Burgers can taste bland if they are made from low fat or low quality meat, if they are not seasoned with enough salt or if they are cooked too slowly or too low. To add loads of flavor to your burgers make sure you season them with loads of coarse salt, use good quality ground meat that is 20% fat and cook them on a preheated grill with a small amount of added fat.
This article will explore the top reasons why burgers will taste band and 8 easy things you can do to give them more flavor.
Top 3 reasons why burgers taste bland
Check out the top 3 reasons why burgers end up tasting bland. Check the list to see if any of these are happening to your burgers at home.
1. Not seasoning with salt
The top reason why burgers end up bland is by not adding enough salt. Salt enhances the flavor of the meat and will give your burgers that extra delicious taste.
To add salt to burgers you make at home, form the burger shape first in your hand. Just before you are ready to cook them salt the outside with coarse, ground salt or salt flakes. Add more than you think as it will help to add flavor and to form a delicious crust on the outside.
2. Using poor quality or low fat meat
Using poor quality or extra lean meat for the base of the burgers can cause them to dry out and taste bland. Burgers need around 20% fat content to keep them moist and flavorful.
My favorite are beef burgers. Use chuck or brisket which has a good fat content or look out for pre-ground meat with 80% protein to 20% fat ratio.
3. Not creating a crust
Creating a crust on the outside of your burgers is essential for them to avoid them tasting bland. Burgers that are not cooked fast enough on the outside or do not form a crust will lose moisture and look gray.
Cooking them on a preheated grill, seasoning the outside and adding a small amount of oil to the grill will form a crust to trap and add flavor.
8 Ways to make burgers taste flavorful
Check out my 8 favorite ways to make burgers full of flavor and avoid them tasting bland.
1. Salt your burgers
To make flavorful burgers it is essential to salt them properly. Start by forming the burger patties gently in your hand. You can then flatten them on a plate or a grill. Just before you add them to the grill grind salt all over both sides.
Cook them on the grill straight away to avoid moisture loss from the meat. You can add another small grind of salt on the burgers after they have cooked on one side to add extra flavor.
Use coarse ground salt or salt flakes for a rich and delicious flavor.
2. Use good quality meat with 20% fat
A great way to make sure you have a flavorful burger is to choose good quality meat with 20% fat. For beef burgers chuck steak or brisket works well. Coarsely minced meat works well to hold flavor and taste great.
The fat content will help to keep the burgers juicy as they cook.
3. Cook on an outdoor grill
A great way to guarantee good flavored burgers is to cook on an outdoor grill. A well seasoned grill will add loads of flavor to your burger without needing to add anything else but salt.
I like to cook my burgers on an open grill. Gas grills work well but for the best results charcoal grills work even better to add a smokey taste.
4. Add pepper
Another easy way to add flavor to burgers is to add pepper. Freshly cracked pepper added to the outside of the burger just before cooking will add some extra spice.
Take care with pepper if you are feeding your burgers to kids. Sometimes cracked black pepper can add too much spice for young taste buds.
5. Don’t overwork the meat
Overworking the meat or adding too many ingredients to the mix can make the burgers taste bland. Aim to make your burgers with 100% meat rather than adding breadcrumbs or flour.
This will give you more intense, flavorful burger which forms a delicious crust.
6. Cook in butter
If you really want to add flavor to your burgers use butter to grease your pan or grill. This will add a delicious buttery flavor and stop the meat from sticking to the grill. You can even add a dob of butter to the top of the burger as it cooks. It will melt down and flavor the whole patty.
7. Make the perfect sauce
Another fantastic way to add flavor to your burger is to make your own sauce. A perfectly balanced burger sauce will give you a rich flavor without needing to add anything else (except maybe cheese).
To make a great burger sauce add 3 tablespoons of tomato ketchup to 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise. Add 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Grind in some black pepper and mix it all together. This is an amazing spicy burger sauce.
Skip the sriracha if you are making the burgers for kids.
Check out this easy recipe for the perfect burger sauce.
8. Cook smash burgers
Another great way to guarantee you have flavorful burgers is to make smash burgers. Form the mince into a ball about the size that can fit into the palm of your hand. Take them to to the grill and squish them down flat and thin on the grill.
Add salt and cook through until they are crispy on the outside. Smash burgers are thin and crispy that cook through quickly and have loads of flavor.
Why do my burgers taste bland? | Summary
Burgers can taste bland if they do not have enough salt, if they are not cooked on a grill that is hot enough or if the meat does not contain enough fat. Preheat the grill or pan, add some butter or oil and add your burgers with plenty of salt on the outside. You will get amazing burgers with loads of flavor.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.