A big juicy hamburger with lettuce and ketchup being held up. Pickles in the background.
Main courses

Best hamburger recipe

7 comments

Nothing beats a juicy flavorful homemade hamburger! If you’re ready to amp-up your grilling game, you’ll love this simple yet flavorful recipe. I call this the “best hamburger recipe” because it bursts with classic flavors, but you can easily adjust it or make it spicier to your tastes. There are so many different flavor combinations that you can put together to make a great hamburger. And this is a classic hamburger recipe to start with.

A big juicy hamburger with lettuce and ketchup being held up. Pickles in the background.
Get grilling with this juicy flavorful hamburger

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Hamburgers are delicious anytime of year, but we definitely enjoy more of them in the summer months. Hamburgers are an easy way to feed a big hungry group of family and friends. And that’s why they’re so popular for summer backyard BBQs and gatherings. This recipe is for four people, but you can easily double it or triple it as needed for more people.

Big juicy hamburger on a plate next to a dill pickle.

Tips for a flavorful hamburger

I was recently reading my cookbook Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home and realized that my recipe for hamburgers is similar to Julia Child’s. In the book, Jacques describes her recipe as seasoned beef more similar to a meatloaf. He says this is the way he used to make them in France before he became more accustomed to the more Americanized way of not putting any seasoning into the meat prior to cooking it. In this recipe, I add minced onions, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, gluten-free or regular fine bread crumbs and just enough egg to bring it together. Sometimes I’ll switch up the onions for minced shallots or add a splash of milk if it is a little dry. In addition to the seasoning, choose an organic or grass-fed ground beef with a fat content of 20 percent, gently shape the beef patties with cupped hands just until they come together. Do not squash them or press too hard. Make little indents on the patties with your fingers and drizzle a small amount of extra virgin olive oil over the patties.

A metal bowl containing minced hamburger meat with seasonings.
Seasoned with onions, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper
Four hamburger patties with extra virgin olive oil drizzled on them. Ready for the grill.
Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on before grilling for more flavor

Tips for grilling hamburgers

Now that we’ve discussed how to season the hamburger, let’s talk about how to grill them.

Always start with a clean grill. Scrape off any yuck leftover from a previous cookout. I also typically use a little non-stick cooking spray on the grill grates to help prevent sticking. According to many grill-masters, the best temperature for the grill is medium to medium-low rather than hot, hot, hot. I have to agree with this as it helps control flare-ups and burning. Turn the hamburgers once! It can be hard to resist the urge to flip, flip, flip. But the more you turn the hamburgers over, the more they will dry out. It is recommended by the USDA to cook hamburgers until they reach an internal temperature of 160 F because E. coli bacteria is killed at 155 F. If you prefer a more “rare” hamburger use your best judgement and proceed at your own risk. Use a Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer inserted diagonally for the best reading.

Grill until an internal temperature of 160 F is reached

A backyard hamburger cookout wouldn’t be the same without all the sides and fixings. Whether your BBQ has a theme or is an anything goes potluck, you can’t go wrong with any of these party favorites. Do you have a favorite side you pair with hamburgers? Some of my favorite salads to go with a hamburger cookout include the peach Caprese salad, Northwest potato salad, healthy potato and green bean salad, Tuscan farro salad and strawberry and spinach salad.

Hamburgers on the grill
Sizzling on the grill

Are you a ketchup or BBQ sauce fan with your hamburgers? I’m happy to say this best hamburger recipe flavor tests well with either. As I said earlier, the simple flavors in this best hamburger recipe will pair perfectly with almost anything you like. If you’d like to make your own BBQ sauce, give my bourbon infused BBQ sauce recipe a try. And don’t forget the pickles! I love a crispy dill pickle with my hamburger. How about you? Maybe sweet bread and butter pickles are more your thing?

I hope you enjoy this best hamburger recipe. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy cooking,

Michelle

If you make any of my recipes, use #northwestspoon and share your photo.

Best hamburger recipe

This best hamburger recipe includes onion, oregano, garlic powder and seasoning. It's a great all-round hamburger to go with any hamburger toppings.

  • 1 – 1 1/4 lbs fresh ground beef (preferably organic grass-fed 15 – 20 percent fat content)
  • 2-3 tbsp sweet onion* (finely diced)
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp bread crumbs*
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • hamburger buns
  • condiments such as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles etc.
  1. Preheat the grill to 350 F (a medium to medium-low temperature). Scrape off any burnt on food from previous cookouts.

  2. In a large bowl, use a fork to mix together the beef, onion, all the seasonings and bread crumbs evenly. Add in just enough beaten egg to moisten the meat so it starts to come together. Half of the egg liquid is often enough. It should not be too wet.

  3. Divide the meat into four 1/4 lb sections. Use your hands to gently form and press down to make round patties. Do not overwork the meat mixture. Use your fingers to press small indentations on the patties. Drizzle the tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over the top of the patties.

  4. Carefully and lightly spray the grill with a non-stick cooking spray. Grill the hamburgers, flipping once until they reach an internal temperature of 160 F.

*use your favorite kind of onion. I prefer white onions or Walla Walla sweet onions.

*gluten-free bread crumbs can be used. Mince half a slice of plain gluten-free bread to make your own crumbs.

The USDA recommends cooking hamburger meat until an internal temperature of 160 F is reached. Use a digital thermometer inserted diagonally for accuracy.

Try these great flavor combinations:

  • Caprese burger: Tomato, fresh soft mozzarella cheese, fresh basil and arugula
  • Maui burger: Fried sweet caramelized onions, Dole pineapple ring, sweet BBQ sauce, lettuce
  • All-American: Grated cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, bread and butter pickles.

Did you enjoy this best hamburger recipe? Come back and let me know what accompaniments you paired with how it worked at www.northwestspoon.com/best-hamburger-recipe

 

7 Comments

  1. Brian Jones

    Such a good burger, great flavours and holds together really well, spot on!

     
  2. This recipe makes me drool all over my keyboard now and makes me so so hungry. Definitely will save this yummy recipe as BBQ is planned for the weekend – perfect hot, hot weather. Mmmmm, I cannot wait!

     
  3. Beth Neels

    One of my favorite foods on the planet is a good ole hamburger! I love the addition of onion to the meat! It will keep it so juicy! Can’t wait to try it!

     
  4. Isn’t this perfect for summer! THe flavor of this would make it a fabulous burger for 4th of July!

     
  5. While I eat mostly vegetarian/vegan these days, I can appreciate a solid, juicy burger every once and a while for the iron and B-vitamins. I like all of the tips for grilling too. It can be hard to get it right. These tips are also great for those who eat impossible burgers and beyond burgers.

     

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