If you are looking for the Best Homemade Burgers, this recipe is for you! These homemade hamburgers only require a few simple ingredients and minimal prep work, but the results are perfection thanks to a few key pro-tips.
Nothing beats a juicy, grilled burger. While making grilled burgers is simple, there are a few MUST follow tips and tricks to ensuring your homemade burgers are juicy, flavorful, and not overcooked.
Grilled Burgers are a classic American dish that is a staple dish for summer cook-outs. And when prepared correctly a good burger is hard to top. But we have all had our share of burgers that are less than stellar. You know the ones I am talking about--dried-out, shriveled up, flavorless, over-cooked burgers.
What makes the difference between a dried out burger and a juicy burger? Let me break down exactly what you need and my secrets for preparing perfect homemade burgers.
Choose the Right Beef
To have a juicy, flavorful burger, you need fat. 80/20, or ground chuck, is the BEST ground beef to use for burgers. It has enough fat to ensure the hamburgers have flavor, but not too much that they are greasy or grizzly.
Season with Care
Burgers are more about the meat than the seasonings. Salt and pepper are really the only things you need for a good burger. However, I love adding Dried Onion Soup Mix and Worcestershire sauce--that combination creates the BEST hamburger seasoning. Just remember when adding seasonings to the ground beef, be VERY careful to not overmix the meat, or you will end up with tough burgers.
The first tip to shaping burgers is to lightly dampen your hands before shaping the meat. This will keep your hands from sticking to the hamburger meat, which can result in over-handling of the meat.
Secondly, you want to be sure each burger is the same size. Score the meat mixture into 4 equal sections so that you know each patty will be the same size.
Hamburger patties will shrink in circumference and can bulge in the center if not shaped correctly, leaving you with a burger patty too small for your bun, not to mention difficult to eat. To prevent these two common issues when making homemade burgers, shape 6-ounce patties slightly larger than your bun and using your thumb, push an indentation in the center of each hamburger patty. This will help your hamburgers to cook up evenly and lie flat on the bun.
Cook Burgers from Cold
You want the hamburger patties to be cold when they hit the heat. This keeps the fat cold, which means it will render inside the burgers, leaving the meat juicy and flavorful. Think about how cold butter melts into biscuits. I recommend forming the patties and then placing them into the refrigerator while you preheat your grill or skillet.
Grill or Pan-Fry
While you can certainly cook your burgers on a flat-top or in a cast-iron skillet, if you have access to a grill, grilled burgers have the best flavor, in my opinion. The grill imparts a smokey flavor and the contact with the hot grates creates a bit of char and texture to the hamburgers.
Only Flip Once
It is crucial to only to flip your burgers once. Let them cook for 3-4 minutes on the first side and then flip and until the desired temperature is reached. And whatever you do, DO NOT press down on the burgers--this releases all the juices.
Cook to the Right Temperature
The USDA recommends that burgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to ensure that your burger reaches the right temperature is to use a digital thermometer. A burger that is at 140 degrees may still be brown in the center and a burger that is at 160 degrees may at times have a pink hue. It is best to use a thermometer and insert it into the center of the burger to determine the temperature. Remove the burgers from the grill or skillet when they are 5 degrees below the desired temperature, as they will continue to rise in temperature as they rest. This means to remove the burgers once they reach 155 degrees.
A lot of people prefer their hamburgers cooked to medium or medium-rare. That is completely personal preference but does increase the risk of food-borne illness.
Rest the Burgers
The key to keeping meat juicy is to REST the meat after it has cooked. This is especially true with hamburgers. For perfect burgers, let the cooked patties rest for 10 minutes, on a rack tented with foil.
Why a rack? This keeps the moisture from collecting underneath the burgers, which would make the buns soggy when the hamburgers are placed onto the bun.
I know a lot of people recommend placing the cheese on the hamburgers the last minute of grilling, but I find the cheese melts perfectly over the burgers while resting under tented foil. So if you desire cheese on your burgers, place thinly sliced cheese on top of each patty as soon as the burgers come off the grill. You can use Swiss, Cheddar, Colby, Muenster, or Provolone cheese.
For the burger buns, use sesame seed buns, brioche buns, or potato buns. If you desire them toasted, place cut side down onto the top grate of the grill, and allow to toast for one minute.
As for toppings, choose as desired. Lettuce, tomatoes, onion slices, mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup are all good options.
Sides for Burgers
These burgers are truly the best burgers! Whether made with or without cheese, grilled or pan-fried, homemade hamburgers are a meal the whole family is sure to enjoy!
- 24 ounces ground chuck 80/20 ground beef
- ½ tablespoon dried onion soup mix
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 slices cheese optional
- buns, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, condiments, etc
- Place the ground beef in a large mixing bowl and add in the Worcestershire sauce and Onion Soup Mix.
- Gently mix the seasonings into the meat using your hands until just incorporated.
- Score the meat into 4 sections. And then shape each section into a patty that is about ¾ to 1 inch thick and slightly larger than the bottom of your burger bun.
- Using your thumb, press down on the center of each burger about ¼ inch deep, forming an indentation in each burger.
- Place the hamburger patties back into the refrigerator until ready to grill.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Add the burgers to the grill and cook for 4 minutes on the first side.
- Flip the burgers, resisting the urge to press down on the patty. Cook until the burgers reach 155 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove burgers from the grill and place onto a plate or a rack on a baking sheet. Top with sliced cheese if desired, and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let burgers rest for 10 minutes before assembling the burger.
- Assemble the hamburgers by placing onto a bun and then topping as desired.
- Well-done: 160 degrees.
- Medium-Well: 150-155 degrees.
- Medium 140-145 degrees.