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The Perfect Grilled Burgers

The Perfect Grilled BurgersThis is THE recipe for how to grill the perfect burger. Absolutely no fillers are used, just pure, 80 percent lean ground beef seasoned only with salt and pepper, sprayed lightly with cooking oil, and flipped just once on a hot grill makes for the best-tasting, perfectly cooked burgers every time. And absolutely NO pressing the patties down with the spatula whilst they're cooking!

Recipe Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef*
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray or vegetable oil for brushing
4 slices American processed cheddar cheese (optional)
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted on the grill

Suggested Toppings and Condiments:
Lettuce leaves
Tomato slices
Onion slices**
Pickle slices
Thousand Island dressing
Hope's Easy Secret Burger Sauce (recipe follows)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Shape ground beef into 4 (3/4-inch thick) patties, and make a deep depression in the centers with your thumb; season with salt and pepper and coat both sides lightly with cooking spray or brush with vegetable oil.
  2. Heat a gas grill on high. For a charcoal grill, heat the coals until they glow bright orange/red and ash over.
  3. To Cook: Grill first side of burgers until nicely browned and slightly charred, about 3 minutes. Flip over and cook burgers on the second side for about 4 minutes for medium rare or until desired doneness. (Absolutely never press down on the patties with a spatula while they are cooking because you'll lose desirable juice resulting in drier, less than perfect burgers.) Top burgers with a slice of cheese during the last minute, if using.
  4. Serve on toasted hamburger buns with desired accompaniments and toppings.

Makes 4 servings.

Hope's Easy Secret Burger Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together 1/3 to 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 to 2 tablespoons yellow mustard and 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped dill pickles. (Tip: Start with the least amount in measurements, taste and adjust amounts to suit your personal taste preference. To be honest, I don't bother measuring because it is nearly impossible to mess up this sauce.)

*For the absolute best tasting, juicy results, ONLY use fresh ground beef and not ground beef that has been frozen and thawed. It does make a BIG difference, especially when you want THE perfect burger.

**For best tasting onion, first soak slices in a bowl icy cold water for at least 10 minutes, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Recipe and photograph by Hope Cantil; Copyright © 1999; property of See Terms of Use.