The Best Grilled Hamburgers Recipe

By: Cassy Joy Garcia

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These perfectly grilled hamburgers are juicy and delicious, and this recipe was written with both the grill master and the grill newbie in mind! 

a beef burger on a bun topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle mayo

Grilled Hamburger Recipe

There isn’t anything quite like a grilled hamburger on a perfectly toasted bun, am I right? This meal just screams SUMMER to me and brings me right back to the backyard birthday parties of my childhood.

What makes these burgers special? For one, they are incredibly SIMPLE — no secret spice blend needed to make a really delicious hamburger! We also included really precise internal temperatures for medium-rare, medium, and medium-well burgers to take ALL of the “is this burger done?!” guesswork out of your grilling experience — this recipe is for the grilling expert AND the grilling novice!

Grilled Hamburger Ingredients

These burgers are about as simple as it gets, because a really well cooked burger just doesn’t *need* much in the way of extra flavor! Here’s everything you’ll need:

  • Ground Beef – to start, you’ll need 2 pounds of ground beef. We used 80/20 beef here because it makes for the juiciest, restaurant-quality burgers, but if you want to use a different fat to lean ratio, feel free! Just know that anything with less fat than an 80/20 ground beef will result in a drier hamburger patty. 
  • Sea Salt + Black Pepper – the only seasoning these burgers need is 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt and a ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper — simple and delicious!
  • Ghee, Avocado Oil, or EVOO – in order to help to prevent the burgers from sticking to the grill, you’ll need 1 tablespoon of either melted ghee, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil to brush onto your burger patties.
  • Hamburger Buns – if you’re serving these on buns like we did, you’ll need to grab 6 hamburger buns. You can also serve your grilled hamburgers on top of a bed of lettuce or even wrapped in lettuce leaves if you’d like!
  • Mayo – mayo is our condiment of choice for hamburgers (we actually used this chipotle lime mayo here!), but feel free to use any combination of condiments that you love. Ketchup, mustard, and mayo are all pretty standard burger condiments! 
  • Tomatoes – we also topped our burgers with sliced tomatoes! 1-2 tomatoes total should be enough! 
  • Lettuce Leaves – lettuce leaves are a must on our hamburgers, but feel free to leave them off if you’re not a fan!

Make these burgers your own! Top them with any burger toppings + condiments that you love — cheddar cheese, sliced red onion, pickles, and even BBQ sauce would all be really delicious here!

How to Season Hamburgers before Grilling

We just seasoned our burgers with good ole salt and pepper — simple but really delicious! To season your burgers, you’ll just add the ground meat, salt, and pepper to a large bowl, and mix with your hands to fully combine it all. While you *could* use a large spoon to mix, your hands truly do the VERY best job at getting everything fully incorporated + evenly seasoned.

How to Grill a Hamburger

Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for grilling your burgers!

  1. Preheat the grill – to start, you’ll want to preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 450-500°F).
  2. Season the ground beef – while the grill is preheating, you’ll get the burger patties seasoned and ready: add the ground beef to a large bowl along with the salt and pepper and work the mixture with your hands to combine.
  3. Form the patties + brush with oil – once the seasoning is fully incorporated, form the mixture into 6 ½-inch-thick patties (a little over 5 ounces each), then brush one side of the patties with the oil.
  4. Grill the patties – place the patties on the grill oil-side-down, then close the grill lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the patties are browned on the bottom and have dark grill marks.
    • For medium-rare burgers: flip and cook the patties for an additional 2 minutes (about 6 minutes total), until the patties are just browned or the temperature registers 140°F.
    • For medium burgers: flip and cook the patties for an additional 3-4 minutes (about 7-8 minutes total), until the patties are browned or the temperature registers 145°F.
    • For medium-well burgers: flip and cook the patties for an additional 4-5 minutes (about 8-9 minutes total), until the patties are browned and have deep grill marks, or the temperature registers 150°F.
  5. Remove the patties from the grill – once the patties reach your desired temperature, remove them from the grill and let them rest for at least 10 minutes.
  6. Assemble – to assemble the burgers: smear the buns with mayonnaise or other condiment of choice, then place the hamburger patty on the bottom bun and top with the tomato, lettuce, and top bun, and serve.
a raw block of ground beef with salt and pepper sprinkled over top of it
ground beef in a large glass bowl
raw beef patties drizzled with olive oil sitting on a metal sheet pan
4 ground beef patties on the grill grates of a gas grill
4 ground beef patties on the grill grates of a gas grill
a plate of 4 grilled hamburgers

Is a charcoal or gas grill better for hamburgers?

This totally depends on your preferences and which kind of grill you have and are most comfortable with! A charcoal grill will often provide a better char and more flavor, but gas grills are easier for beginners. We used a gas grill here, but either one will work.

How long do you cook burgers on a grill?

Good question! The time will vary based on how well done you like your burgers: about 6 minutes total for medium-rare, 7-8 minutes for medium, and 8-9 minutes for medium-well. The BEST way to determine whether your burgers are ready to come off the grill, though, is with an instant-read thermometer: 140°F for medium-rare, 145°F for medium, and 150°F for medium-well.

Do you grill burgers with the lid open or closed?

Closed! Having the lid closed helps the burgers to cook more evenly and quickly (just like having the door of the oven closed helps things to cook more quickly). 

Do you flip burgers on the grill?

You do! You’ll start by grilling the burgers on one side for 3-4 minutes, and then flipping them and grilling on the other side for 2-5 more minutes (depending on the doneness you’re going for). When possible, we recommend only flipping the burgers once instead of doing it multiple times!

How do you know when to flip a burger?

You’ll want to flip your burger after 3-4 minutes — the burgers should be browned on the bottom (the side touching the grill grates) with deep grill marks at this point.

Should you dimple your hamburger patties?

Dimpling hamburger patties (or creating a divot in the middle of each patty) is said to help prevent shrinking, but we've found that simply forming our patties to be about 1-inch bigger than the buns creates a perfectly-sized patty in the end!

raw beef patties drizzled with olive oil sitting on a metal sheet pan

How do you keep burgers from drying out on the grill?

The key here is to NOT overcook your burgers. The amount of time that the burgers are actually on the grill is pretty short, and if you’re new to grilling, you may be tempted to leave them on for a few extra minutes “just in case,” but it is really important to stick to the times and temperatures we’ve listed for the juiciest burgers possible. This is why an instant-read thermometer is such a handy tool for grilling! 

How do you tell if a burger is done on the grill?

You’ll know your burgers are done when they are slightly firm to the touch — if that feels a little bit vague or intimidating to you, your best bet is to measure the internal temperature of your burgers using an instant-read thermometer.

When do you add cheese?

If you plan on adding cheese to your hamburgers, you’ll want to add a slice to each burger just after you flip them. The few minutes of extra cooking time will help the cheese to get really nice and melted onto the patty!

a beef burger on a bun topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle mayo

How to Toast the Buns

If you prefer your hamburger buns toasted (YUM!), you’ll want to brush the buns with butter and grill them over medium-high heat for 15-30 seconds. If you’d rather toast the buns inside, you can broil them for about 1 minute, watching closely the entire time to make sure they don’t burn!

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The Best Grilled Hamburgers Recipe

a beef burger on a bun topped with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and chipotle mayo

We've found that the key to perfect hamburgers is keeping things simple. We do just that with these burgers and they deliver every single time!

  • Author: Cassy Garcia
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 18 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Grill
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon melted ghee, avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 hamburger buns, warmed
  • Mayo, for serving (we used this chipotle lime mayo)
  • Sliced tomatoes, for serving
  • Lettuce leaves, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 450-500 F.
  2. Add the ground beef to a large bowl along with the salt and pepper and work the mixture with your hands to combine.
  3. Form the mixture into 6 1/2 inch thick patties (a little over 5 ounces each), then brush them with the oil.
  4. Place the patties on the grill oil side-down, then close the grill lid and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the patties are browned on the bottom and have dark grill marks.
    • For medium-rare burgers: cook for an additional 2 minutes (about 6 minutes total), until the patties are just browned or the temperature registers 140 F.
    • For medium burgers: cook patties for an additional 3-4 minutes (about 7-8 minutes total), until the patties are browned or the temperature registers 145 F.
    • For medium-well burgers: cook patties for an additional 4-5 minutes (about 8-9 minutes total), until the patties are browned and have deep grill marks, or the temperature registers 150 F.
  5. Remove the patties from the grill, then assemble.
  6. To assemble the burgers: smear the buns with mayonnaise or other condiments of choice, then place the hamburger patty on the bottom bun and top with the tomato, lettuce, and top bun, and serve.

Keywords: hamburger, grilled hamburgers, how to grill burgers

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