There’s nothing better to use than your hands to shape the perfect patty. You’ll notice that some recipes call for you to shape ground meat into patties without any additional seasonings. This is done to keep the flavor of the patties simple and meaty. For these simply seasoned burgers, sprinkle the patties with salt and pepper before they go on the grill so you’ll get a hit of those flavors as you bite in. Pair them with strongly flavored condiments and cheeses. Both simply seasoned burgers and the method described in this slideshow produce excellent results.
Combine the ground meat and any burger ingredients—such as blue or feta cheese, minced shallots or onions, herbs, and spices—in a large bowl. As you work with the meat, be careful not to compact it. Just work the ingredients evenly and lightly into the meat—overworking will produce tough burgers.
To ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make a thumbprint indentation into each patty before it goes on the grill. The indentation helps the patty hold its shape—rather than swelling—as it shrinks during cooking.