Best Hamburger Recipe

Hamburger ingredients falling down one by one to create a perfect meal. Colorful conceptual picture of burger cooking

Best Hamburger Recipe

  1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high or 375 degrees F.  
  2. Add ground beef, spices, and Worcestershire sauce to a large bowl and mix with your hands until just combined. Form into four ¾ inch patties.
  3. Rinse tomato and use a chef’s knife to seed and thinly slice.  Tear lettuce from the stem, wash and dry thoroughly.
  4. Oil the grill lightly and add burger patties.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook 2-3 minutes longer to your preferred doneness. 
  5. Spread softened butter on the brioche buns and lightly toast, sliced side down, on the grill or in a separate pan
  6. (Optional) add a single slice of cheese to each burger just before removing from the grill.
  7. Assemble burgers on your cutting board, and serve immediately. 

Classic cheeseburger with onion, tomato lettuce and a side of fries on a wooden cutting board

Fast food may have a corner on the burger market, but few would argue that the best burger is one wrapped in waxy paper. A juicy, thick burger made fresh to order cannot be beat. 

Have you been wondering how to make the best homemade hamburger in your kitchen or outdoor grilling area? The experts are clear: the best hamburger is made simply but has to include some essential elements.

So tie on your apron and check out this guide to find out how you can create a hamburger recipe that makes the most of the kitchen items and cooking environment you have at home. 

What You Need to Know About the Best Hamburger Recipe

  1. Essential Elements in Homemade Hamburger
  2. Key Ingredients in the Best Hamburgers
  3. Alternatives to Ground Beef Burgers
  4. Juicy Hamburger Recipe / Ingredients
  5. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Essential Elements in Homemade Hamburgers

Great homemade burgers must have a few basic elements.  First, it is essential that you have a very hot surface on which to cook so that you get that seared char that makes mouths water.

Your hamburger patty must be made with care, and not over-handled, to give you the juicy burger you’re looking for. And also, don’t forget the seasoned salt.  Proper seasoning is key to any homemade burger patties and is often not specified in burger recipes or techniques found online.

These three elements will help you ensure whatever hamburger recipe you choose results in A+ work. 

2. Key Ingredients in the Best Hamburgers

Raw hamburger patties on white parchment paper Fresh ingredients and balanced flavors are the key to a perfect burger. 

  • Choosing the Right Ground Beef

  • First, start with the highest quality ground beef you can find.  Most recipes call for a lean ground chuck (80/20), but you can also elevate your burger patty by using other ground meat, such as pork, or using ground or chopped steak such as Kobe or Waygu.  Have a grinder attachment on your stand mixer at home?  Try your hand at grinding the meat yourself for the freshest option. 

    Using a leaner ground beef, if that’s what you have on hand, isn’t a crime. Just be sure to add proper tenderizing agents to make for a juicy hamburger.  Some cooks choose to add a mixture of milk and bread crumbs to give additional moisture while preventing toughness or overcooking. 

  • Cheeses That Please

  • While some may choose to mix it up by combining cheese with their ground meat, most cooks will add cheese at the end of their burger prep.  The best cheese to top burgers will melt fully without dripping oil.  Harder aged cheeses like cheddar and gruyere give a sharp flavor and keep their integrity under the bun.  Softer cheeses can also be an option if they’re made to be spreadable.  Goat cheese or even cream cheese doubles as a condiment and compliments added flavor elements without overpowering. 

  • Buns That Hold Up

  • Not all hamburger buns are equipped for handling a juicy homemade burger. When selecting a bun for your burger, you’ll want to be sure the bun does not get soggy.

    There are two ways to do this. First, you’ll want to toast the bun on your griddle or grill.  Then, pay particular attention to your condiment spreads to be sure you’re not adding a watery ketchup or other addition until the last minute. 

    Pro tip: spread butter, or even a thin layer of mayonnaise, to hamburger buns before toasting to avoid sogginess

  • Flavor Enhancers

  • Most burger recipes call for a combination of heat, salt, and spice to bring out the flavor in the ground beef. Don’t skimp on the salt and pepper just before cooking, as these will add the essential flavoring to your hamburger.

    Traditional flavoring additions include dried or red onion, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce. For a little kick, include some cayenne pepper with your spice mixture. 

  • Toppings

  • Is there anything better than a crunch of freshness on top of your juicy hamburger? Most eaters think not. When it comes to toppings, most of us think of the traditional condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise) and basic lettuce and tomato.  Why not mix it up a bit?  Here are a few tasty toppings to consider:

    • BBQ sauce
    • Onion jam
    • Sun dried tomatoes
    • Spicy arugula
    • Grilled veggies 
    • Olive tapenade
    • Fried egg
    • Guacamole

    With specialty toppings, remember that a little goes a long way, and watch out for salt content. 

    3. Alternatives to Ground Beef Burgers

    Three turkey slider burgers topped with garnish on a wooden table

    Veggie Burgers

    The beauty of the veggie burger is that you can still achieve the same flavor profiles with condiments and toppings, but you’ll have a considerably different texture profile depending on the ingredients you choose.  A combination of beans, grains, and root vegetables can create a hearty and toothsome burger that still satisfies your heart-healthy friends and vegetarians alike. 

    Ground Chicken Burger or Turkey Burger

    Have you ever tried a delicious chicken or turkey burger? If not, we highly recommend branching out and giving them a go! When using a leaner ground meat such as turkey or chicken, be sure to opt for darker meat, if possible. Turkey and chicken can take on powerful flavors, so turn up the spice mixtures when making these patties. Be sure to keep a meat thermometer on hand as there are added dangers when consuming undercooked poultry. Other alternative burger recipes include a lamb burger, mushroom burger or pork burger. 

    4. Juicy Hamburger Recipe / Ingredients

    Ingredients & Tools

    • 1 lb 80/20 lean ground beef
    • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 t dried onion
    • I t garlic powder
    • Salt & pepper
    • 4 Brioche buns
    • Softened butter
    • Thinly sliced tomato (seeded)
    • Your favourite french fries or salad recipes for a side
    • 4 large lettuce leaves
    • Cast iron grill pan or bbq grill
    • Grill tools (tongs, spatula)
    • Sturdy cutting board

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high or 375 degrees F.  
    2. Add ground beef, spices, and Worcestershire sauce to a large bowl and mix with your hands until just combined. Form into four ¾ inch patties.
    3. Rinse tomato and use a chef’s knife to seed and thinly slice.  Tear lettuce from the stem, wash and dry thoroughly.
    4. Oil the grill lightly and add burger patties.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook 2-3 minutes longer to your preferred doneness. 
    5. Spread softened butter on the brioche buns and lightly toast, sliced side down, on the grill or in a separate pan
    6. (Optional) add a single slice of cheese to each burger just before removing from the grill.
    7. Assemble burgers on your cutting board, and serve immediately.
    Pro Tip: Use meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your burger. Raw hamburger meat can contain E. coli but you're safe when the internal temperature is at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 

      5. Frequently asked questions about the best hamburger recipe

      Are you supposed to put egg in hamburgers?

      While a fried egg can be a creative burger topping, most of the time egg is added to a lean beef mixture before cooking. Adding egg and/or milk and bread crumbs creates a juicy burger that withstands additional cooking without getting dry (more similar to a meatball or meatloaf).  If you are serving beef burgers to children or eaters with a preference for very well-done meat, consider this option. 

      How do you make hamburgers more flavorful?

      There are two ways to ensure your burger has the maximum flavor. The first is through the cook itself.  A charcoal grill, if you have access to one, can add a flavorful crust to the outside of your burger and seal in juices at the same time.  The second option is to add fat, preferably dairy (like sour cream) or oil-based (mayonnaise or even peanut butter!).  

      How do you keep a burger’s shape while cooking?

      Shape and texture matter when it comes to a perfect burger that fits on the bun. Choose a lean ground beef for your burger to avoid shrinkage and excess oil.  When making your hamburger patties, use a burger press, wax paper, or a plate to flatten the patty, then create an indentation in the middle with your thumbs to retain the shape and prevent your burger from falling apart.  Then, while cooking, try to resist the squish and flip.  Allow the burger to cook for the full cook time and then use a large spatula to turn it over just once. 

      How do you make hamburgers in the oven?

      Baked hamburgers are a good option if you have to feed a crowd in a hurry.  Using the same grilled hamburger recipe, you can simply add the homemade hamburger patties to a baking sheet fitted with a rack instead. Bake at 425 degrees F for twice the typical grill time (13-15 minutes).  For best results, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature for doneness before assembling. 

      What are the best condiments for hamburgers?

      For the best burger options, look for sauces that have a bit of spice and a bit of sweetness.  Bbq sauce, steak sauce, spicy mustard, and chipotle mayonnaise are some of the more unique options to consider. And don’t forget the pickles!

      Check Out Dalstrong's BBQ Favorites



      Written by Kate Melton

      Lifelong food lover, baker, and obsessive watcher of cooking shows, Kate’s greatest talent is chasing her toddler without ever spilling her wine.