Why Do Hamburgers Taste Different From A Restaurant?

There is just something about a hamburger from your favorite restaurant that gets the mouth watering in a way more than any burger you make at home. No matter how hard you try and no matter how many tips for a perfect burger you follow, you may not be able to get your own burgers to be as tasty and satisfying as the ones from your favorite burger joint.

We know there may be some burger myths you probably believe about how to prepare the best hamburger, like using artisanal cheese to make it taste fancier. Even if you're the best at-home cook there is, you still seem to be missing the key to an ideal hamburger patty that a restaurant has in its back pocket. There are some mistakes everyone makes when cooking burgers, like not shaping the patty the correct way, but even when you feel as though you did your best, there's still room to improve. But don't feel defeated just yet. We found some reasons that a restaurant burger is coming out better than any at-home one you've ever made.

Temperature and tools make a difference

Now there is a secret to cooking juicy burgers that you've been missing. The factors that play into it are temperature and tools. A good hamburger at a restaurant is typically cooked on a flat top grill with a consistent temperature, preferably at medium-high. This is one of the reasons our at-home burgers just never reach that peak hamburger potential. According to The Daily Meal, a consistent temperature produced by the grill allows for the hamburger patty to sear on the outside and cook steadily on the inside. 

The grill, or griddle, allows you to cook your burger all the way through with only one flip, another way to keep that juiciness intact. We get you probably don't have a full griddle at your home to use just for cooking your homemade hamburgers. If you're trying to create that perfect restaurant-style burger, we recommend Bobby Flays secret to a perfect burger – using a cast-iron skillet. This type of pan allows for a perfect temperature letting you use a consistent cooking time each and every time you cook your hamburger.

Seasoning is key

Another secret restaurants have when cooking hamburgers is good old-fashioned salt — and when to add it. Over salting can be scary when preparing food, but don't be scared when it comes to burgers. Salt is the most important ingredient when cooking up a hamburger. One person on Reddit asked why their burgers were never coming out as good as a restaurant, and according to this Redditor, salt is the most important ingredient that people don't pay attention to. "It needs no seasoning aside from salt and pepper, I'd argue even just salt. Any other spices just mask the flavor of the beef and also end up burning," the Redditor commented.

Now it's important to note that salt is an ingredient that could ruin your hamburgers, but only when used incorrectly. Exactly why Geoffrey Zakarian waits to salt his burgers, if it's mixed in with the rest of the ground beef, it could dry out your meat and in the end, you'll end up with a chewy burger no one wants to eat. It's important to add salt just before you put the patty on the grill. The salt will burn the patty just a little — creating a delicious crust on the outside of the burger, giving you the perfect crunch when you bite into it. As long as you stick to these burger-making tips, you can get a lot closer to that restaurant's ideal hamburger.