Don’t over think it: Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper. That’s all you need. A few splashes of Worcestershire in the mix, make the patties, salt both sides and let it sit in the frig for 30 minutes. Add fresh ground pepper when it comes off of the pan. Let the burger be the star. After all it is the main course.
Depress the middle: When you make your patty put an indentation right smack in the middle with your thumb. This will give your burger uniformity in thickness (It prevents it from rising in the middle while cooking).
Butter your buns: Butter both sides and stick ‘em in the oven or on the grill (warming rack on the grill) without separating the two sides. You’ll get that shiny crust on the outside and the soft, gooey inside. While you’re at it, buy the good buns. The cheap stuff just doesn’t do it. You’ll thank me later.
Don’t squish the juices out: once you get it in the pan… LEAVE. ALONE. Don’t squish it, move it around or….
Don’t flip it a hundred times: be patient and let your burger acquire that good crusty sear and repeat on the other side. Every time you flip your burger another vegetarian is born.
Get the perfect sear: The rarer you eat your burger the HOTTER the pan. Let me repeat. The rarer you eat your burger the HOTTER the pan. You want that sear on the outside so if you like it mid-rare, you want to get the sear fast and before the middle cooks entirely. It takes time for the heat to reach the center so sear the hell out of it fast for a rarer inside. You won’t get this right the first time. It takes experience.
Use Ground Chuck: 80/20 fat ratio is preferable. Some of your best cuts of meat are marbled (rib eye, NY strip, Porterhouse, etc.) Fat equals flavor and makes for an extra juicy burger.
Use American cheese: Let’s face it, American cheese is not the most sophisticated cheese out there but it melts the best creating that smooth, creamy consistency. Don’t be a cheese snob. Buy American.
Cover it: when the cheese goes on, throw on a cover to melt it faster without overcooking the meat. HINT: if you’re using a pan toss in a tiny bit of water. It will steam and melt the cheese quickly with the cover on.