A perfect grilled burger is juicy, flavorful, smoky, and perfectly browned. This recipe has all that, plus of course, your special touch at the grill.
Whether you’re cooking for a crowd or for yourself, a perfectly grilled hamburger makes a great meal.
A fresh burger bun and tasty toppings create an excellent supporting cast, but the burger patty is the star of the show. These work great for a crowd or an easy weeknight meal. Either way, enjoy the best burger you’ve ever made!
Perfect grilled burgers start with a juicy, smoky burger patty. The burger in this recipe can stand alone or pair with your preference of toppings, sauces, and side dishes.
Why you'll love this recipe
- You only need 4 ingredients!
- It comes together quickly and is so easy.
- It’s easy to customize (change or add toppings)
- The burgers are plump, juicy, and DELICIOUS!
Key Ingredients and Substitutions
Ground beef – An 80/20 ratio meat (80% lean/20% fat) makes the juiciest patty. Other ratios could be substituted if desired. You can also use your favorite ground meat like chicken, turkey, or pork. This Asian Turkey burger is delightful!
Steak seasoning – Use your favorite steak seasoning, I like Montreal. Keep in mind dry seasoning mix works best to maintain consistency.
Worcestershire sauce – Any brand of Worcestershire sauce is fine, just make sure it’s high quality to give you the best flavor.
Liquid smoke – This is my secret weapon. I know the grill gives you that smokiness, but this will take it up a level.
Burger buns – You might prefer standard burger buns but consider using whole grain, onion buns, rolls, or a seeded bun for extra flavor and texture.
Toppings of your choice – This burger can stand on its own, but you can add sauces or toppings to suit your taste. See suggestions below.
You’ll love so many aspects of this burger recipe. The taste, first and foremost. But you will also love how so few ingredients develop into such a scrumptious, juicy, and satisfying grilled hamburger.
How to Make the Best Burger Ever
STEP ONE | COMBINE MEAT & SEASONINGS
- Combine ground beef, steak seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke in a large mixing bowl.
- Gently mix until combined.
AFMT PRO-TIP: I love using my stand mixer with the paddle attachment to combine the ingredients perfectly. Be cautious to not overmix. If you don’t have a stand mixer, your hands are the best tool.
STEP TWO | MAKE THE PATTIES
- Divide the meat into 6 (or 8) equal portions.
- Form each section into a round ball, then press flat into a circle. Build the edges of the patty up a little so there is a wide well in the center. This keeps the burger from shrinking.
STEP THREE | GRILL
- Heat grill to 400°.
- Place burgers on the grill and cook for 3 minutes.
- Flip the burgers and cook until desired temperature (about 4 minutes for medium rare). Flip only once!
- Use a thermometer to measure internal temperature:
- Rare = 145°
- Med. rare = 160°
- Well = 170°
It is recommended that store-bought ground beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160° to be considered safe to eat.
If adding cheese, place it on the burgers for the last minute of cooking time. Then let it melt the rest of the way after you remove them from the heat while they’re resting.
STEP FOUR | REST
- Remove burgers from the grill.
- Lightly tent with foil, and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
When meat cooks, all of its juices come to the surface. Resting the meat allows those juices to redistribute back into it, making for the juiciest burger.
OPTIONAL: While the burgers are resting, you can toast the buns on the grill for added buttery goodness. It also prevents the buns from getting soggy.
STEP FIVE | BUILD YOUR BURGER
Build your burger with all your favorite toppings and enjoy!
Our go-to toppings are mustard, mayo, ketchup, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and of course cheese. But when I want to go the extra mile and build the ultimate burger, I'll choose some of these:
- Blue cheese, or goat cheese
- barbecue sauce
- avocado or guacamole
- banana peppers
Follow these tips for perfect burgers every single time!
- This recipe makes six ⅓ pound burgers OR eight ¼ pound burgers. I personally prefer ⅓ pound burger because it fills the bun and is still thick enough.
- Make the burgers the same size. While dividing prepared meat into portions by instinct works just fine, if you're a perfectionist, use a kitchen scale to weigh each portion, and adjust as needed.
- Make the patties wide enough. You want your patties to be a little larger than the burger buns. They will shrink a bit when cooking and end up being the perfect size.
- Don’t smash them! Avoid smashing burgers on the grill as you cook. This pushes all the juice out and you will end up with a dry, crumbly burger.
- Make an indent. To prevent burgers “bunching up” and shrinking as they cook, leave an indention in the center of the patty or build up the edges slightly. Most people use a thumb print, but I find that making a larger well in the center by building up the edges works much better. (see the picture of the formed patties)
- Use ice for well-done burgers. For burgers that are requested to be well done, place an ice cube in the center before placing it on the grill to keep them moist and scrumptious.
- Make ahead. After making the patties, you can freeze them for later use. I love making a double batch in order to save time on another day. Place wax paper in between the patties so they don’t stick together. Place in an air-tight freezer bag. To cook, thaw completely
Direct heat is best for burgers. If you are finding the fire is flaring up too much because of the juices dripping off, then turn the temperature down a little bit.
The best and most precise way is to use a cooking thermometer. Place the thermometer in the center of the burger, and not all the way through.
Most grocery stores carry liquid smoke. You can often find it in the condiments section with Worcestershire sauce and ketchup.
Oh yes! If you don’t have a grill you can cook these burgers in a skillet on top of the stove or in an oven under a broiler.
To use a skillet, preheat it until it is very hot. Add the meat and cover the patties so they won’t splatter. Flip once. Reduce heat if the outsides are getting too dark.
If you are cooking in an oven broiler, place them on the middle rack and flip once. The timing required in both instances will depend on internal temperature rather than the number of minutes.
Perfect grill burgers pair well with tangy sides, fruits, and veggies! Here are some of our favorite recipes to pair with them.
- Garlic Roasted Green Beans
- Perfect Asparagus
- Watermelon Salad
- Jalapeno Yogurt Dip
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
Be aware of food safety when grilling:
- Cover food, both cooked and uncooked, when not in use.
- Use different dishes for raw and cooked meat.
- Leave cooked meat at ambient temperature for less than 2 hours (or less than 1 hour if temperature is over 90°F).
- Refrigerate cooked patties.
- After cooked patties are thoroughly chilled in the refrigerator, you can freeze them in an airtight container for later reheating.
- When reheating, make sure the internal temperature of patties reaches 165°F.
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More grilling favorites
- Grilled Teriyaki chicken
- Savory Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Steak Fajitas
- Grilled Balsamic Pork Chops
- Grilled Brie
Perfect Grilled Burgers
- Optional: Stand Mixer
- gas grill
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons steak seasoning
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 6 hamburger buns I like a seeded bun
- ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce cheese, tomato, pickles, onion, bacon, blue cheese, barbecue sauce, avocado
- Combine ground beef, steak seasoning, worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. I like to use a stand mixxer with a paddle attachment, if you don't have one, it works best to use your hands.
- Divide the meat into 6 (or 8) equal portions. If you’re super particular, use a kitchen scale to weigh each section. Or-- just eyeball it! Form each section into a round ball, then press flat into a disc and shape into a circle.
- Make a large well in the center. It’s often recommended to put a thumbprint in your burger to help keep it from swelling up during the cooking process. I’ve found it to work better if you have a larger well. So I recommend building the edges up a little bit (see pictures).
- Heat grill to 400 degrees. Place burgers on the grill and cook to desired temperature, flipping only once. Rare = 145°; Med. rare = 160°; Well = 170°
- Remove the burgers, lightly tent with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Optional- toast the buns! Lightly butter the buns and toast on the grill for 1-3 minutes.
- Build your burger with all your favorite toppings.
- The best ground beef to use is 80/20 ratio (20% fat). This allows for the juiciest burger. Ground chuck is an excellent option.
- Letting the burgers rest is another key to a juicy burger. While cooking the meat juices come to the surface, letting it rest allows those juices to redistribute back into the meat.
- Do not smash your burgers on a grill, this pushes all the juice out and you will have a dry, crumbly burger.
- For added flavor and texture, up your game on the buns. Try onion buns, kaiser rolls, or a seeded bun. These look great too.
- If you're staying away from the carbs, a Keto bun works great. Crisp, crunchy, lettuce leaves also make a great substitution. Try Romaine, Green Leaf, or Iceberg.