Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties

pattystack1 Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties
Have you ever walked by the butcher case at your local grocery store and noticed how perfectly uniform the hamburgers they sell are?  I have.  A few months ago my sister and I were walking through Whole Foods and there was a man forming hamburger patties in this thingamajig in the meat department.  As I watched him for a few seconds I found a sudden urge to know exactly what that thing was he was using.  So I asked and he seemed surprised I would even be interested.  Before telling me what it was, he joked that if I wanted one it would cost $20.  Say what?!  Then he looked at me, smiled and chuckled.

“Oh this?  This is a lid.”

A lid?

“A lid, you know.. from a jar.”

Oh..oh thanks.

I looked at him feeling pretty stupid and decided I wasted enough of his time and moved on to another part of the store.  My sister laughed at me but also agreed we just stumbled into a great kitchen/cooking/grilling tip.

lids Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties

Here’s my conclusion – if I didn’t know you could make uniform hamburger patties with a stinkin’ lid, chances are you didn’t know either.  So here’s your chance to make your burgers look perfect like the ones you get in restaurants. It’s so simple yet so brilliant. Say goodbye to jagged edges.  In the words of my two daughters, “Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle, Re-think.”  This technique would work great with forming veggie patties and crab cakes too.

Although you could easily buy a hamburger press, I for one will gladly use a lid -I only have a drawer full of them.  What’s also great about using lids is you can find the lid that best suits the size of your hamburger buns.  For instance, if you wanted to make mini-sliders, use a small tupperware or canning lid.  Pretty simple, huh?

So start saving those lids. You never know when you’ll need the perfect hamburger patty. Enjoy!

hamburgermeat Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesSeason ground beef with your favorite spices.  Salt and pepper work great but I also like Weber’s Gourmet Burger Seasoning.

plasticlid Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesFind a lid that is slightly bigger than the size of your hamburger bun.  Cover the lid in plastic wrap.  This will make it easier to remove the patty after each use.

seasonedmeat Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesPlace a good amount of ground beef inside the lid.

packedmeat Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesPress meat down into the lid.  Remove any excess meat or add more if necessary.

shapedmeat Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesFlip patty out and continue to make as many burgers as needed.

shapedburgers Shaping Perfect Hamburger PattiesFor best cooking results, refrigerate patties for at least 1 hour before frying or grilling.  Enjoy!

cookedburger Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties


4.5 from 4 reviews
Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
How to shape and make the perfect hamburger patties
  • ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • seasonings of your choice
  • lid
  1. Season the ground beef with salt, pepper, and any other hamburger seasonings.
  2. Find a lid that is slightly bigger than the size of your hamburger bun.
  3. Cover the lid in plastic wrap. This will make it easier to remove the patty after each use.
  4. Place a good amount of ground beef inside the lid.
  5. Press the meat down into the lid. Remove any excess meat or add more if necessary.
  6. Flip the patty out and continue to make as many burgers as needed.
  7. Refridgerate the patties the patties for one hour before grilling.

pin it button Shaping Perfect Hamburger Patties
About these ads


  1. says

    He was most likely using a hamburger press. I have one. It’s nice because you don’t have to use plastic wrap to remove it, and most lids are not made to be re-used and after being washed, they leach chemicals into foods.

  2. says

    Hi..can i use this hamburger patties recipe in selling hamburger?how long it will last?Im planning to run a hamburger station in our neighborhood kasi,is it okey to use?Please i need to hear your advice…Thanks a lot…Lia

  3. BitsyBet says

    It looks like a peanut butter jar lid that you used. I’ve used a cheap metal hamburger press that my mother bought me ages ago. She’s owned hers for forever. I works very well and makes about a 1/4 pound burger if you pack it generously. No problem with uniform burgers. I don’t have issues with them falling apart on the grill, either. The press can be found, at an inexpensive price, on Amazon.

  4. William C. says

    I know this is about pressing/shaping burgers… but for spicing the burgers and making them absolutely remarkable… add 1 enelope Lipton Onion Soup (& California Dip) mix per lb. of 80/20% ground beef for the best burgers you’ll eat all summer! After mixing in the soup mix, it helps to let the beef sit overnight in a covered tub before patting out your burgers. The juices from the meat reconstitute the dehydrated onions (or you could add a tiny bit of water to the meat if it’s dry). That’s the best way to eat ’em!

  5. Stefan says

    Most chefs recommend leaving your meat out for an hour before grilling, to let it get to room temperature. This helps the meat cook evenly and sticks to the grill less.

  6. TYVM says

    TYVM indeed. makes preparation so much simpler.

    Why would anyone wanna suggest pork at any point is beyond me. It’s cheap, but it’s genetically developed to be the garbage disposal unit and therefore puts consumers at long term health risks that are avoidable. Screw profitability over common sense. Soon we’ll be consuming vultures too.

  7. says

    Just made 18 nice, even patties. Used the lid and plastic wrap and it was so easy. They look like I bought them made that way. Also used the 80 – 20 ground beef. (Added minced cooked bacon, minced cooked Vadalia onion, Worchershire sauce, salt and pepper. Followed your advice and worked it very lightly. Party tomorrow! Thanks so much for posting.

  8. Tom Strayer says

    I usually make a lot of burgers at a time, and freeze them individually in sandwich bags, stacked inside of labeled gallon size freezer bags.

    Try this: Turn a sandwich bag inside out. Put your form (lid) inside the bag. Form your burger in the lid. Turn the bag outside out. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Stack in the gallon bag, freeze.

  9. David says

    Thank you for this tip. I’m making burgers this Veterans day (2014) for friends. I looked & have only small lids. Then it hit me, I have a set of cookie cutters. I found the right size & made 9 beautifully round patties. Thank you again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate this recipe:  

Anti-Spam Quiz: