Classic Burger

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There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a big, juicy, All-American burger. The Classic Burger is made with simple ingredients and can be cooked on the grill or stovetop. It’s the perfect canvas for piling on your favorite toppings!

The classic burger piled high with toppings and burger sauce. Fries off to the side.

There are tons of recipes out there for hamburgers so why another one? Well, I believe you don’t need all those “extras” added but instead use high-quality meat and some simple seasonings.

Most restaurant burgers are made with just 3 simple ingredients: fatty beef, salt, and pepper. That’s it folks, no breadcrumbs, eggs, milk, or crackers. Having said that I like staying true to myself and adding something a little extra but it is totally optional!

Here’s Why This Is The Best Hamburger Recipe

  • Super simple to prepare
  • Make-ahead and freezer-friendly making it perfect for parties!
  • Can be made on the grill or stovetop
  • Juicy beefy flavor that’s hard to resist
Burger ingredients: ground beef, buns, and optional garlic powder, onion powder, worcestershire, and sliced cheese.

Ingredients For Homemade Hamburgers

GROUND BEEF: Preferably ground chuck that is an 80/20 blend. This gives the meat quite a bit of fat which gives the burger loads of flavor as well as moisture. Plus, ground chuck has a nice beefy flavor. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t make hamburgers with other ground beef blends. The most important thing to look for is the fat!

OPTIONAL SEASONINGS: If you would like to flavor your burger I suggest the following: onion powder, garlic powder, and Worcestershire (just a dash!). Salt and pepper aren’t optional and we will get into that in a moment.

How To Make The Perfect Burger

STEP 1: Combine the meat with seasonings. If you choose not to use seasonings then skip to step 2!

STEP 2: Form the patties: I like to use an old lid for this. I make my patties slightly larger than the bun so when they cook and shrink a little (it’s inevitable, it’s going to happen folks) they fit perfectly. If you don’t have an old lid you can use a burger press or your hands. Just make sure they are a little larger than the bun.

Two pictures showing the meat being mixed then formed into patties.

STEP 3: Salt and pepper: As mentioned earlier this is a non-negotiable. Every good hamburger is dusted with this magic stuff. The secret is doing it just before cooking otherwise the salt can make the burger much firmer. That’s because the salt changes the chemistry of the proteins (learned that from watching America’s Test Kitchen, lol!)

Two pictures showing the burgers being cooked in a cast iron skillet.

STEP 4: Cook them up! Choose to use the grill or stovetop as both make incredible burgers. Place on the grill for 3 minutes or until the burger releases easily from the grate (very important). Flip and cook for another 3 minutes or again until the burger releases easily. If you are adding cheese do so right after you flip.

For the stovetop, I love using a cast iron skillet because they were made for cooking at high temps. Cook the same as you would on a grill when the burger naturally releases from the pan it’s ready to flip.

Burger sauce ingredients: mayo, dill pickle, garlic powder, mustard, and ketchup.

What About A Good Burger Sauce?

You can use the standard mustard and ketchup but what about a good burger sauce? I like to use a combo of mayo, ketchup, a dash of mustard, finely chopped dill pickle (not sweet relish!), and garlic powder.

Just mix everything up in a bowl and serve. You could also use other burger sauces or even bbq sauce.

Overhead view of burger sauce in a small bowl.



Make sure the meat is cold. Cold meat sticks together better. Cooking on a grill preheated to 375-400 degrees F is optimal or a skillet preheated over medium-high heat. Lastly, don’t try to flip too soon. When the hamburger naturally releases from the grate or skillet it’s ready to flip.


Cheese, lettuce, tomato, and pickle are the classic choices. However, don’t let that stop you from adding avocado, fried egg, mushrooms, bacon, green chiles, ranch….the list goes on!

Two hands holding a burger cut in half showing the juiciness of the inside.

Pro Tips For The Best Classic Burger

  • Handle the beef as little as possible so it doesn’t get tough.
  • Make an indent in the middle of thick patties to prevent them from shrinking up into balls.
  • Don’t flip them constantly. When the burger releases easily from the grate or skillet it is ready to flip.
  • Allow your burgers to rest a little before eating. This allows the juices to redistribute back into the meat.
Three burgers stacked topped with toppings and fries scattered around.

Make-Ahead and Freezing Instructions

MAKE-AHEAD: Prep the patties but don’t season them with salt or pepper. Store in the refrigerator with wax paper between each patty for up to 2 days. Cover them tightly so they don’t dry out!

FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Prep the patties but don’t season them with salt or pepper. Store in the freezer with wax paper between each patty in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Overhead view of hamburgers with fries scattered around. One hamburger is cut in half and on its side showing the yummy juicy inside.

Serving Suggestions

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5 from 1 vote
The classic burger piled high with toppings and burger sauce. Fries off to the side.
Classic Burger
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins

There's nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a big, juicy, All-American burger. The Classic Burger is made with simple ingredients and can be cooked on the grill or stovetop. It's the perfect canvas for piling on your favorite toppings!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade hamburgers, Juicy hamburgers
Servings: 4
Calories: 569 kcal
Author: Malinda Linnebur
  • 1-1½ pounds (453-680g) 80/20 ground beef
  • Optional: 2 teaspoon onion powders; 1½ teaspoons garlic powder; ½-1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; sliced cheese
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • ½ cup (115g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced dill pickle
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 4 large leaves of lettuce
  • 1 large tomato, cut into slices
  • ½ small red onion, sliced into rounds
  • dill pickle chips
  1. If using seasonings mix in with ground beef. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into patties that are slightly larger than your buns.

  2. GRILL: Preheat grill to 375-400℉. Just before grilling sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place on hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes until meat releases from the grates and flip. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the burger releases then remove. If using cheese place on burger after you flip. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

  3. STOVETOP: Preheat cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Season burgers with salt and pepper and place in skillet. Don't overcrowd. Cook for 3 minutes per side or until the meat releases easily from the skillet. Remove and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

  4. Serve with desired toppings.

Recipe Notes
  1. NUTRITION: Nutrition is calculated for burgers, toppings, and buns only and using 1 1/2 pounds ground beef. Burger sauce, seasonings, and cheese are not included. 
  2. Be sure to read the post for loads of info on how to make the best burger.
  3. For really thick burgers you may need to test your burger with a meat thermometer. Medium-rare=145℉ and Medium=160℉.
Nutrition Facts
Classic Burger
Amount Per Serving (1 burger)
Calories 569 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Trans Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 121mg40%
Sodium 336mg15%
Potassium 686mg20%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 34g68%
Vitamin A 2157IU43%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.

2 thoughts on “Classic Burger”

  1. 5 stars
    Nothing better that a good juicy burger, especialy if it is cooked on the grill! Of course, I like all the extras on it. The veggies in the toppings make it MORE healthy!


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