Best Burger Recipe


The Best Burger Recipe on your table in less than 30 minutes!

The Best Burgers are tender, juicy and flavorful, infused with seasonings and either topped with cheese or sandwiched in between toasted cheddar jalapeno buns. I go with the cheesy buns. I’ve included tips and tricks to make the best Homemade Burgers, How to Make Burgers Ahead of Time, and How to Freeze Burgers.

up close of ultimate burger recipe piled with cheese, bacon, tomatoes and lettuce

Do you ever just crave a good burger?  There’s just something about the juicy meat, melted cheese, mayo, lettuce, tomato and onions that is just is so magical. It just doesn’t get much better.

I actually didn’t make my first homemade burgers until after I’d been married few years – and to be completely honest, I was kind of shocked at how fast and easy they were – like seriously, done in 15 minutes start to finish.  Shocking – right?!  like in the best kind of fast, easy AND delicious way!

So recently, my friend had a challenge for me…

He said he had tried many different burger recipes and they were all either too dry or too bland.  He wanted a “traditional” burger that was super flavorful and moist and just straight up GOOD! He wanted the Best Burger Recipe.

So Dave Todd, this one’s for you…

Burger Recipe

This burger recipe IS super flavorful – infused with garlic, shallots, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

This burger recipe IS super tender – the meat is blended with egg, Worcestershire sauce and panko.

This burger recipe IS straight up SUPER GOOD!   Extra good from the toasted jalapeno cheese buns and barbecue mayonnaise!  (still “traditional” flavors right? 🙂 )  The cheese and jalapenos are broiled on the buns, so not only do the buns get toasted, but the cheese melts to golden perfection.  The extra “oomph” of toasted cheese buns was all Patrick’s idea. He’s so extra cute when he gets creative in the kitchen!

The heat of the jalapenos (as little or as much as you would like) is balanced by the sweet and tangy barbecue mayonnaise which is mega creamy and somehow more than double the deliciousness of both mayonnaise and barbecue sauce – I guess when you mix the two, exponential deliciousness happens!

Add some fresh tomatoes, lettuce, onions, etc., and you have yourself a winning burger.  Challenge conquered.  Nay.  Challenged crushed!  Way crushed.

Dave Todd, this Best Burger Recipe with Cheddar Jalapeno Buns and BBQ Mayo is for you…

And whoever else wants to stuff their face with this super flavorful, super moist and just straight up SUPER GOOD burgers!!!

top view of Best beef burger recipe

What is the Best Meat for Burgers?

I recommend ground chuck for the best Beef Burgers although you may substitute ground beef if that’s what you have on hand.  I don’t recommend ground sirloin or ground round as they are leaner, less flavorful and drier.

Ground chuck can easily be found at the butcher counter of any grocery store.  Ground chuck is optimal for flavor, juiciness and texture.  Freshly ground chuck is also optimal because it hasn’t been compressed together in packaging which means more tender beef.

Ask your butcher for 80/20 which means 80% meat and 20% fat.  I find this to be the perfect ratio for a juicy burger that’s not too greasy.

If you choose ground beef, look for 80/20 lean ground beef and avoid anything higher or leaner.  Some ground beef can have 30 percent fat which I find way too greasy.  Leaner than 20% and you are left with tough and dry burgers.

 Also, take care you use QUALITY ground beef, as any combination of cuts can be labeled “ground beef.”

How do I make Burger Patties?

  • First, add an egg to a large bowl and whisk.  We want to whisk the egg first because we want to handle the mixture as little as possible.
  • Next, add ground chuck, panko, shallot, garlic, Worcestershire, oregano, smoked paprika, ground cumin, salt and pepper.  Using clean hands, mix just until combined.  Don’t overmix or you’ll have tough burgers.
  • Divide the meat into 4 equal sections.  You can use a kitchen scale to make sure they are equal, but I just eyeball it.
  • Roll each section into a loose, big meatball, but don’t continue to roll once it takes shape. We don’t want it too compact or overworked or you’ll have a hard burger.
  • Flatten the ball with the palm of your hand.  This will likely make the edges crack, so just push them back together.  Try and make the patties a little larger than your bun because they will shrink while cooking.
  • Make a 1/2” indentation in the middle of each patty with your thumb or the back of a measuring spoon. This will help the burgers cook evenly.

How do you keep hamburger patties from falling apart?

  • Add Egg: There is debate on whether or not adding eggs to burgers is necessary to hold them together.  Some cooks always add eggs to their burgers (like me), while some think it isn’t necessary.  I am a huge proponent of egg because it acts as a binder and ALWAYS works!  I have never had a problem with my burgers falling apart when I add an egg.  As the egg cooks, it binds all the ingredients together which in turn holds the burger together – no more falling apart burgers!
  • Handle as Little as Possible:  Once all the ingredients are added to the bowl, don’t overmix and don’t over handle the patties.  The shapes don’t need to be perfect!
  • Refrigerate:  the colder the patties, the better they will stick together, so it is a good idea to refrigerate your patties for at least 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Flip Once: as the burger goes from cold to warm, to cooked, it is more likely to fall apart, so handle your burger as little as possible on the stovetop or grill.  You should only need to flip your burger once.  This will also ensure even cooking.

How do I cook Burgers on the Stove?

I prefer to cook these burgers on the stove because I am already in the kitchen making my toasted cheesy jalapeno buns but you can grill them if you prefer.

To cook burgers on the stove, choose a cast iron skillet.  Heat it over medium high heat until it smokes lightly, this can take up to two minutes, so be patient! 

We want the skillet nice and hot so it will create a nice crust.  At the same time, we don’t want it so hot that the outside will burn before the center is cooked.  I find medium-high to be perfect to start with, but you may need to reduce the heat if you like your burgers more well done.

Cook the burgers until brown and charred on one side, about 3-5 minutes, flip, reduce heat to medium and cover.  Covering the pan ensures the burger will cook evenly all throughout and reducing the heat is necessary so it doesn’t burn. 

The pan will still have residual heat, so the bottom will still char.  You will cook on this side for 2-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your burgers and how well done you like them.  I suggest using an instant read thermometer to check for doneness.

While the burgers are cooking, don’t press them or touch them at all, just let them do their thing for a nice sear and optimal juiciness.

showing how to make the best burger recipe by cooking burgers in a cast iron skillet

How Do I Grill Burgers?

Grease grill then heat to medium-high heat.  Once hot, place the burgers on the grill directly over the heat so they aren’t touching. We want to make sure there is enough room in between the burgers so they grill and don’t steam. 

Grill the burgers until golden brown and slightly charred on the bottom, about 4-5 minutes.  You’ll know to flip the patties when you see liquid pooling on the uncooked surface.  Don’t push down on the burger while grilling or you will lose juices and cause flareups. If flareups happen, move the burgers away from direct heat until the flames diminish.

Flip the burgers over only once then continue to cook until golden brown and slightly charred on the second side. It will take 4-6 minutes depending on desired doneness. If the outsides get charred before the burgers reach desired temperature, move the burgers away from the direct heat, cover, and continue to grill cooking until they reach the desired temperature.

WHAT TEMPERATURE SHOULD A BURGER BE COOKED TO?

I highly recommend an instant read thermometer otherwise you won’t know the temperature of your burger without breaking it open.  You can purchase an instant-read thermometer at any grocery store or Target, etc.   When taking the temperature, make sure you insert it into the middle of the burger, as this is the part that cooks last.

Here is a temperature guide for YOUR perfect burger:

  • MEDIUM-RARE BURGER: 125 to 130 degrees, 2 to 3 minutes per side
  • MEDIUM BURGER: 135 to 140 degrees, 3 to 4 minutes per side
  • MEDIUM-WELL BURGER: 145 to 160 degrees, 4 to 5 minutes per side. 160 degrees is recommend for safe beef consumption
  • WELL-DONE BURGER: 160 degrees and up, 5 minutes and up per side

How Do I Make Cheeseburgers?

Once your burgers are done to your liking, you are welcome to add cheese directly to the hamburger patties, or you can make my toasted cheddar buns.

I recommend a good melting cheese such as cheddar, American, pepper Jack, Swiss, or mozzarella.

To add cheese, place a slice of cheese on top of each patty then cover the skillet until the cheese has melted, about 1 minute.

If you’re cooking your burgers on the grill, then wait until your burgers are almost done, then add the cheese directly on top of each patty.  Close the lid of the grill to melt the cheese.  

How do I Toast Hamburger Buns?

Whether you make my Toasted Cheesy Jalapeno Buns or not, I strongly believe the buns need to be toasted in order to achieve the Best Burgers.  The toasted exterior prevents them from becoming soggy as well as deliver golden, crispy on the outside, giving way to soft inside. 

TOASTED CHEESY JALAPENO BUNS

The cheese and jalapenos are broiled on the buns, so not only do the buns get toasted, but the cheese bubbles to golden deliciousness.

  1. Lay the hamburger buns (tops and bottoms) on a baking sheet cut side up.
  2. Top all of the buns with cheese.
  3. Top ONLY the bottoms with jalapenos – 3-5 slices, depending on your “heat” preference.
  4. Broil until cheese is melted and golden, keeping a close eye on them so they don’t burn.
showing how to make burgers by melting cheese on the buns

OVEN

If you’re making more than 4 buns, then it might be easier to toast them in the oven.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line top and bottom buns on a baking sheet, cut side up.
  3. Spread with softened butter (optional).
  4. Bake until warmed and lightly crispy about 5 minutes.
  5. Don’t over bake or they can become dry – we don’t want croutons!

STOVE

The stove is perfect if you only need 4 buns, like in this recipe, although it will still require 2 batches, to toast both the top and bottoms.

  1. After the burgers are cooked, don’t wipe out pan.
  2. Heat pan to medium low heat.
  3. If there isn’t much grease left, then you may want to melt 1-2 tablespoons butter.
  4. Add buns, cut side down.
  5. Toast until golden, tilting a bun up to check for doneness.

GRILL

If you’re grilling your burgers, the toasting the buns is super simple and doesn’t require any additional pans.

  1. Wait until the last minute, once your burgers are almost done.
  2. For more flavor, spread some softened butter on the cut side of the buns before grilling.
  3. Add buns to the grill in a single layer, cut side down.
  4. Grill until slightly charred, about 1 minute.

What Condiments Go on Burgers?

The condiments are ENDLESS when it comes to Hamburgers!  What you want to top your burger with is a personal choice, just take care you have the condiments ready to go before you make the burgers otherwise your burgers can get cold and will no longer be the Best Burgers!

Here are a few burger condiment ideas:

  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Red onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • Thin crispy fried onion rings
  • Mushrooms like grilled portobellos
  • Fried eggs
showing how to make burgers by lining up condiments of tomatoes, lettuce, red onions and pickles on a cutting board

Burger Sauce

A burger NEEDS some sort of Burger Sauce.  Even if you just have mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup, these add a needed creaminess that binds all the condiments together.   You can even use barbecue sauce, steak sauce, ranch dressing, Russian dressing, etc., depending on what you’re going for. 

My FAVORTE Burger Sauce is 2 parts mayonnaise to 1-part barbecue sauce.  Barbecue sauce already has ketchup and mustard, plus additional seasonings, so it just makes sense to combine them all together to create the best Burger Sauce!  It is creamy tangy and elevates this burger to a whole new level.

showing how to make burgers by adding barbecue mayonnaise to the patty

Tips How to Make the Best Burger

  • Correct Pan:  Use a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan because they distribute heat more evenly and therefore cook your hamburgers more evenly.
  • Hot: Get the pan very hot before adding the burgers to create a nice crust/char for maximum flavor and juiciness. 
  • Season:  Seasoning the burgers with just salt and pepper or seasoning just the surface of the hamburger patties will leave you with boring, bland burgers.  In this Best Burgers recipe, the beef is seasoned throughout with shallots, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, salt and pepper to create a dynamic, well rounded flavor profile.
  • Don’t Overwork:  Stop mixing the ingredients as soon as they are combined.  Overworking the meat will create rubbery, tough burgers. Shape the hamburger patties gently and don’t pack the meat together or else you’ll end up with a hard burger. 
    Make an Indent:  Making a shallow indentation in the center of each patty will ensure the burgers cook evenly and prevent the centers from bulging as the surrounding collagen tightens.
  • Don’t Press:  We’ve all seen it done, but don’t EVER press down on your burgers with your spatula. Pressing down on the burgers squeezes out the flavorful juices just like a sponge.  Every time you press, you loose flavor and moisture resulting in a drier burger.
  • Let Burgers Rest:. Once the burgers are done, place them on a plate and let them rest for 5 minutes.  This allows the juices that have been pushed to the outside of the burger when cooking to be redistributed throughout the burger.

How do you keep burgers moist after grilling?

If you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed all at once, it might be a better and less stressful option to prepare your burgers in advance. 

You can cook your burgers on the grill or stovetop and keep them warm and moist for up to three hours using this method.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
  2. Fill an oven proof baking dish with 1-2 quarts of beef broth, depending on the size of the pot and the quantity of burgers you are making. You want enough liquid so the burgers can be completely submerged.
  3. Place in the oven for 30 minutes before you make the burgers so it can get warm.  Alternatively, you can warm the broth in a saucepan and pour it into the baking dish.
  4. Prepare and cook patties according to directions.
  5. Add cooked burgers to the broth, taking care they are covered in broth or else they will dry out.
  6. Place the baking dish in the oven at 200 degrees F for up to three hours.

How do you store homemade burgers?

Store burger patties separate from buns in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Homemade burgers will keep for up to 3 days.  For longer storage, freeze hamburger patties instead (see below).

Can you make burger patties ahead time?

Absolutely!  You can assemble the beef burger patties, cover them tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook.  You can prep your toppings at this time so they are all ready to go as and all you have to do is cook and eat! 

You can also completely cook your burgers ahead of time and keep them warm, see section below.

The ultimate burger recipe piled with lettuce, red onions, tomatoes and lettuce

Can you freeze burgers?

Yes, burgers freeze very well without cheese – another win for toasted jalapeno buns!

To freezer burgers, place cooked patties in a freezer size plastic bag and separate patties with parchment paper OR place patties in individual plastic bags.  With either option, make sure you squeeze as much excess air out as possible in order to prevent freezer burn.  Alternatively, you can wrap individual patties tightly in plastic wrap followed by foil.

When ready to eat, let burgers thaw overnight in the refrigerator then cook within three to four days.

Can you bake frozen hamburger patties?

If you are in a hurry, or forgot to thaw the frozen burger patties, you can bake them from frozen in the oven.  This is a better alternative than grilling or cooking on the stovetop when cooking burgers-from-frozen because baking the burgers cooks them more evenly.

To bake frozen patties:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly grease a baking sheet with sides.
  3. Line the frozen hamburger patties on the sheet without touching.
  4. Cover the sheet loosely with aluminum foil by creating a “tent” and peaking the foil in the center and sealing on the sides.
  5. Bake for 30-60 minutes depending on thickness of burger and how well done you like them.

Can you freeze uncooked burger patties?

Yes, but uncooked burger patties should be flash frozen first so they don’t loose their shape.

To freeze uncooked burger patties:

  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Line patties on the parchment paper in rows so they aren’t touching.
  3. Place tray in the freezer and freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.
  4. Using kitchen shears, cut the along the imaginary grid to separate the patties, this way each patty has its own parchment square. 
  5. Stack patties separated by parchment paper into a freezer bag.
  6. Squeeze out as much air as possible in order to prevent freezer burn then seal and label.
  7. Freeze for up to four months.

How long can you freeze hamburgers?

Ground beef is technically safe to freeze indefinitely but it can suffer freezer burn and lose quality.  For bests results, consume your frozen burgers within 4 months.

up close of homemade burger recipe topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and onions

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up close of ultimate burger recipe piled with cheese, bacon, tomatoes and lettuce

Best Burger Recipe

The Best Burgers on your table in 30 minutes! They are tender, juicy and flavorful, infused with seasonings and either topped with cheese or sandwiched in between toasted cheddar jalapeno buns. See post for how to freeze patties and cooked burgers.
Servings: 4 hamburgers
Total Time: 23 mins
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins

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Ingredients

Toasted Cheesy Jalapeno Buns

  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1 large jalapeno sliced and seeded
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese the thicker the cheesier

Hamburger Patties

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck (80/20 ) may sub ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp EACH dried oregano, salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, ground cumin, pepper

Easy BBQ Mayo

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce

Toppings

  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Red onion

Instructions

  • Mix the mayonnaise and barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Add egg to a large bowl and whisk. Combine the rest of the “Hamburger Patties” ingredients in the bowl and mix just until combined. Form into 4 equal patties then make a 1/2″ indentation in the middle of each patty with your thumb or measuring spoon (this will help the burgers cook evenly). Time permitting, refrigerate for 15 minutes (cold patties stay intact better).

Stove Top

  • Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the patties and cook until brown and slightly charred on one side, about 3-5 minutes, flip, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook an addition 2-5 minutes, depending on how rare you like your burger.

Grill

  • Grease grill and heat over medium-high heat. Once hot, add patties and cover. Cook until brown and slightly charred on one side, about 4-6 minutes. Flip burgers (but do not press down), and cook an additional 4-6 minutes, or to desired doneness. Remove to a plate and tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

Toasted Cheesy Jalapeno Buns

  • Meanwhile, lay the hamburger buns (both tops and bottoms) on a baking sheet. Top all of the buns with cheese, then top ONLY the bottoms with jalapenos – 3-5 slices, depending on your “heat” preference. Broil until cheese is melted and golden. Remove to a plate and tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes.

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28 Comments

  1. Bonita says

    Made your recipe tonight, incredibly moist, with amazing flavour, Best we ever had…thanks for sharing…Bonita

    • Jen says

      Hi Bonita! You are the first to comment after trying, so I got a big smile on my face reading your comment – THANK YOU SO MUCH! You made my day :)!

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! I just saw this on MSN Food and Drink and printed it out immediately! This is a seriously delicious burger! I just picked up ground beef and buns and I know exactly what I’m going to make thanks to you!

    • Jen says

      I didn’t even know this was featured – thanks for letting me know! I am so excited you are making these right away – yay for burger season! Thanks Dorothy!

  3. Dawnwray says

    Finally Made this tonight…after wanting to try it for weeks. Husband and 2 daughters declared it the best burger ever! I agree 110%…so yummy!!! Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe!

    • Jen says

      That is awesome Dawn! I am so happy your whole family loved it, that make me so happy!!!

  4. Bonita says

    What can I say, second time I made this recipe and it was even better than the first time, I don’t even like ground beef, that’s what I find amazing….it’s my husband’s ultimate best burger ever….thank you so much for sharing….Bonita

    • Jen says

      Bonita, you are awesome! I love that you and your husband love my burgers so much you have made them again already! Thank you also for taking the time to let me know!

  5. Renee says

    Made these for the family tonight. Grilled the burgers. Wow! Delicious.

    • Jen says

      YAY! So happy you loved them Renee, that makes me so happy! Thanks for letting me know!

  6. Layne says

    Oh hello deliciousness! I was planning on making burgers tonight and then saw this recipe. I think it’s fortuitous.

    • Jen says

      yesss! I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  7. Stephanie says

    These burgers are amazing! I have tried making burgers at home more times than I can count but I have never found them better than our favourite restaurants burgers… until now! I was a bit skeptical because no matter what I do my patties are always slightly dry and not very flavourful AND we get our meat from a local farmer so we don’t choose what cut of meat is ground, or the type of beef. We just get extra lean ground beef so I was worried when I made these it would be too lean and they would be dry but they were so moist and flavourful! My husband thanked me for supper twice so that’s a win in my books 🙂 lol, definitely my new go to burger recipe!

    • Jen says

      Sorry for the delay Stephanie as I’m catching up on comments but THANK YOU so much for commenting! I love hearing these turned out juicy and flavorful are your new go-to burger recipe – husband approved! You made my day!

  8. SARAH says

    SO YAMMY! THANKS FOR SHARING

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome! Thanks Sarah!

  9. mary says

    Can you substitute extra lean ground turkey for this recipe?

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, yes you can substitute lean ground turkey. You may want to add a little oil to add extra moisture.

  10. Mary says

    I made these tonight and they were a hit with my entire family. First recipe I’ve tried of yours and I’ve already got three more I am making tomorrow. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Mary! Welcome to my site and thank you for taking the time to comment. I hope you enjoy exploring my recipes and hopefully find many new favorites!

  11. Erin says

    Truly is the best burger recipe indeed! Husband approved and kid approved. I didn’t tell my family anything was different with the burgers so when my husband bit into his, he said ‘this is good’. Second bit-‘this is really really good’ . So I then explained the new recipe and we then had burgers two dinners in a row and for lunch twice. We cooked them over a open charcoal grill- amazing! Thank you for this recipe.

    • Jen says

      YAY! You’re so welcome Erin! I’m so pleased these burgers are a new go-to favorite, thank you!

  12. Michelle Bach says

    Thank you for the quick reply. My question is whether I could use something else instead of the shallot. Like onion powder or dry minced onion? Thank you!!

    • Jen says

      Sorry about that! Yes, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder or 2 tablespoons dried minced onions. Enjoy!

  13. Natalia says

    I prepared these hamburgers tonight and they are absolutely delicious. These are the best hamburgers I have ever eaten. Wow, what a great recipe, Jen.

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much for the glowing review Natalia! I’m so pleased they lived up to their name!

  14. S. Mitchell says

    The concept of melting cheese on the buns, not the burgers, is so obvious why after being a chef for years, plus all the food network shows, haven’t I used this technique earlier!!! Absolutely fabulous. Glad I saw your site.

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much, I love thinking out side the box!

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