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When it comes to building the ultimate hamburger, Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is doing things a little differently. Forget about everything you know to be true about barbecuing, seasoning and flipping the meat. Chef Zakarian is introducing an all-new method that will wow you with its simplicity and tried-and-true results, so much so that you won’t be tempted to return to the dry, flavorless patties of burgers past. Chatting with fans at a recent event at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, he demonstrated his flawless technique and shared can’t-miss tips that are easy enough for the home cook to master — and you don’t even have to wait until grilling season to try them.
10. Cook hamburgers on a cast-iron skillet indoors, instead of on an outdoor grill.
9. Opt for corn-fed ground meat that features about 25 percent to 30 percent fat.
8. The ideal blend of freshly ground meat includes equal parts chuck, rib eye and either flank steak or brisket.
7. Let meat come to room temperature before you cook with it.
6. Preheat the skillet until it’s screaming hot — only then should the meat be added.
5. Barely form the meat into a patty — don’t overwork it.
4. Don’t press down on the patty with a spatula, as that’s what causes the meat to lose its moisture through juices.
3. Only flip the burger once.
2. Stay away from all hamburger mix-ins like onions, bacon and spices — those are for meatballs.
1. Season the burger with salt only once it’s on the pan and after it has finished cooking, as mixing it in beforehand will make the burger dry.
Browse Food Network’s favorite burger recipes for more hamburger inspiration.