This truly is the Best Hamburger Recipe! In this post, we’re breaking down how to make the best hamburger on the grill every single time.
The Best Hamburger Recipe (Really!)
Remember that burger picture I put up last week on Instagram? Well, I’ve had a crazy amount of requests (texts, comments, emails!) for the secrets to making the perfect hamburger and I’m totally happy to tell you that I’m ready to spill it all.
It all started when I signed on for a post with Vlasic. It was the perfect opportunity for me. You see, we had just watched a Netflix show about the best sandwiches in the United States and it’s FINALLY getting sunny and warm here in Utah so we’ve all been antsy for summer. Last week it was warm and lovely and I called Cade and said, it’s burger time. And after a little testing in the kitchen we ended up with what we believe to be the best grilled hamburger recipe ever.
Grilling is a really big deal at our house. We love summer, the warm weather, the fresh produce and all of the fun. Early on in our marriage, we decided that we really wanted to “live” life. I know, who isn’t living, but I mean we wanted to get to know people, enjoy time together, make memories and never get too busy to enjoy a summer together. It’s almost like we still have that school mentality, work all year and relax in the summer (although we still work, just play more).
Things at Vlasic are real too. “Each farmer’s garden cucumber is hand-packed in a traditional mason jar and pickled using home-style canning techniques to lock in the bold, fresh taste.” That is seriously what I grew up with. Shelling peas, canning pickles and picking berries for jam and syrup until our hands were red and purple (or maybe it was our mouths). It was the best as a kid. We’d work hard with mom to help can the garden freshness and then have an awesome BBQ.
What’s Needed to Make the Best Grilled Hamburgers?
Making a perfect hamburger doesn’t require tons of ingredients or special equipment. Here’s everything you’ll need to make the best hamburger recipe:
- Ground beef
- Challah buns
- American cheese
- Vlasic Bread and Butter Pickles
What’s the Best Ground Beef for Hamburgers?
When you head to the store, have your butcher do a ground beef mixture of 60% ground chuck and 40% brisket. You guys, you will not believe how flavorful your burger can be with this mixture! Holy. Moly. Make them into patties and freeze them or just cook right away but trust me, it’s the bomb.com. So juicy, so tender.
How to Grill Hamburgers
We’ve given detailed instructions in the recipe card below on how to make the best hamburger, but here’s an overview of the process:
- Preheat an outdoor grill to high heat.
- Section the ground beef mixture into 8 patties, sprinkle with salt, and let rest at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Grill burger patties salt side down, flipping once to ensure even cooking.
- Place sliced cheese on top of patties in the last minute of cooking.
- Butter challah buns and grill until golden.
- Assemble your hamburgers with your favorite burger toppings!
Tip: Want to amp up your burger game? Top your perfect hamburger with our Homemade Burger Sauce!
How Long to Grill Hamburgers
Here are the hamburger grill times when making 1/4 pound ground beef burgers:
- 2-3 minutes for medium rare
- 3-4 minutes for medium (how I like it)
- 5-6 minutes for well done
The Fat Content of Ground Beef
To make the juiciest, most flavorful burgers, choose your fat content wisely. This is why we believe in a variety of beef ground up, flavor and fat is different in each cut.
Choose ground beef that is 70 percent lean and 30 percent fat. Fat leads to flavor, moisture and helps to caramelize on the outside of the burger and everyone loooooves caramelization!
To make more healthful burgers—but ones that are still pretty juicy and tasty—choose ground beef that is 80 percent lean and 20 percent fat. Ground beef that contains less than 15 percent fat makes dry and somewhat tasteless burgers, and you have to be extra, extra careful in cooking them so they do not fall apart.
Do NOT Overwork Your Meat!
Mix the meats together quickly, form into a patty and set it aside! The more you handle the beef, the denser and more rubbery/crumbly it will become when cooked.
Tips for the Best Grilled Hamburgers
The Buns — Challah buns are a must when grilling hamburgers. We get ours from Harmons and their bakery just makes them for us, but I’m sure your local bakery would too. These buns are sturdy enough to hold the burger, but soft on the inside so the juices get all up in the bun and make it wonderful. Spread a little butter on each half and then lightly grill them for optimal taste and texture.
The Meat — If you’re aiming for the best burger recipe ever, do NOT overcook the burger patties. I know you’re afraid of the pink, but a grey, dry burger is not a good thing, as long as you’ve had a butcher prepare that meat for you or you’re in a good restaurant a medium burger is the way to go. Also, don’t flatten! Press your meat out into a disc that’s a little thicker and press an indentation into the center instead of a totally flat circle. This will keep your burger even and not a ball!
The Fresh Pickles — You really don’t need gobs of stuff on a burger when you start with a fantastic bun and meat. A simple, fresh pickle will be all you need. Trust me, Cade is all about the perfect burger and even his was just bun, burger, cheese and a few pickles and he was in love. ANNNNND! Add a little butter. Trust me on this one!
More Easy Hamburger Recipes:
- Teriyaki Pineapple Burger
- Pepperoni Pizza Burger
- Hawaiian Turkey Burger Sliders
- Lasagna Burger
- Brazilian Egg Burger
- Mar a Lago Turkey Burger
Preorder our new book!
This unique cookbook guides the way through every step, including meal lists and easy-to-follow recipes, and features dollops of heartwarming family stories.
The Best Hamburger
- 2 lbs 60% chuck 40% brisket , ground by your butcher
- 4 Challah buns (unless you decide to do one burger per bun, then 8)
- American Cheese
- Vlasic Bread and Butter Pickles (or your favorite pickles)
- Heat your grill to high heat.
- Prepare the ground meat by sectioning it into 8 balls and gently pressing into patties. Be careful to not handle the meat much — the more you handle it, the tougher your burger will be.
- Sprinkle salt on the tops of the burgers and allow to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Open the grill and place patties salt side down on the grill.
- Salt the other side and add a dot of butter (like a teaspoon or so).
- Grill on each side for 2-3 minutes for medium rare, 3-4 for medium (how I like it), and 5-6 for well done. During the last minute of cooking, add the cheese to each burger and close the lid to allow the cheese to melt.
- Meanwhile, slice open the challah buns and butter each half.
- When you add the cheese on top of the patties, add the buns to the grill as well. (Place the buns cut side down). Grill only until grill marks appear.
- Remove the buns from the grill and place two patties on the bottom bun.
- Top with pickles and top lid of the bun.
- Note: I know that burgers make people nervous, but with good quality meat and a smart cook it's really ok to not cook to well done every time. In fact, you'll have more flavor if you don't cook it to well done. Also, the flatter your patty, the more juices will escape. Make it in a domed shape to help it not shrink up.