Financial website, Saving Spot, published a roundup highlighting the top-rated fast food chains in the U.S. as well as the bottom-rated restaurants across multiple food categories including pizza, burgers, chicken, Mexican cuisine and doughnuts. A portion of the report also lists each chain's top-rated and worst location across the U.S. and two Laredo spots were at the top of the fast food chain. https://52wooster.com Overall, Chick-fil-A is listed as the best fast food chain in Texas based on weighted online reviews with Papa John's listed as the bottom-rated chain, according to the report. Within the individual categories, Culver's is the top burger restaurant in Texas with Burger King bringing up the rear, situationally. https://biglotscomsurvey.com Within the chicken category, Chick-fil-A remains tops in Texas with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen considered the worst fast food chain in Texas. Among doughnut chains, Daylight Donuts is listed as the top-rated fast food chain in Texas and Dunkin Donuts deemed the worst fast food chain in the category. https://biographyly.com In Texas, Qdoba is listed as the best Mexican fast food chain and Taco Bell deemed the worst categorically. The report found that Papa Murphy's is the best pizza fast food chain in the state with Papa John's listed as the bottom-rated option in the category. bjsfeedback.net To determine the best and worst fast food restaurants, the report used weighted online average reviews for a number of popular chains in each state across multiple food categories. connexuscorp.com The report also lists the U.S. location when it comes to each chain's top-rated and worst-rated locations with two Laredo locations being listed among the best of the best. This includes the CiCis Pizza at 5504 San Bernardo and the Whataburger at 9102 McPherson Rd with the former touting a 4.46 rating and the latter carrying a 4.57. Nationally, Chick-fil-A was listed as the top-rated fast-food chain in 34 states and Texans weren't alone in their attitudes toward Papa John's as the chains was the lowest-rated chain in 15 other states. As for the top burger in the land, Five Guy's claimed the top spot in the ranking with McDonald’s and Burger King tying for worst categorical fast food option in the U.S. dgcustomerfirsto.com Before Milad Mirghahari began posting videos on TikTok, he didn’t know his job at Subway could be deeply captivating to millions of people. His parents, both immigrants from Iran, bought their first Subway franchise more than twenty years ago, and later opened a second store in Cedar Grove, New Jersey, near their home. After school, Mirghahari would eat a sandwich while his older brothers worked. At sixteen, he followed their lead and took an official part-time position. dgcustomerfirstu.com When the pandemic began, life became very boring for the twenty-year-old New Jersey Institute of Technology student and sandwich artist. With many people unwilling to venture inside for a sub of remarkable length, Mirghahari amused himself by making TikToks. He discovered that people were more impressed by the location of his videos than by the content. “Bruh you’re at subway,” someone commented, on a tribute that he had made to his parents for creating a better life for him and his siblings in the United States. “Bruh that’s a subway,” another observed. gaylessandwichshopchicago.com One day, someone placed an order in the comments: “Lemme get an Italian BMT with lettuce, tomato, onions, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, and chipotle sauce.” Mirghahari thought the request was hilarious, so he filmed a point-of-view video of himself making the sandwich, layering spicy pepperoni, Genoa salami, and Black Forest ham on a six-inch sub. The comments section could hardly believe the exceptional nature of what had just occurred; requests for sandwiches flooded in. Some ordered staples (Spicy Italian, chicken teriyaki, turkey). Others thought of the least appetizing combinations possible (just lettuce plus every sauce, or several Subway cookies on a sub) and encouraged him to eat them. Mirghahari developed a video formula: identify the sandwich, make it, eat it, review it. “And that worked for a long time,” he told me. iarbyswemakeitright.com As his channel grew, he fulfilled requests from the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise (buffalo chicken), the Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull (turkey and bacon on herb-and-cheese bread), and the skateboarding legend Tony Hawk (chicken parmesan). When eating several sandwiches a day proved burdensome, he began to record himself preparing orders for customers while answering viewer-submitted questions. Which sandwich did he recommend for someone who had never been to Subway? Had he ever fallen in love with a customer? Had anyone died in his store? By the end of 2020, Mirghahari was receiving between a few hundred thousand and several million views per video. About two years later, with nearly six million TikTok subscribers and four million more on YouTube, he had enough money to buy the Subway from his parents. idgcustomerfirst.org Mirghahari was following an example developed and perfected by Dylan Lemay when Lemay was a twenty-three-year-old manager at a Cold Stone Creamery. Lemay had taken his first job as a cake decorator at the chain when he was fifteen. A native of Taylor, Michigan, with light-brown hair and a somniferous voice, he was an excellent fit for the role: enthusiastic, creative, dessert-loving. “That’s like a dream job for anyone,” he gushed. “And then I got to make my own schedule on top of that.” Part of his college search entailed seeking out nearby Cold Stones. When he told a store manager in Springfield, Missouri, that he had two years of cake-decorating experience and was likely attending school nearby, she gasped. “You just saved my life,” she told him. Her cake decorator had just left; she hired him on the spot. ipizzaranchfeedback.com The steady job at the design-your-own-ice-cream chain became a source of teasing for his friends at Baptist Bible College. “They were pretty much telling me that they were going to come back in a couple years and I was still gonna be working at Cold Stone,” he said. Graduation was an inflection point. Though Lemay had enjoyed learning more about the Christian faith in which he was raised, he lacked interest in a related career. What he really enjoyed was making people’s day a little better—building and decorating a birthday cake for a child and seeing her fall in love with it, being part of special moments in his customers’ lives. But sticking with the position invited ridicule. “When you go through, you graduate high school, you graduate college, and you’re still doing the same job that you did when you were fifteen, it doesn’t look good from the outside,” Lemay told me. “It sounds like you’re kind of failing at life.” krogerfeedbacka.com After speaking to a mentor, who said there was nothing wrong with staying at Cold Stone, he decided to give it a try. Upon graduation, he rented an apartment and began a full-time managerial role. The pandemic forced almost all of his college-aged employees back home, but within a few months the staff had stabilized. One of his co-workers entered the summer with the goal of becoming TikTok famous. It made some sense; videos of Cold Stone employees making ice cream, mixing toppings, and opening the store for business had been going unexpectedly viral. He decided to help her along while business was slow. krogerstoresfeedback.org As Lemay studied the kinds of videos that were trending, he received unexpected inspiration from a friend who, owing to an inability to cook, claimed he wouldn’t survive the pandemic. Lemay decided to help him out with a joke instructional video. He tucked a small tripod into his shirt and pointed his iPhone down from just below eye level, capturing his hands as he made hash and eggs. He realized he was onto something. He began recording videos at work in a similar style, providing a first-person view of his life from the other side of the counter. “Today’s your first day working here at Cold Stone,” he said, in a pseudo employee-training video, gazing at the mysterious world just out of view for millions of ice-cream consumers. “I need you to put on your apron and your hat. Now you’re gonna wash your hands.” His entry into the video genre received more than ten million views. The questions rolled in: Has a hater ever tried to get him fired? Who pays for dropped ice cream? How does he film his videos? Lemay soon had a million subscribers. He hooked viewers with a seemingly endless trove of work stories and the narrative drama inherent in watching someone mix vanilla ice cream, Sour Patch Kids, and Sour Skittles. laurenbeam.org By the end of 2020, TikTok was awash in behind-the-scenes content from popular chains: Lemay scooping up ice cream and performing his trademark toss into customers’ bowls; Mirghahari making a meatball parmesan and describing a scuffle between two schoolchildren in his Subway line; the Dairy Queen employee Morgann Book copying a customer’s Kit Kat, banana, and caramel Blizzard order and making it for herself. As the top fast-food creators began posting their videos on YouTube—the platform’s revenue-sharing model paid much more than TikTok’s diluted Creator Fund—making these videos became a profit source, and a boost to their franchises. In March and April of 2021, the daily sales in Mirghahari’s Cedar Grove Subway more than doubled from an average pre-pandemic day, with seemingly everyone in the restaurant knowing about the videos. His parents, who had not really understood what he was doing, caught on after repeatedly being told by customers. lucillerobertsexpress.com The pandemic created ideal conditions for making videos at work. With fewer customers in stores, employees faced less scrutiny as they wrapped cameras around their necks and recorded themselves making food. (Or, in the barista Rocio Najera’s case, directing a nineteen-part “Starbucks Love Story” TikTok soap opera with co-workers.) About three million Americans work in the fast-food industry, but, for the more than third of American adults who eat fast food every day, these chains are both exceedingly familiar and shrouded in mystique. On countless road trips, I have consumed Subway’s Cold Cut Combo—a sandwich composed of “salami,” “ham,” and “bologna” that are, inexplicably, each made of turkey. And, although I had requested each ingredient and watched someone assemble them, step by step, I had never experienced the construction from the other side of the glass. When I saw Mirghahari’s videos, I was transfixed. Sure, it’s epistemologically interesting to watch the show “How It’s Made” explain the origins of a stretch limousine, but I probably will never ride in one. The highly processed and objectively mediocre Cold Cut Combo conjures up my happiest childhood memories. mcdvoiceo.com And, although fast-food jobs are perhaps the most commonly mocked career path in the country, what quickly becomes obvious is that they are, at the very least, much more interesting on a daily basis than most careers. A Strawberry Cheesecake Blizzard cake from Dairy Queen can form the narrative arc of multiple videos. An hour-long lunch rush at McDonald’s can turn into a live stream. Some of the worst parts about working a service job—customers stealing from the tip jar, berating employees, and complaining about prices—can inspire stories that draw millions of views. Even without customers, there’s generally a co-worker around who can act as an ad-hoc producer or onscreen talent. Any one of hundreds of comments can be answered in a video, spurring hundreds of comments on the next. As long as people enter their stores and place orders, fast-food TikTokers have an endless content supply. pandaguestexperienceu.com Many trends stick around for a day or two, but fast-food TikTok has remained a stable presence across Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. “I feel like, if this were five years ago, there’s no way that this is making it past a month,” Mirghahari told me. “But, because of the way the Internet is structured now, there’s a community for everything.” For those at the top, the attention can turn notoriously low-paying jobs into a comfortable career. Mirghahari, with money earned from YouTube advertisements, recently gave his mother a check for a hundred thousand dollars. raphaelcycles.com Lemay took a different path. With money from YouTube and 1.5 million dollars in investments, he opened his own ice-cream shop in Manhattan, on Bleecker Street. In contrast to made-for-Instagram museums and installations, the new store, Catch’N Ice Cream, is decidedly made for TikTok. On a slow Thursday afternoon, Lemay stared intently as an employee grabbed a cookie-dough-encased ball of vanilla ice cream with a pair of spades and flung it to his partner behind the counter—a play on Lemay’s signature ice-cream throws. The customers who knew the drill walked into Catch’N Ice Cream with their phones out, ready to record the spectacle. screenfury.com Freed from his behind-the-counter duties at Cold Stone, Lemay is responsible for his new shop’s creative vision: recruiting employees, developing flavors, improving the customer experience. And, with more than fifteen million followers across TikTok and YouTube, he also has to promote his business. It doesn’t feel right to show up, do some recording, and then leave. He wants to sweep the floor, check on the temperature of a freezer, and wipe stray condensation off the display glass. “And then I just get so sidetracked with so many things that I just kind of kill the creativity sometimes, if I’m not careful,” he told me, a few feet from the counter. “My job should be making this content.” Hundreds of millions have watched him perfect the audio-visual experience of making ice cream. Time will tell if they want to eat it, too. talktowendysu.com Throughout October, franchise owners can take advantage of clever marketing initiatives created by their franchisor. In addition to pumpkin spice season and Oktoberfest celebrations, October also means fun products and festive promotions for Halloween. These Halloween deals and products help bring in traffic and sales, making spooky season anything but scary for franchisees. Halloween is one of the most popular holidays, and it gets bigger every year. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual holiday survey, Halloween spending is expected to reach $10.6 billion, up from last year’s $10.1 billion, as participation returns to pre-pandemic levels. tellculverse.com Chuck E. Cheese’s annual Halloween Boo-Tacular is a six-week event that lasts through Halloween. Kids can get 10 free Play Points towards any game by wearing a costume. The Boo-Tacular event also includes a monster menu filled with Pumpkin Pepperoni Pizza, a Slime Cookie, and the Creepy Cupcake. Customers have two combo deals to enjoy, according to a press release. The Boo-Tacular Family Pack includes two large, 1-topping pizzas, Slime Cookie, goody bag and activity sheet. This deal starts at $34.99 and is available for carry-out or delivery only. The other deal is Combo #5, which includes two large, 1-topping pizzas, Slime Cookie, six soft drinks, plus a $1 cookie upgrade. The deal starts at $52.69, but prices may vary. This deal is available in-store only. tellculversu.com In honor of spooky season, Burger King is rolling out the new Ghost Pepper Whopper, which consists of spicy queso, crispy jalapeños, bacon and ghost pepper cheese. Participating locations will offer this new creation for a limited time only. From Oct. 17-31, there is a deal on two Ghost Pepper Whoppers on Burger King’s app. According to a YouTube video, the special offer is two Ghost Pepper Whoppers and small fries for $10. tellmazzios.net Never one to miss a trend, the Golden Arches has promos and products for Halloween 2022. The fast-food giant is bringing back its trick-or-treating Halloween pails for the first time in six years. This returning product comes back amid the release of adult Happy Meals. tellthebello.com The Mexican-inspired corporate-owned business is offering its in-person Halloween costume promo for the first time since 2019. During this Boorito promotion, customers who wear a costume at the restaurant on Halloween from 3 p.m. until closing will get a $6 entree. This deal is limited to Chipotle Rewards members. tellthebellu.com To make spooky season even sweeter, Krispy Kreme unveiled a Halloween collection of doughnuts. These include the Spooky Spider Doughnut, a glazed doughnut dipped in chocolate icing and topped with cookie pieces, and the Neon Orange Sprinkle Doughnut, which is topped with a Halloween sprinkle blend and neon orange icing. As a Halloween 2022 promotion, customers can get a dozen Original Glazed Doughnuts for $2 with the purchase of any dozen doughnuts at participating locations every Saturday through Halloween. Customers can also get a free doughnut on Halloween by wearing a costume. tellthebellx.com Cold Stone Creamery is serving up its popular Boo Batter Ice cream for Halloween season. This seasonal treat contains KIT KAT, Halloween OREO Cookies & M&M’S. toddwolfson.org It wouldn’t be a Halloween party without pizza. For a limited time only, Papa John’s is offering its fun and cheerful Jack-O-Lantern pizza. virtual-rebel.com The Jack in the Box franchise is delighting guests with Monster Tacos this spooky season. Customers can enjoy two Monster Tacos for $3. The fast-casual brand also released the Basic Witch Shake, which is available until Nov. 20. The vanilla shake features OREO Cookie pieces and pumpkin spice and is topped with whipped cream and a cherry. wwwlowescomsurvey.com From Oct. 24- 31, IHOP is offering a free Scary Face pancake for kids 12 and younger with the purchase of an adult entree between 4 and 10 p.m. This deal is available dine-in only.

 

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There are three great appeals to fast food — speedy service, low prices, and consistency — but we all know that in practice, things don't always go as planned. For one, a recent report suggests that fast food service is getting less friendly, which has a surprisingly direct impact on how quickly and accurately orders are completed. Additionally, research by MoneyGeek has revealed that the cost of a burger combo, the most ubiquitous menu item in the fast food world, can vary dramatically from city to city, with the most expensive metropolises charging more than double the prices of the cheapest region. https://52wooster.com It might seem surprising coming from multinational chains like McDonald's and Burger King, but Restaurant Business Magazine explains that individual franchise locations establish their menu prices based on a variety of local factors, the most significant being the cost of labor. If you buy a Big Mac in a state where the hourly wage is $14 or above, you can expect to pay roughly 26% more than customers in states that have the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The cost of real estate can also add to menu prices, and since many of the cities with the highest real estate costs also enforce a higher minimum wage, you end up with major price disparities by region.  big lots survey The most expensive cities to live in also have the most expensive fast food, so the cities that charge the most for a burger, fries, and drink probably won't surprise you. https://biographyly.com MoneyGeek recently analyzed fast food prices in America's 50 largest cities and determined that San Francisco charges the most for a burger combo, with an average price of $15.30 to purchase a burger, fries, and a drink. As a whole, California is the last place you want to go for an affordable meal, as the Golden State is home to four out of the top 10 cities with the most expensive burger combos. Los Angeles holds the number two spot at $14.59 per combo, while Long Beach ranks in fourth place and Sacramento falls at number eight. New York City holds the third-place position, charging $14.22 for a combo. bj's survey These numbers largely reflect the overall cost of living in each city. According to a July 2022 report from the San Francisco Chronicle, the city by the bay is the most expensive place in the world for real estate developers. And Insider claimed that the median household income in San Francisco is 74% higher than the national average in 2019. Meanwhile, New York City ranks as the most expensive city for renters, according to Bloomberg.  connexuscorp.com So, where can you find a cheap burger in this day and age? According to MoneyGeek's data, Tulsa, Oklahoma is the place to go for affordable fast food, averaging just $6.55 for a burger combo. dollar general survey Statistically, there's something special about hamburgers. As The Washington Post points out, while people in the United States have steadily consumed less and less beef between the mid-1970s and today, hamburgers have bucked that trend and only increased in popularity. dollar general survey In fact, NPD's receipt harvesting service, Checkout, found that over a 12-month period spanning 2018 and 2019, restaurant customers were almost twice as likely to order a burger than a chicken sandwich. So, it's not surprising that many at-home cooks would try their hand at creating a mouthwatering, restaurant-worthy burger from the comfort of their own kitchen. And, theoretically, this seems like a simple three-step process: grind the meat, shape the patties, and cook the patties. And yet, more often than not those home burgers never seem to achieve that savory dish found in many restaurants. gaylessandwichshopchicago.com The truth is, like so many foods, there's an alright way and a professional Iron Chef way to prepare a hamburger. Does that mean every restaurant makes hamburgers the exact same way? Of course not. But if you truly love a particular restaurant's burger, there's an excellent chance that the chefs there are using at least some of the tricks below to craft an especially delicious dish. Win $500 One of the reasons why it's so easy to cook hamburgers at home is because it's simple to find pre-shaped, ready-to-cook hamburger patties at the supermarket. But even though they're convenient, they might not yield restaurant-level burgers. dollar general survey As Ben Turley, the co-owner of The Meat Hook butcher shop, told GQ what you feed cattle makes a difference when it comes to your hamburger's flavor. Commodity beef comes from cattle that ate things like soy, sugars, and corn. Because of this, the meat has a sweeter flavor than cattle that ate grass. But even then there's something else a hamburger chef must keep in mind: Did the cattle eat grass all of its life? According to Verde Farms, grass-fed beef is from cattle that ate grass in the beginning but were then fed either supplemental grain feed or were given only grain. Grass-finished beef is from cattle that only ate grass. pizza ranch survey While opting for grass-fed or grass-finished beef can make all the difference in crafting a truly savory hamburger, Turley told GQ that even professional chefs might be getting commodity beef since it's the majority of meat on the market. With that said, working with professionals like farmers and butchers can ensure that a chef gets the most ideal beef for their hamburgers. kroger survey Some people are conscientious of their fat consumption, and, for others, it's not a big part of their thought process when choosing what to eat. With that said, if you love the flavor of a particular restaurant's hamburger, it's almost certain that they used a certain amount of fat in their burger's patty. kroger survey Hamburger authority George Motz is a documentary filmmaker who directed "Hamburger America" (via New York Times). He explained to the Times that the ideal amount of fat for a patty should be 20%, or you might wind up with a less juicy, drier burger. However, as Michael Symon, who in addition to hosting ABC's "The Chew" is also a proprietor of a small chain of hamburger restaurants, told the Times that around 30% fat can lead to issues like "shrinkage." He did say, however, that a patty can be 25% fat. laurenbeam.org Besides the fat, what cut of beef goes into a hamburger can vary from restaurant to restaurant. For example, some establishments use meat blends that can include short rib, strip steak, brisket, clod, and hanger, per New York Times. The Minetta Tavern in Manhattan has a Black Label blend that is in part made from dry-aged New York strip steak. However, Motz recommends using ground chuck steak for the ideal hamburger patty. lucillerobertsexpress.com Imagine this: Two friends love hamburgers. These meaty sandwiches are their go-to item when eating out. However, when each of them tries to describe their ideal hamburger, they describe two different sounding dishes. mcdonald's survey Now, let's set aside that everyone has different tastes regarding toppings and condiments. Just the burger itself can be vastly different, depending on the restaurant. As The New York Times reports, hamburgers from restaurants tend to be either smashed thin with crispy edges or plump, tender, and charred. So, depending on which version a restaurant wants to feature on its menu, the chef must carefully measure out the patty. For instance, the thinner burger like the kind found in diners usually comes from a patty that's weight is only 3-to-4 ounces while it's still raw. The thicker burger, which is often seen in pubs, is usually 7-to-8 ounces precooked. panda survey reddit But wait, aren't there "monster-size" burgers at some restaurants? Yes, but as Geoffrey Zakarian, the chef and owner of the National Bar and Dining Rooms in Manhattan, told The New York Times, "You want to get some heat to the inside of the burger. You don't want some giant, underdone meatloaf." For that reason, he warned that hamburgers weighing more than half a pound can be a bad idea. raphaelcycles.com Think about the last time that you ate something at a restaurant that had too much seasoning. Even if the results weren't spicy, you still probably experienced a combination of flavors that overwhelmed each other and the dish. However, when it comes to a hamburger, chefs understand that it's not only a question how what you season it with, but when during the patty-making process you add the seasoning. screenfury.com As culinary scientist Jessica Galvin explains on her website, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper can be an ideal seasoning pair for hamburgers. With that said, it's crucial to first form the patty and then add the seasoning to the outside of it rather than mixing the salt and pepper into the patty's meat, via Reader's Digest. Otherwise, the texture of the hamburger could be affected. "What you end up with is a very tightly compacted patty whose texture is similar to sausage," Test Kitchen expert James Schend told Reader's Digest. wendy's survey In addition, Galvin cautions on her website that adding the seasoning too soon to the outside of the patty could also make it more like a sausage texture-wise. She advises waiting until just before grilling to sprinkle the salt and pepper over both sides of the patty for the best results. tell culver's survey Many people associate cooking hamburgers with a barbecue grill. However, chances are if you love how a particular restaurant prepares their burgers, they're probably using a griddle or a flat-top grill. But that's not the only possible cooking tool that might be in a professional kitchen's burger-making tool kit. tell culver's survey The surface of a griddle can help give a restaurant's burger that mouthwatering charring. But, just as important, the griddle also allows the professional burger chef to prepare other elements of their burger masterpiece like sautéed onions and a nicely toasted burger bun. Of course, these are prepared on different areas of the griddle than the burger patty itself, but that's another big advantage — griddles can be utilized as a multi-cooking surface. And if you're a cheeseburger fan, the professional burger chef adds the cheese while it's still on the griddle. The trick is to put a little water on the griddle itself and then immediately cover the patty and cheese with a lid. This way the steam from the water perfectly melts the cheese over the patty. mazzio's survey While flat top grills and griddles are the choices of many restaurants, a cast iron pan is an invaluable burger-cooking kitchen tool used by culinary professionals. Bobby Flay said on The Today Show, "Cast iron has excellent heat diffusion and retention and produces evenly cooked burgers with a really great crust." taco bell survey You've probably met someone who claims that they can tell when a burger is done cooking by its appearance or its feel when they poke it. Now, there's no doubt that seasoned professionals develop a certain instinct for the foods they make, but if your favorite restaurant always cooks your burger to perfection, there's an excellent chance the chef is using a special thermometer. taco bell survey Meat thermometers can be valuable tools for cooking burgers. After all, the last thing anyone wants to do is serve undercooked meat, which, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) points out, can be dangerous. But after going through so much work crafting the perfect burger patty, a professional doesn't want to overcook it either. And, remember, there are several ways to prepare burgers, ranging from rare to well done. But by using a reliable meat thermometer, a chef can know for a fact what temperature their patty is and whether or not they need to cook it longer. taco bell survey One final caution about temperature: The USDA warns that a hamburger should have a minimum internal temperature of 160 degrees F to get rid of unsafe bacteria. However, only hamburgers that are well done fit this criterion. So, when you order hamburgers at a restaurant, you might want to keep this in mind. toddwolfson.org If you guessed that there's a method for achieving that perfectly flat, juicy, burger that's popular in many restaurants, you'd be correct. Mark Rosati, the culinary director of Shake Shack, explained that the trick is to use two spatulas to smash the burger patty. The first one should be a sturdy metal one that's pressed directly against each burger while the second one presses on top of the first one. virtual-rebel.com While that initial pressing is important, a chef doesn't repeatedly press down on a burger. In fact, that initial smash should happen within the first 30 seconds of cooking the burger patty. Why? Well, think for a moment about the last time you were at a barbecue where hamburgers were being served. Did you often hear sizzling sounds beyond just the normal noises foods make while they're being cooked? If you answered "yes," there's a good chance the person doing the cooking was pressing over and over again on the hamburgers, and in the process, pressing out their juices. This can lead to a less flavorful meal. But the single, immediate smash method can help lock in those juices. lowe's survey Although burger chefs don't repeatedly press hamburgers, they do flip them — but again, timing is everything. As Bobby Flay told The Today Show, "Do not even start flipping the burger until a crust has formed or the meat will fall apart, and you will lose that perfect round shape."