The Best Burger Recipe

This is the best burger I’ve ever come across. It’s a homemade burger patty with meat and seasonings, no fillers. It really lets the meat flavor shine!

I make a lot of burgers in the summer. They’re so quick to put together and everybody loves them.

Most of the time, I keep things simple. I start with ground meat and add seasoning. That’s it. No egg. No breadcrumbs. Just meat and seasoning. I want to really taste the meat. That’s the best burger recipe to me.

Burgers with buns with cheese, ketchup, and mustard.

Here’s A Video Showing How To Make These Delicious Burgers:

What Do You Need For The Best Burger?


Usually, for seasonings, I go with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. There’s just a bit of extra flavor in there. Regular salt works well, too.

I always add black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Not very much of any of it though. When you start to actually build your burger there are going to be lots of toppings going on — tomatoes, pickles, mustard, ketchup, onions, and lettuce. All kinds of things. If you want the flavor of the meat to really shine, don’t overpower it with too many seasonings at the early stages.


I tend to use a mixture of lean and fattier ground beef. Or lean ground beef mixed with ground pork. I sometimes use all lean beef if I want a healthier burger. Whatever kind of meat you use, the most important thing is to not mix or handle it too much. Work the seasoning through the meat very quickly using your hands and do not over mix. It will make the finished burger tough, not tender.

At this point, I always like to do a flavor test, just in case something is off. Take about a tablespoon of the beef mixture and flatten it into a tiny burger patty. Put it on a small plate in the microwave for 20 seconds. If it’s no longer pink on the outside or inside, it’s cooked. Give it a taste. It’s not going to taste as good as your final burger, but you can tell if there’s enough seasoning. If you feel the need to add a little bit more, add it to the meat mixture, but be careful not to stir it very much when mixing it in.

Making The Burger Patties

Next, you shape your meat into patties. Divide the meat into the number of patties that you want. When I start with 2 pounds of ground beef, I make 6-8 patties. Before you start shaping patties, divide the meat up into the number of portions that you plan to have. Try to get the portions as even as you can. I sometimes even use a kitchen scale to make sure that they’re all the same.

Using your hands, take one portion of meat and form it into a big meatball. You want a nice tight compacted sphere. Once you have that, use your palms to evenly flatten it into a circle. Or you could use a burger press to get them to the exact size and shape you want every time. I like them about 4 inches in diameter and 3/4 inches thick. Try to make them a little bit thinner in the middle, even if you use a burger press. Why? As the patties cook they tend to bulge at the middle and you get an uneven surface, a burger that bulges in the middle. Thinning them at the middle when forming the patties will help counter this.

When you flatten the patties, they sometimes crack a bit along the edges. Just run the palm of your hand around to push the edges in a bit and smooth any cracks.

Arrange the patties in a single layer on a plate. If they don’t all fit in one layer, top the first ones with wax paper or parchment paper and then do another layer on top. Cook right away or refrigerate uncovered for up to two hours.

Cooking Your Best Burger

Burgers are great when grilled. If you don’t have a grill, my next favorite is a large flat nonstick or cast-iron pan set over medium heat. You want it hot enough to sear the meat on the outside, but not to burn it before the interior cooks. I start by cooking my burgers for about 3-4 minutes on each side. This depends on the thickness and the temperature of course.

I typically go for a medium to medium-high heat. Cook on the first side not touching them at all until they get a good sear. Then flip and leave them for 2-6 more minutes (depending on how done you want it). I’ll admit that I often cut into one to see if it’s how I want them.

Tip: Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature. You want the interior to be 160°F. That’s well done and is the safest when you’re working with ground meat. I know that many people like their burgers less done than that. If that’s you, you know what you like. Just know that it isn’t completely safe.

Completing Your Burger


If you’re cooking your burgers in a skillet, here’s a trick for melting the cheese very quickly. While your burgers are cooking, put on a kettle to boil. Once you’ve added the cheese to the burgers and are ready for it to melt, drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of water directly onto the pan around the burgers. Cover with a lid. The steam from the hot water will melt the cheese in just a few seconds.

If you’re cooking your burgers on the grill, add the cheese when you flip the burgers for the final time. Then put down the cover so that it has time to melt before the burgers overcook.


Sesame seeds or not is up to you. Well, whatever bun you choose is up to you. I like something a bit more solid, less floppy than the hamburger buns sold next to the wonderbread. I get my buns at the bakery section of the grocery store.

What’s more important than what kind of bun though is what you do with it. For me, it’s critical that the bun be warm. The best is if it’s toasted (maybe with a bit of garlic butter spread onto it mmmmm). But if you can’t be bothered to toast it, that’s fine. Microwave it for 15 seconds per bun. Just get it warmed up a bit. It makes such a difference to the entire burger experience.


The only thing left is the burger condiments. This is a very personal choice. I always go with fried onions, tomato, pickles, mayonnaise, lots of mustard, a tiny bit of ketchup. I bet you know exactly what you like on your burger though, so I won’t give any further instructions here other than to say that it’s best to get everything out and ready before you put the burgers on the grill. That way people can start getting their buns ready while the burgers cook. When the patties are done, they slide right into the buns and it’s time to eat.



The Best Burger Recipe

  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: American


This is the best burger I’ve ever come across. It’s a homemade burger patty with meat and seasonings, no fillers. It really lets the meat flavor shine!


  • 2 lbs. ground chuck (or use lean ground beef for a leaner burger, or a mixture of the two)
  • 2 tsp. seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  1. In a large bowl combine beef, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper just until combined. Do not over-mix or burgers will be tough.
  2. Divide meat mixture into 6 equal portions (you can do 8 instead if you want a smaller patty). Shape each into a tight ball. Use hands to flatten the ball into a disc. Make it thinner in the center. Smooth any cracks at the edges with the palm of your hand.
  3. Arrange patties on a large plate. If they don’t fit in a single layer use plastic wrap, parchment paper or wax paper to separate the layers. Cook immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to cook (up to 12 hours).
  4. Heat skillet or grill to medium heat. Cook burgers on the first side until a nice dark sear appears, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the second side until no longer pink inside (it will read 160°F on an instant-read thermometer), 2-6 minutes.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.

This post originally appeared in May 2015 and was revised and republished in May 2021.
The Best Burger Recipe

41 responses to “The Best Burger Recipe”

  1. Elle says:

    These were delicious! We have an egg allergy in the house, and I’ve never been brave enough to try making burgers without egg. Now I regret that I wasted all this time on awful frozen burgers from the store. We all loved these. Thank you a million times for sharing!! We’ll be making these all summer.

  2. Wow! your burger recipes is the best and test yummy

  3. Frank Zumpf says:

    Another great recipe to try, love these recipes

  4. My grandma made them this way

  5. Calvin says:

    Simple ingredients, I like the concept!! Burgers are great.

  6. Angelica says:

    Mmm.. nothing beats a fresh homemade burger on a toasted ciabatta bun with garlic butter! 😍 I like your recipe, it’s the same thing I put in my burgers, simplicity is the best! Sometimes I sneak in a bit of ground liver though for extra nutrition, you really can’t taste it.

  7. Debbie Yoder says:

    Love burgers and we always use the Lawrys seasoned salt,too!

  8. Deborah Waddell says:

    Sounds good hope it isn’t dry.

  9. Leland Wach says:

    Lot of recipes for burgers. Hope this one isn’t too dry.

  10. Andrea Hatfield says:

    My family really enjoys burgers! Thank you for sharing your tips. :)

  11. Sarah L says:

    Very true comment about not mixing the ground meat too much. I learned that the hard way.

  12. Amanda B. says:

    Pinning this! So hungry now!

  13. Alyssa says:

    CHRISTINE, this looks really good! I think I need to make these for myself and the kids. Love this idea!

  14. Janet says:

    I’m happy to see your method as mine is very similar! Here’s a tip for checking the burgers for doneness:

    When placing in the pan to fry, use your fingertip and press into the meat in the middle, forming a small hole. Meat juices will accumulate in the hole ; when it’s filled, flip it over and finish cooking. Always comes out perfectly cooked (medium) and tasty.

  15. Janet says:

    I’m happy to see your method as mine is very similar! Here’s a tip for checking the burgers for doneness:

    When placing in the pan to fry, use your fingertip and press into the meat in the middle, forming a small hole. Meat juices will accumulate in the hole ; when it’s filled, flip it over and finish cooking. Always comes out perfectly cooked (medium) and tasty.

  16. Receita says:

    This recipe looks delicious, indeed!!

  17. Delicious Burger says:

    Most delicious burger ever

  18. Faylinn says:

    I have never melted my cheese onto a hamburger while it was still in the pan or on the grill. Normally, I place the hamburger onto the bun first and then place the cheese on top of it. However, I definitely think that your idea might make it so the cheese cooks evenly and ensures that it melts and so I’m going to give your idea a go the next time I make them.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Faylinn, Yes, it results in the cheese actually being melted. I find that if you put it on once the meat is on the bun, the cheese just softens and doesn’t melt.

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  21. Yum Girl says:

    This recipe has been chosen to be part of our Burgers, Sliders, and Dogs Recipe Roundup – we hope you will help us spread the word by sharing, pinning, and tweeting!  All links go directly to your recipes and we hope you get lots of traffic!  Kelli and Holli at Yum Goggle

  22. […] If you’re an every day, every meal kind of burger lover, you’ll also want to check out my best burger recipe. […]

  23. Victor Johnson says:

    Okay, so the picture where you’ve got an gooey egg dripping atop the patty is a winner. I saw that and instantly wanted to know more. Right off the bat, being a garlic and pepper fiend, I’m going to have to double the amounts, but otherwise, this looks like an extremely solid recipe. Thanks!

  24. You definitely have got me all inspired to get in the kitchen and whip up my idea of “the best burger”.. these look SO delicious!

  25. mmm we love using Seasoned Salt in our burgers too! 

  26. Your tasting trick is genius! I would’ve never thought to put a little sample bite in the microwave to be able to check the seasonings. Your burgers look so yummy and I love those fancy buns!

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