Grilling season is upon us, and I've been meaning to look into burger presses. Not necessarily because I want one, but because I've been wondering who does? I'm more the type to be lulled into a stress free zone by patting out my burgers systematically, and I haven't as yet desired a machine to do it for me. But the fact remains that there are a LOT of these little devices on the market in many forms - so here's the run-down:Williams Sonoma is all over the idea of perfectly formed burgers. They've got round ones, square ones, and pleasing heavy cast tools all around. The pass-through design seems to make sense as patties drop straight through after you press them.
Crate & Barrel has also been working the burger angle, although their presses make a bit less sense. The presses are virtually burger molds, with not much opportunity to extricate the patties intact...may explain why they're on clearance at this time!
There's also a lot of professional grade equipment on the market, and an affordable option is Weston's Burger Express. It's spring loaded, making it easy to remove the burger intact off of the raised platform after you press it. And you get to set your desired thickness. As with most presses, the use of waxed paper is encouraged to make production perfect.
What I'd like to see next is a press that allows you to customize - who says we all want the same burger size? Or maybe something that cranks out the burgers like a potato slicer? Or a patty sized cookie gun? There's definitely room for improvement here. I now understand the appeal - users describe deep satisfaction with consistent thickness, shape, and ease of production. But I think a better product awaits - after all if you're in the market for a burger press, you're seeking perfection.