A hamburger stacked with toppings on a black surface.

If you want to know how to make perfect burgers, you're in the right place. I'll help you grill perfect burgers every time.

A hamburger with vegetables and sauce.  The text reads "How to make perfect burgers".

Perfect burgers

Today we tackle the ultimate backyard classic: the perfect burger. I'm talking juicy, flavorful meatballs fresh out of the oven, nestled in a toasted bun and loaded with all the ingredients; a thick slice of ripe tomato, crunchy red onion rings, spicy pickle chips and a buttery lettuce leaf. Add some creamy mayo and a touch of ketchup and spicy mustard and you're in burger heaven. Whether you're a grill expert or just starting out, I'll walk you through every step to achieving burger perfection. Get ready to become the talk of the neighborhood with these perfect, mouth-watering burgers.

The best hamburger meat

The best burger starts with using the right meat for your patties. I recommend using ground chuck with an 80/20 meat to fat ratio. If you choose a higher fat ratio, your burgers may start to fall apart when the heat comes into play. If you go too lean on the meat, you can end up with dry hamburger patties. I find that 80/20 is the perfect ratio for juicy, flavorful burgers that hold together.

Hamburger patties forming on a baking sheet with gloved hands.Hamburger patties forming on a baking sheet with gloved hands.

Burger condiments

The possibilities for burger toppings are seemingly endless, but for this recipe I wanted to provide you with some classic toppings that are sure to be a crowd pleaser. Make sure you have these options on hand and there's a good chance you'll make everyone happy:

  • butter lettuce (whole leaf)
  • tomato (in thick slices)
  • Red onion (thinly sliced)
  • pickle chips
  • mayonnaise
  • Ketchup
  • mustard

Keep in mind that the burgers are easy to customize, so you can go as crazy here as you want. If you want to add some of my homemade smoked bacon and your favorite barbecue sauce, who's stopping you?

How long to grill burgers

One great thing about burgers is that it doesn't take a long time to grill a complete and delicious meal for your family. Typically, grill the patties for about 4-5 minutes per side, flipping only once if possible. The time may vary slightly depending on the thickness of the patty, your grill, and your desired level of doneness. Be sure to use a reliable instant-read thermometer (like mine Thermapen ONE) on hand and refer to the temperature guide below:

  • Rare: 125 degrees F
  • Medium rare: 135 degrees F
  • Medium: 145 degrees F
  • Average Good: 155 degrees F
  • Well done: 160 degrees F
Beef meatballs grilled directly on the grills.Beef meatballs grilled directly on the grills.

How to grill perfect burgers

Now that you know all the basics about burgers, let's get grilling. Follow these simple steps and you'll be sinking your teeth into perfect burgers in no time:

  1. Preheat. Set yours Charcoal grill (or gas grill or smoker) for high heat, around 400-450 degrees F.
  2. Form meatballs. Form your ground beef into 1-pound patties, but be careful not to overhandle it. Once you've formed your meatballs, season them generously with a little of my signature Beef Rub. You can also use equal parts salt, pepper, and garlic powder, or use your favorite burger seasoning. I'll teach you the techniques for perfect burgers, but feel free to make them your own.
  3. Grill the burgers. Place the hamburger patties directly on the hot grills and let them cook for 4-5 minutes per side. You want the meatballs to be cooked all the way through and to develop a nice brown all around, but you want to minimize flipping. The less you turn the meatballs, the more you will retain all that tender, juicy beef flavor.
  4. Toasted sandwiches. When your meatballs reach your desired level of doneness (135 degrees F for medium rare), add your buns to the grill to toast. This step is totally optional, but I highly recommend it.
  5. Assemble your burgers. Once the buns are toasted, take them out to assemble. Spread a little mayonnaise on the bottom bun, then garnish with a lettuce leaf. Arrange the meatballs, then top with thinly sliced ​​red onion, gherkin chips, a thick slice of tomato and, of course, ketchup and mustard. Again, burgers are easy to customize, so choose what you love.
Meatballs on grills with flames rising around them.Meatballs on grills with flames rising around them.

Tips for perfect burgers

If you just follow the recipe, you will have some great looking and tasty burgers. However, I have a few tips to help you make your backyard the best burger joint in town:

  • Quality meat. If you want a really tasty and juicy burger, then you need to start with quality meat. I recommend using an 80/20 meat to fat ratio for the most robust flavor.
  • Minimal rollover. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is over-flipping your meatballs. You should only flip them 1-2 times so that the patty crusts up and retains all the juicy goodness.
  • Customize. The great thing about burgers is that you can customize them to your preferences. I'll help you grill and give you some suggestions on seasonings and toppings, but this is your time to shine. Feel free to put your own personal touch on your burgers.

Serving Tips

When it comes to sides to serve alongside your perfect burgers, there are many ways to go. You can always go the traditional potato chip route and I have a recipe for them in this post. If you want to take your burger night to the next level, try some of these saucy side dishes next time:

Perfect burgers stacked with toppings on a black surface.Perfect burgers stacked with toppings on a black surface.

More tasty burger recipes

Once you've perfected the art of grilling the perfect meatball, you'll be looking for excuses to make it over and over again. You're in luck, because I've worked hard to come up with some of the best burger recipes you can imagine. You can download the Hey Grill Hey app to see all the killer burgers I have available, but here are some of my personal favorites to try at your next cookout:

Perfect burger recipe

Make perfect burgers using this simple recipe, then give it a 5-star rating and tell me all about your experience in the comments. If you want to learn the ins and outs of perfectly preparing all your favorite meats, head on over The grid teamI have Pitmaster classes with video tutorials and step-by-step illustrated guides to help you become a backyard BBQ hero.

Make sure you follow me Instagram profile AND Facebook so you can be the first to get grilling tips, smoking tips, and more amazing recipes like this. And don't forget to check out mine Youtube channel where I have a whole series of instructions for BBQ beginners or just brushing up on your skills.

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