Hamburger patties with Smasher

There are countless gadgets for sale that are designed to simplify ordinary kitchen tasks. You can create many of these things, however, with common household items, saving you money and storage space. A hamburger press is one example. By using items already in your kitchen, you can create well shaped burgers without buying any new gadgets.

Find a plastic lid that matches the size of burger you wish to make. The lid should be between 1/2 and 3/4 inch deep. A lid from a large peanut butter jar or mayonnaise container works well.

Tear off a 6-inch-long piece of plastic wrap.

Place the lid on the counter with the inside facing up so that it provides a cup-like shape for pressing your hamburger.

Lay the plastic wrap over the lid so that the lid is squarely in the center.

Measure out about 1/4 lb of your ground beef and place it on top of the plastic wrap, in the lid.

Fold the wrap over the meat and press it down into the lid to shape the beef into a patty.

Tip the lid over and pull on the plastic wrap to release the patty, which is now ready to cook.


Use a lid from a discarded jar to prevent raw beef contamination of your food.

If you plan to reuse the lid, first clean it well with very hot water and soap to kill bacteria from the raw beef.


Don't use too much beef, or the patty will overflow the lid and distort the shape. Use a larger lid or less meat.