It’s questionable whether or not you need a recipe for grilled burgers. Half the time, I’m tossing seasonings and herbs into the beef willy-nilly, and each burger cookout manages to taste a bit different.
However, below is my go-to recipe for tried-and-true classic grilled burgers.
The recipe is simple – you can adjust the seasonings depending on what you like (BBQ sauce can be subbed for the A-1, regular table salt for the seasoned salt, etc.), but more than a recipe, a fantastic burger relies on a few extra tips that I swear by:
1) Great buns. I almost always make my hamburger buns from this roll recipe, shaping them into larger rounds and pressing them down slightly before they rise so they aren’t overly rounded on top (plus I can make a bunch at a time and freeze them for later use). They are ferociously delicious. However, you don’t have to go the homemade route – just make sure you get a bun that has flavor and won’t disintegrate under the weight of your mighty meat. A good burger needs a great bun.
2) Toasty buns. I don’t know why it makes that much of a difference, but I’m telling you, a lightly buttered, toasted bun skyrockets a good burger to out-of-this-world. I butter the inside of the buns and slap them on the grill a minute or two before the burgers are finished cooking. Yummmmm.
3) H2O. It may sound strange but adding a little water to your ground beef mixture makes a difference. I saw Paula Deen do it once and that lady knows what she’s talkin’ about.
4) Don’t go lean. It’s tempting to buy the leanest beef you can find. I’m supportive of that. Usually. But not with burgers. A juicy, tasty burger is all the better for ground beef with a little more fat in the mix. I recommend about 15-20%. I know that is grossing some of you out and I apologize. It’s just the truth, man.
5) Remember raw meat is trendy. Overcooked burgers mean tough, dry burgers. Even if you don’t like pink in the center of yours, judge the time just right and pull the burger off a little earlier than you think. It will continue cooking slightly off the heat so try not to grill it too long. I like my burgers with the slightest, and I mean slightest, hint of pink in the center. With a 1/2-inch patty, I usually grill it about 6-7 minutes per side.
6) Size it right. Form the burger patties at least 1/4-inch larger than the size of the bun you’ll be using. The burgers will shrink while cooking and forming them bigger than the bun will ensure you don’t need to steal your child’s burger to fill up your bun.
Blue Cheese Burger Variation: After the beef and other ingredients have been mixed, add in about 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese. Mix gently to combine and then form into patties. Rosemary Burger Variation: Add 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary (slide the leaves off the stalk, discard the stalk and coarsely chop the rosemary) to the ingredients and mix to combine with the beef.
Blue Cheese Burger Variation: After the beef and other ingredients have been mixed, add in about 2 ounces of crumbled blue cheese. Mix gently to combine and then form into patties.
Rosemary Burger Variation: Add 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary (slide the leaves off the stalk, discard the stalk and coarsely chop the rosemary) to the ingredients and mix to combine with the beef.