How to Grill Burgers Perfectly

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Grilling burgers like a pro is surprisingly simple – and my easy guide will show you how to make delicious, juicy burgers on the grill that turn out perfect every time.

Homemade patty cooked on the grill

Burgers are one of the highlights of the cookout and knowing how to grill the perfect burgers is an impressive skill to have. This fool-proof method will deliver juicy, tender patties that pair wonderfully with all the classic hamburger fixings. There’s no gatekeeping here – this method is so simple to follow and perfect for a grilling beginner.

Homemade burger with patties, cheese, tomato, lettuce

Ingredients

Ingredients for burgers
  • Ground Beef: I like to use 80/20 lean ground beef for juiciness, though you can use slightly more fat if you prefer. Ground chuck labeled as 80/20 also works well.
  • Burger Buns: Classic sesame seed buns are great, but you can use seedless ones.
  • Cheddar Cheese: Sliced American cheese is best for melting, though you can use any kind of cheddar you prefer.
  • Pickles: Use store-bought or make your own.
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Red Onion
  • Seasonings: Salt and pepper

How to grill burgers 

Preheat the Grill: If using a charcoal grill, light the briquettes until covered in ash, and place the burger patties evenly on the grill, then cover with the cooking grate. If using a gas grill, heat one set of burners to a high heat and leave the rest cool.

Make sure to scrape the cooking grate clean before using to prevent burning.

Form the Patties: Divide up the meat into uniformly sized balls. Then, press them down to form a thick patty. In the center of each burger patty, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make an indent – when you’re grilling burgers, this keeps them flat. If you want flatter patties, don’t make an indent. Finally, sprinkle the salt and pepper over the patties.

Steps for shaping burger patties

Grill the burgers: Add the burger patties onto the hot grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side. Don’t press down with a spatula – this can squeeze out all the delicious juices. Then, flip the burgers and grill on the opposite side for a further 3-4 minutes. Thinner patties will cook quicker – they should be ready to flip at the 2-minute mark.

When grilling frozen burgers, consider extending the cooking time to approximately 5-7 minutes on each side. Actual times can vary based on the thickness of the burgers, so use a meat thermometer to ensure they reach a safe internal temperature of 160°F (71°C).

Grilling burger patties.

Check for doneness: Using a digital meat thermometer, stick the tip into the center of the burger. When well done, it should have an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). If lower, continue to cook burgers on the grill until it’s safe to eat. You can also cut open one of the patties to check for doneness and ensure there’s no pink left in the center.

After the burgers are fully cooked, remove them from the grill grates and set aside to rest for a few minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the burgers moist.

Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness.

Toast the Buns: While flipping the burgers, brush both sides of the hamburger buns with olive oil and place them on the grill to toast for 1-2 minutes .

Brush buns with olive oil and toast on the grill.

Melt the Cheese (optional): If using, during the last minute of grilling add a slice of your favorite cheese on top of each patty and allow to melt to get a perfectly grilled cheeseburger.

Melt cheese on the grilled patties.

Assemble the Burgers: Spread your favorite sauce or condiments on the base of the burger bun, then top with the hamburger patty and add your favorite toppings. Place the other half of the bun on top and serve.

Assembling grilled patties on the grill with favorite toppings.

Grilled burger tips

  • Lean Meat: Choosing 80% lean, 20% fat beef will give you juicy burgers without any extra grease. It tends to have the most flavor.
  • Don’t Overmix: When handled too much, ground meat can become rubbery and dry. When adding the seasonings, just mix gently until everything is combined before shaping into patties.
  • Add The Indent: Once you’ve shaped the patties, making the indent will ensure they don’t balloon in size. It’ll also help it to cook evenly.
  • Preheat The Grill and Flip Once: If your grill is properly pre-heated, the burgers will start to cook immediately and have a beautiful sear on the outside. This will seal in the juices. And remember to only flip once – otherwise, you’ll dry out your burgers.
  • Resting Time: Allowing your burgers to rest before serving them gives the juicy insides a chance to redistribute across the whole burger and will deliver the ultimate flavor – so don’t skip this step!
Homemade burger patties added to burgers

Best sides for grilled burgerss

No delicious hamburger is complete without a few tempting sides. These are the best ones for perfectly grilled burgers:

If you try this recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

How to Grill Burgers Perfectly

5 from 5 votes
By: Samira
Grilling burgers like a pro is surprisingly simple – and my easy guide will show you how to make delicious, juicy burgers on the grill that turn out perfect every time.
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

Ingredients  

For the patties

  • 2 lb ground beef (80/20 blend)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil to brush the grill

For the burgers

  • 4 burger buns
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 tomato large, cut into slices
  • 4 leaves lettuce
  • 1 red onion medium, sliced into rings
  • 1/2 cup pickled cucumber sliced
  • ketchup to taste – or mayo, or your favorite sauce

Instructions 

Preheat The Grill

  • If using a charcoal grill, light the briquettes until covered in ash, and place the burger patties evenly on the grill, then cover with the cooking grate. If using a gas grill, heat one set of burners to a high heat and leave the rest cool.
    Make sure to scrape the cooking grate clean before using to prevent burning.

Form The Patties

  • Divide up the meat into uniformly sized balls. Then, press them down to form a thick patty. In the center of each burger patty, use your thumb or the back of a spoon to make an indent – when you’re grilling burgers, this keeps them flat. If you want flatter patties, don’t make an indent.
  • Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the patties.

Grill

  • Add the burger patties onto the hot grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on one side. Don’t press down with a spatula – this can squeeze out all the delicious juices.
  • Then, flip the burgers and grill on the opposite side for a further 3-4 minutes. Thinner patties will cook quicker – they should be ready to flip at the 2- minute mark.
  • Using a meat thermometer, stick the tip into the center of the burger. When well done, it should have an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). If lower, continue to cook burgers on the grill until it’s safe to eat.
  • After the burgers are fully cooked, remove them from the grill grates and set aside to rest for a few minutes. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, keeping the burgers moist.

Assemble The Burgers

  • While flipping the burgers, brush both sides of the hamburger buns with olive oil and place them on the grill to toast for 1-2 minutes .
  • If using, during the last minute of grilling add a slice of your favorite cheese on top of each patty and allow to melt.
  • Spread your favorite sauce or condiments on the base of the burger bun, then top with the hamburger patty and add your favorite toppings. Place the other half of the bun on top and serve.

Notes

Expert Tips for Perfect Burgers: 
  • Lean Meat: Choosing 80% lean, 20% fat beef will give you juicy burgers without any extra grease. It tends to have the most flavor.
  • Don’t Overmix: When handled too much, ground meat can become rubbery and dry. When adding the seasonings, just mix gently until everything is combined before shaping into patties.
  • Add The Indent: Once you’ve shaped the patties, making the indent will ensure they don’t balloon in size. It’ll also help it to cook evenly.
  • Preheat The Grill and Flip Once: If your grill is properly pre-heated, the burgers will start to cook immediately and have a beautiful sear on the outside. This will seal in the juices. And remember to only flip once – otherwise, you’ll dry out your hamburgers.
  • Resting Time: Allowing your burgers before serving them gives the juicy insides a chance to redistribute across the whole burger and will deliver the ultimate flavor – so don’t skip this step! 
Course: DIYs, Main
Cuisine: American, North American

Nutrition

Calories: 552kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 57g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 158mg, Sodium: 1213mg, Potassium: 998mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 502IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 225mg, Iron: 7mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 5 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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