It’s a classic backyard bash stumper: You’re overseeing the grill and the burger orders are flying in from every direction. Dad wants his burger cooked medium. The kid next door wants well done. Your BFF is thinking medium-well is the way to go. Do you keep everyone’s order straight on your phone or just hope you’ll remember?
Family blogger Shannon Doherty of At Home with Shannon offers a smart tip on TikTok to never forget how everyone wants their burger cooked. “Have you ever hosted a backyard barbecue and forgot who ordered which burger?” she asks in her video as she showcases her easy and brilliant solution.
Doherty uses ketchup in a squirt bottle to make what she calls “burger labels.” Just write the name of the person on the underside of the burger bun top and then write how they want it cooked on the bun bottom. “Dad” on the top and “well” on the bottom, for example.
“When it’s done, you put the burger right on the labeled bun and everyone knows whose is whose,” says Doherty. Wait to top the grilled patty with the top bun, which is labeled with the person who ordered it, until they pick up their burger from you. It’s genius!
Via email, Doherty shared that this simple but ingenious tip was her husband’s idea. “Our kids can be picky about their burgers and this was an easy way to remember everyone’s!”
The Perfect Squirt Bottle for Creating Labels
The key to this smart hack is legibility, and the trick to perfect penmanship is making sure your condiment of choice is in a squeeze bottle with a pointed opening. “With a thin tip so it doesn’t come out too thick and so it’s easier to write with,” Doherty says.
Although ketchup and mustard are the most easy to read, you can use nearly any condiment of your choice as long as it’s in a container with a good tip. Mayonnaise would also work, but not everything is the perfect edible paint. “I tried with relish, but it was hard!” Doherty says.
More Ideas For Remembering Who Ordered Which Burger
If you don’t have squirt bottles or not everyone wants condiments, try small disposable meat markers that are color-coded to match how well a burger is cooked. The pointy-tipped plastic tags are typically red for rare, white for medium, and brown for well done with more colors for everything else. Just be sure you don’t use the plastic markers on the grill or they’ll melt.
You can also try bamboo markers that are stamped with different levels of doneness, or use toothpick flags where you can write each person’s name. Soak the bamboo markers in water before using—just like you would for kabob skewers—to keep them from firing up on the grill. Then poke the markers on the side of the burger, so they’re easy to flip.