2 Secrets for the Best Hamburger


2 secrets for the best hamburger! Are you still buying ground beef in the package and pressing the meat out into a disc? Stop! Let’s try a new way.


2 secrets for the best hamburger! Are you still buying ground beef in the package and pressing the meat out into a disc? Stop! Let's try a new way.



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 2 secrets to the best hamburger.


2 secrets for the best hamburger! Are you still buying ground beef in the package and pressing the meat out into a disc? Stop! Let's try a new way.

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 caning 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.


Now I want my kids to experience the freshness of summer too, but I want it to be even more delicious. In fact, all summer let’s follow along and we can see each other’s awesome recipes and fun summer memories with the hash tag, #farmtojar. And here’s to a summer without a single dry burger and fresh Vlasic pickles that started over 70 years ago.


But on to the 2 secrets for the best hamburger.


2 secrets for the best hamburger! Are you still buying ground beef in the package and pressing the meat out into a disc? Stop! Let's try a new way.


2 Secrets for the Best Hamburger

1. The Buns. Not your buns, or my buns, but these buns, Challah Buns. Oh my good mercy. 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. Plus it makes for the perfect bite. Soft, sturdy, tender, oh my golly! Plus, spread a little butter on each half and then lightly grill it. Yeah buddy.


2. The Meat-This is clearly the most important part because you have a burger without, well a burger. You guys, you will not believe how flavorful your burger can be with this mixture! When you head to the store have your butcher do a ground mixture of 60% ground chuck and 40% brisket. 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. But! Do not overcook. I know you’re afraid of the pink, but a grey, dry burger is not a good thing.

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!


Bonus!  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!


cuban hot dog


And before you go, if you’ve got  some hot dogs that need grilling too you must try my friend’s Cuban Dog at Sweet Treats and More!

2 Secrets for the Best Hamburger

2 Secrets for the Best Hamburger

2 secrets for the best hamburger! Are you still buying ground beef in the package and pressing the meat out into a disc? Stop! Let’s try a new way.


  • 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 or your favorite Pickles
  • Butter
  • Salt


  1. Heat your grill to high heat.
  2. Prepare the meat by sectioning it into 8 balls and gently pressing into patties. Be so careful to not handle the meat much as the more you handle it the tougher your burger will be.
  3. Sprinkle salt on the tops of the burgers and allow to rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Open the grill and place salt side down on the grill.
  5. Salt the other side and add a dot of butter (like a teaspoon or so).
  6. 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. see note The last minute of cooking add the cheese to each burger and close the lid to allow the cheese to melt.
  7. Meanwhile, slice open the challah buns and butter each half.
  8. When you add the cheese add the buns, insides down to the grill.
  9. Grill only until grill marks appear.
  10. Remove the buns from the grill and place two patties on the bottom bun.
  11. Top with pickles and top lid of the bun.


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.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 4-8 hamburgers, Serving Size: 1

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 458 Calories
  • Total Fat: 29.2g
  • Cholesterol: 129.1mg
  • Carbohydrates: 22.5g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 24.2g
All images and text ©Carrian Cheney for Oh Sweet Basil.

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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24 comments on “2 Secrets for the Best Hamburger”

  1. Pingback: How To Make Smash Burgers (Basically Your New Favorite Hamburger) - The Food Charlatan

  2. I’m not even a huge burger person and I am absolutely drooling over these photos! Gotta try it your way!

  3. Pingback: An Edible Mosaic™ » 50 Fabulous Burger Recipes

  4. I used to shop at Harmon’s in Utah because it was right by my work! Love that place! Excited to try these tips. Challah buns are amazing…brisket is amazing…hamburger is amazing…so pretty much this will be amazing 😉

  5. Have you made French toast with challah bread? You’ll never go back if you haven’t tried it. The BEST French toast EVER.

  6. This looks amazing!!! Great photos.

  7. I’m totally craving burgers now!! Holy wow! Where do I go to get that meat mixture?

  8. I love your recount of growing up, shelling peas and making jam. Sounds similar to mine. So much goodness. Can’t wait to try your beef mixture in burgers!

  9. Putting it on challah is just genius. I swear that bread makes any sandwich 100 times better.

  10. So you only season the meat with salt? Any salt inparticular? Do yougrill on gas grill?

  11. Yes! I’d hate to mention a chain BBQ restaurant on a blog with so much great homemade food, but there’s a place (that will remain nameless) that does the chuck/brisket mixture for their burgers and it is phenomenal. Never really thought about actually grilling my own like that. So simple, yet…so…brilliant.

    And now I want a burger…

  12. YAYYY! Burgers are my fave and the challah buns and beef/brisket blends def. sound amazing!