Making good burgers at home involves choosing the right style of meat, not handling that meat too much before cooking, shaping it correctly, spicing it as desired and cooking it just long enough. Always start with beef that is at least 20 percent fat, and add at least salt and pepper for flavoring. A meat thermometer helps ensure the burger is cooked to the right temperature.
A butcher, at a grocery store or specialty shop, can grind beef chuck to make a good base meat for homemade burgers with the right proportion of fat. Don't overwork the meat by hand, as this can make the texture overly heavy. Shape it with a light touch, and form circles no thicker than an inch. Experiment with additional spicing, such as onions, chiles, garlic or chili powder. Once the burgers are on your grill or other heat source, never rush cooking by pressing the patty down, as this only causes the patties to be dry and dense. Shape each patty with an indentation in the center so that it cooks flat. In the final cooking stage, cook the burger until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit or 140 F for home-ground beef.