How to Make Thin Flat Burger Patties?

Burgers with thin patties like smash burgers have become quite popular in recent times because of their amazing taste. Many people prefer thin burger patties because thin patties can be cooked well done without sacrificing the texture, which often happens with thick patties.

But making a thin flat burger pattie can be a difficult task sometimes because the thinning process often goes wrong and the meat falls apart when it gets cooked. Thin patties are more delicate than regular thick patties so we need to apply some tricks to make sure that the burger turns out well.

All the methods of thinning the burger patties are described here in detail so that the next time you decide to make a delicious burger with thin patties, you can do so at ease without ruining the burger patty at all. You will be able to make delicious thin pattie burgers after learning all about the methods, tips, and tricks of perfectly cooking thin patties.

How to Choose the Meat?

There are numerous options to choose from when you are making a thin pattie burger or a smash burger. But you have to keep in mind that you need to ensure that at least 20% of the ground meat is fat. Otherwise, the meat will get too dry as it cooks on the pan or the grill.

Ground chuck is one of the best options for making thin burger patties and you can already buy ground chuck from the market that has a 20% fat ratio. You can also use a blend of short rib, brisket, and chuck or oxtail meat for extra flavor.

Making burgers with meat that you ground yourself is always better than buying ground beef from the stores but it will still make a good burger.

No matter whether you are buying straight from the grocery store or making it by yourself, always make sure that the ground meat has at least a 15-20% fat ratio.

How to Prepare the Meat?

We need to prepare the meat before we can start cooking the patties on the stove. This preparation process includes refrigerating the meat, kneading it properly, and shaping it neatly. All of these processes are described below.

Chilling the Meat

Chilling the meat is essential to ensure that the meat fibers stick to each other better and keep the shape of the patty while it gets cooked.

You should chill the meat for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight in the fridge before you start the preparation. Make sure to thaw it partially if ice crystals have formed in the meat. The colder the meat, the better it will get shaped.

Kneading the Meat

Kneading the meat is an important step while making thin burger patties. Knead the ground meat with your hands. Sink in the fingers and knead the meat well. This will tangle up the protein which makes the texture of the burger more solid and tighter. 

Remember that this process is only applicable for thin burger patties because kneading the meat like this for thick patties will give them a rubbery texture.

This process also helps to keep all the meat together as you cook which is important because thin patties have a higher tendency to break apart while cooking. So making it as solid as possible by kneading the meat is an unskippable part of making thin patties.

Shaping the Ground Beef Into Balls

The next step of preparing the ground beef is turning them into round balls. The size will depend on how big or small you are planning to make your burger.

However, a common measurement is 113 grams or a quarter pound. Shape the meat in between the palms of your hands to form the balls. Place them on a baking tray over a parchment paper. 

Dipping the Meat in Clarified Butter

This is an optional step but a quite necessary one to ensure that the burger patties thin out properly and do not stick to any surface while you cook. You can buy clarified butter from the market or you can make your own at home by boiling butter and filtering out the milk solids from it. Let it cool down to room temperature before dipping and rolling the ground meatballs into it.

How to Make Thin Flat Burger Patties? 3 Methods

There are different methods by which you can flatten the burger patties to make them thin. They are described below in detail with the instructions and tips so that you make flawless thin flat burgers every time.

1. Using Your Hands

You can easily flatten the burger patty using your hand. Press down on the middle of the ball and spread it out fixing the edges as you go. You should do this while the patty is on baking paper because otherwise, it might stick to the surface. Flatten the patty with your hand to your liking and then cook them.

2. Using Two Spatulas

Another common method of flattening burger patties is using two spatulas. You can do this to make smash burgers meaning you can flatten the burger patties on the pan or grill while it cooks or use this method first and then cook the burger patties.

Hold one spatula on top of the meatball so that the flat surface sits on top of it. Then use another spatula to press down the meatball to thin out the pattie.

3. Flattening With a Burger Press

You can also use a burger press to flatten the burger patties. Simply put the burger press on top of the meatball and press down. It is better to do this on baking paper so that the meat does not stick. This method works for both flattening out the patties before you cook and making smash burgers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Ground Beef Is Best for Thin Patties?

Ground chuck with a 20% fat content is the best for thin patties.

What’s the Best Way to Shape Thin Patties?

The best way to shape thin patties is using a burger press. Burger press thins out the patties the most without breaking them apart.

How Long Does It Take to Cook Thin Patties?

It will take 2-3 minutes on each side to cook thin patties.

How to Ensure That Thin Patties Do Not Fall Apart While Cooking?

Knead the meat well before the cooking process and try to flatten the pattie uniformly during the process. You can also add binding agents like eggs to the ground beef to keep the burger from falling apart.


Flattening out the burger patties to make thin burgers makes flavorful burgers that many people enjoy but it can be a little tricky process.

However, the entire process will go smoothly without any problems if you follow all the instructions stated above and you will be able to cook the perfect thin patties without ever breaking them apart.

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