones, keep the meat cold. You can store them in the fridge before use, so they keep the raw meat cold until it’s time to cook it.
  • Uniform patties - Unlike other burger shaping methods, a burger press makes uniform patties. Each burger patty has the same dimensions, weight, and diameter, which creates a professional look. Moreover, uniform size means the patties cook more evenly and come to temperature at the same time.
  • Uniform weight - If you don’t have a burger press, you need to measure the meat and keep adjusting it until you get it right. For example, it’s difficult to gauge how much meat is a third of a pound. But a burger press does it automatically. They have measurements as a guide or a setting on the handle, so all the patties have the same weight.
  • Little mess - You don’t have a huge mess or huge cleanup after using a burger press, especially if you use parchment paper. Plus, burger presses have a smooth surface that’s easy to clean. Using a press also means the raw meat is confined to a small area and can’t contaminate other foods and surfaces.
  • Less need for adhesives - You can use a beaten egg, breadcrumbs, butter, and more to hold the meat together. However, there’s no need for these with a press. The patties should stay perfectly consistent and perfectly round.

“A hamburger press gives you a nice consistent burger patty. When you have a nice consistent patty, it means you’re going to have a nice even cook and unforgettable, juicy burgers.”
- Tom Wade, YouTube Channel

Also Read: How to Keep Burger From Falling Apart

8 Tips on Making Burgers

Here’s what to keep in mind for amazing burgers:

  • Use meat that’s not frozen but very cold.
  • Use meat with at least 20% fat for great burgers. If your meat is lean, you can add the cubed butter. 
  • Use salt and pepper and other seasonings you like for better flavor and a great burger.
  • Keep all ingredients small. For example, if you’re adding fresh onion and garlic, grate them.
  • Chill your perfect patties for half an hour before grilling.
  • Grill burgers over direct, medium-high heat for about five minutes per side. Flip once or twice as needed.
  • Use an instant-read BBQ thermometer to check the temperature. A patty is done when it reaches 160 degrees
  • If you’re freezing extra burgers, put waxed paper between patties so they don’t stick together. This way, you can use as many patties as you need without having to thaw all of them.

Related Articles:


How Do You Press Hamburger Patties Without a Press?

You press hamburger patties without a press using jar lids or a spatula. Jar lids create more uniform results than spatulas.

Do You Oil a Burger Press?

Yes, you oil a burger press. This isn’t an obligatory step, but it helps the patties stay together and not fall apart. It also helps the meat not stick to the press.

Does a Burger Press Make Better Burgers?

Yes, a burger press makes better burgers. A press compresses the patty but keeps it thick so the patty can cook well.

How to Shape a Burger with a Lid Jar?

You can shape a burger with a lid jar by covering the lid in plastic wrap or wax paper, pressing the meat into the lid, trimming excess, and flipping out the formed patty, and repeating the process for multiple sizes.

Can You Shape a Burger Patty with a Spatula?

To shape a burger patty with a spatula, place seasoned meat balls on a preheated grill and gently flatten with the spatula. Cook for a minute before flipping, ensuring not to press too hard to keep the burgers juicy.

How Do You Make Burger Patties That Don't Fall Apart?

You make burger patties that don’t fall apart by adding egg yolk per pound of burgers. You can also add canned and drained crushed black beans or chickpeas. These bind the meat and add a richer flavor.

Are You Using a Hamburger Press the Right Way?

A hamburger press is easy to use on different meats. Simply insert the meat and press down.

This ensures your patties are the same weight and shape, and you have the best cooking results.

Chad Kelley, professional chef for 30 years and founder of Chef Made Home, explains that the more you play with the ground beef, the more likely you are to make the burger tough. This means that using a hamburger press saves you time and stress from the mess, while also helping make the meat juicer and cleaner.

You need quality meat for the best results when using a burger press. Over the past two years, I’ve been ordering ground beef from ButcherBox, an online meat delivery service that sells quality ground beef, pork, poultry, and seafood. And if you want to read our ButcherBox review, you can visit this link.

Their meat comes from responsibly grown cattle raised on local farms, according to the best sustainable practices. The animals aren’t given any hormones or antibiotics, so you get safe, delicious cuts.


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About the author

Devon Ferguson
Senior Editor
Devon Ferguson is the senior editor at Carnivore Style who loves dining and traveling. This well-traveled meat hunter has scaled cities high and low to scout sources for the finest meats. He's tested and reviewed nearly every grill, smoker and meat delivery box on the market.
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