The best burgers are juicy and full of flavor. This is the best burger recipe for a classic burger. Made with ground chuck, homemade burger seasoning, and your favorite burger toppings, these can be made in minutes on the grill or a skillet.
A good, juicy classic hamburger doesn’t need a lot of ingredients. All it takes is good beef and a few basic spices that you have in your pantry. That’s it.
What is the Secret to a Good Hamburger?
The secret to a good hamburger is the meat. That’s it.
If you want a rich, juicy burger, choose ground beef that has a slightly higher fat content. We recommend 80/20 ground chuck. The 80/20 fat-to-lean ratio will help keep the hamburger patties moist and juicy, without being greasy or causing flare-ups. We don’t recommend ground sirloin or ground round because they are leaner, which means they will create drier and less flavorful burgers.
If you choose a leaner ratio, the hamburger will likely be dry. If all you have on-hand is 90/10, you can add a teaspoon of olive oil to the meat.
You do not need fillers or extras in your burger patty, like egg or bread crumbs. The juicy flavor of beef is the star of the show, and that’s what needs to shine through.
Best Burger Recipe Seasoning Ingredients
Our favorite burger seasoning is made with simple pantry ingredients. Typically, we use 2-3 teaspoons of seasoning per 1 pound of meat. If you would like a little more flavor, you can always add more.
If you don’t use all of the seasoning mixture, you can store in an airtight container for about six months.
- Ground Black Pepper
- Kosher Salt
- Dark Brown Sugar
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Ground Cayenne Pepper
Classic Burger Toppings
- Cheese: Some love cheese on burgers, and others don’t. Our house is divided on this topic! If you’re a cheese lover, use your favorite type of cheese – cheddar, pepper jack, etc. Once your burger is done, place a cheese slice on top of each patty and let it rest until melted for the perfect cheeseburger.
- Onions (red onion or white onion, thinly sliced)
How to Make the Best Burger?
- Make the hamburger seasoning: Combine all spices in a bowl. Set aside.
- Form hamburger patties: Place ground beef in mixing bowl and add the homemade seasoning. With your hands, mix the meat and seasoning well. The more you handle the meat, the tougher it will get, so try and mix it as little as possible. Shape mixture into burgers about ¾-1 inch thick. With your thumb, make a shallow depression in the center of each burger to prevent puffing up during cooking. Make patties larger in circumference than the bun you plan to use because the burgers will shrink.
- Grill or pan fry: Preheat a grill, grill pan or cast-iron skillet. Place burgers on grill or skillet indent side up. Cook for 3-4 minutes and flip to the other side. When flipping burgers, use a spatula, and only flip. Don’t squish! If you press down on the patties, you’ll lose the juices that make the burger juicy. Cook burgers until beef reaches 160 degrees F or desired temperature (more on that below). If adding cheese, place cheese on burger in last minute of cooking.
- Rest and Serve: Remove patties from the heat and let them rest on a plate for a few minutes. Serve hot.
When to Remove Burger From the Grill
The only way to tell the internal temperature of beef is to take the internal temperature with a digital meat thermometer. (We love this one.)
When checking the temperature, remember that beef’s temperature will continue to rise as it rests. Remove beef from heat when the thermometer reads about 5-10°F lower than the desired doneness, and let them rest for about five minutes.
Here are the temperatures you are looking for:
- Rare burgers, cook for 4 minutes total (125°F)
- Medium-rare burgers, cook for 5 minutes total (135°F)
- Medium burgers, cook for 6 to 7 minutes total (145°F)
- Well-done burgers, cook for 8 to 9 minutes total (160 °F)
Make Ahead Instructions
Burgers are a great thing to make ahead of time. You can store patties in the fridge for 1-2 days, placing pieces of parchment paper between them, and covering well with tinfoil or plastic wrap. You can also prep your toppings in advance.
Alternatively, you can freeze prepared patties by placing pieces of parchment paper between the patties and putting them in a freezer safe container or bag. If using plastic bags, be sure to squeeze as much excess air out as possible in order to prevent freezer burn. When ready to eat, let burgers thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook within three to four days.
How to Store Homemade Burgers
Store cooked burger patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Homemade burgers will keep for up to 3 days.
Best Burger Recipe
- 1 lb ground beef (80/20)
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 4 buns toasted, if desired
- 4 slices of cheese Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or your favorite cheese
- tomato sliced
- red onion or white onion thinly sliced
- condiments: ketchup, mustard and mayo
- Combine all spices in a bowl. Set aside.
- Place ground beef in mixing bowl and add 2-3 tsp of the homemade seasoning per 1 pound of meat. If you would like more flavor, add more seasoning. Store any remaining seasoning in an airtight container for up to six months.
- With your hands, mix the meat and seasoning well. The more you handle the meat, the tougher it will get, so try and mix it as little as possible.
- Divide beef into four equal portions. Roll into big, loose meatballs, and then flatten the ball with the palm of your hand. Use your fingers and shape the edges of the hamburger patties, as needed. The patties will be about ¾-1 inch thick. Try to make patties slightly larger in circumference than the bun because they will shrink when cooking.
- With your thumb, make a shallow depression in the centrer of each burger to prevent puffing up during cooking.
- Preheat a grill or grill pan.
- Place burgers on grill indent side up. Cook for 3-4 minutes and flip to the other side. When flipping burgers, use a spatula, and only flip. Don’t squish! If you press down on the patties, you’ll lose the juices that make the burger juicy. Cook burgers until beef reaches 160 degrees F or desired temperature. If adding cheese, place cheese on burger in last minute of cooking.
- Remove patties from the heat and let them rest on a plate for a few minutes. Serve hot.
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One More Thing!
Do you want to learn more about beef? Join our weekly e-newsletter where we share farm happenings, recipes and beef availability. Sign-up and get a cheat sheet with 9-must-ask questions before buying beef directly from a farmer. Or, we have an entire ebook about beef that goes through purchasing and preparing beef from a cattle farmers perspective.
Here are a few other links you may like:
- What everybody ought to know about beef cuts
- Buying a Cow. How Much Beef Is It?
- 7 Steps to Grilling a Steak to Perfection
- How We Raise Our Grass Fed Beef
- Bonfire Burger
- Prime Rib Roast with Garlic Herb Butter
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