The Ultimate Classic Hamburger Recipe

6 Min Read

There’s nothing quite like a juicy, perfectly seasoned hamburger to satisfy your cravings. Whether you’re a grilling novice or a seasoned pro, this ultimate classic hamburger recipe will help you create mouthwatering burgers every time. Follow these simple steps to burger perfection.


For the Patties:

  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef (80% lean, 20% fat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional)

For the Toppings:

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Onion slices
  • Pickles
  • Cheese slices (cheddar, American, or your favorite)
  • Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise


1. Prepare the Patties

In a large mixing bowl, gently combine the ground beef with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder (if using). Be careful not to overmix, as this can make the meat tough. Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and shape them into patties about 3/4 inch thick. Press a slight indentation in the center of each patty to prevent them from puffing up while cooking.


2. Preheat the Grill

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If you’re using a charcoal grill, make sure the coals are evenly distributed and have turned grayish-white before you start cooking.

3. Grill the Patties

Place the patties on the grill and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until they reach your desired level of doneness. For added flavor, avoid pressing down on the patties while they cook, as this releases the juices.


4. Add the Cheese

About 1 minute before the burgers are done, place a slice of cheese on each patty and close the grill lid to melt the cheese.

5. Toast the Buns

While the cheese is melting, lightly toast the hamburger buns on the grill for about 1-2 minutes until they are golden brown.


6. Assemble the Burgers

Spread your desired condiments on the bottom half of the buns. Place the patties on top, followed by lettuce, tomato slices, onion slices, and pickles. Cover with the top half of the buns.

7. Serve and Enjoy

Serve the hamburgers immediately with your favorite sides such as French fries, coleslaw, or a fresh salad. Enjoy your ultimate classic hamburger with a refreshing beverage!


Tips for the Perfect Hamburger

  • Meat Matters: Using ground beef with an 80/20 ratio ensures a juicy burger. Leaner meat can result in a dry patty.
  • Season Well: Simple seasonings like salt and pepper bring out the beef’s natural flavors. Feel free to experiment with other seasonings to suit your taste.
  • Don’t Overhandle: Overmixing the meat or pressing down on the patties while cooking can make the burgers dense and dry.
  • Rest the Meat: Letting the patties rest for a few minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a juicier burger.

With these tips and this tried-and-true recipe, you’re well on your way to making the ultimate classic hamburger that will impress family and friends alike. Happy grilling!


1. What type of ground beef should I use for hamburgers?


For the juiciest and most flavorful burgers, use ground beef with an 80% lean to 20% fat ratio. This balance ensures that your patties are moist without being too greasy.

2. Can I use other meats for the patties?


Absolutely! While traditional hamburgers are made with beef, you can substitute with ground turkey, chicken, pork, or even a blend of meats. Just be mindful that leaner meats may result in a drier patty, so consider adding a bit of fat or a binder like breadcrumbs and an egg.

3. How can I keep my burgers from falling apart on the grill?


To keep your burgers intact, avoid overmixing the meat. Press a slight indentation in the center of each patty to prevent it from puffing up. Chilling the patties in the fridge for 15-30 minutes before grilling can also help them hold their shape.

4. What is the best way to season the patties?


Keep it simple with salt and pepper to let the beef’s natural flavors shine. For extra flavor, you can add garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, or your favorite herbs and spices.

5. How do I know when my burgers are done?


For medium-rare, cook the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature: 130-135°F for medium-rare, 140-145°F for medium, and 160°F for well-done. Remember, the USDA recommends cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 160°F for safety.


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