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Why Do People Put a Dent in Their Burgers Before Cooking?

Four raw hamburger patties sit on a cutting board with a dimple in their centers.

While the back-to-school season is looming, summer is still underway. There are plenty of days left to throw some burgers on the grill. If you do, you should consider using a trick you might not have seen before.

People place dents in their burgers before grilling, and this little meat dimple (so it’s called) is one clever grilling hack.

So why put a dent in your burger? It’s all keeping it perfectly shaped and flat as the meat cooks. If you’ve ever seen a burger puff up in the center as it cooks, leaving behind a little meat dome, that’s what the dimple is meant to prevent.

You see, meat’s connective tissue begins to shrink at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The shrinking happens along the edges and on the bottom of the patty. As shrinking occurs, the meat will begin to form a dome. This means that when you’re finished grilling, the burger will no longer be flat against the bun.

To combat burger puffing, add a 1/4 inch dimple to the center of your burger patty. That’s it. Once you’ve created that dent, you won’t need to worry about puffing.

If you’ve got a few more summer cookouts planned, this clever hack should definitely be part of it.

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